Elected president of the University of New Hampshire in 2018, James W. “Jim” Dean Jr. leads a strategic vision that is guiding UNH toward its goal to be among the nation’s top 25 public universities in the most important measures of academic performance. In 2022, the University System of New Hampshire trustees also elected him to serve as the interim chancellor of USNH through June 2024.
The Future of UNH strategy focuses on four university-wide priorities: student well-being and success, academic and research excellence, service to New Hampshire and financial strength. Progress is shared transparently, with metrics in nine areas ranging from graduation rates and overall value to sustainability and financial strength. Results are tracked at: www.unh.edu/future.
Dean believes that the nation’s public universities must rethink their efforts to better serve the public through teaching, research and engagement, and he adds that UNH is well positioned to redefine and strengthen its role as a leading public research university.
UNH’s ability to create innovative research partnerships across disciplines shaped its response to COVID-19, which has been among the most effective in US higher education. UNH built a state-of-the-art testing lab on its Durham campus, which analyzes up to 7,000 tests a day for the UNH community, and nearly 125 long-term care facilities and local K-12 public schools. The UNH community’s COVID-19 positivity rate has remained well below state and national rates.
Prior to joining UNH, Dean served as executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where he was a professor of organizational behavior. He joined UNC in 1997 as an associate professor of management and was appointed dean of the Kenan- Flagler Business School in 2008 before becoming provost in 2013.
Dean and his wife, Jan, have two daughters and four grandchildren. He earned his Ph.D. and master’s degrees in organizational behavior from Carnegie Mellon University. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from The Catholic University of America.