After a national search that concluded with a unanimous vote of the University System board of trustees, James W. (“Jim”) Dean Jr. has been appointed the 20th president of the University of New Hampshire effective June 30, 2018.
Dean will succeed Mark W. Huddleston, who is retiring after 11 years leading UNH. Dean most recently served as executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where he is a professor of organizational behavior.
“On behalf of the board of trustees and the search committee, it is my pleasure to welcome Jim as UNH’s next president. UNH is gaining an experienced leader from one of the nation’s top public universities. Jim is committed to and understands public higher education and the key role it plays in the state, the region and the nation,” says John Small, chair of the search committee and the USNH board of trustees. “He not only understands but embraces the importance and challenges of access, affordability, diversity and inclusion. He is also eager to bring his experience in leadership and building relationships with businesses to the university for the benefit of our students. Jim is thoughtful, approachable, visionary and an exceptional team builder — he will be an outstanding president for UNH.”
“The university has accomplished so much already in the classroom, the laboratory, and the community, and it is well-positioned to strengthen and even to redefine its role as a leading public research university.”
Dean has risen through the ranks of academic leadership positions in public higher education over the past 20 years. As provost, he led a number of efforts to support student success, worked to enhance retention and graduation rates, and reorganized resources to better prepare students for life and success after college. Dean also helped to lead a transition toward a new university wide budget model. His commitment and experience in building a diverse and inclusive university at UNC was evident in his hiring practices (he hired seven new deans) and his work with student groups.
“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve as president of UNH at a time when all public universities need to rethink our efforts to support the public through teaching, research and engagement,” says Dean. “The university has accomplished so much already in the classroom, the laboratory, and the community, and it is well-positioned to strengthen and even to redefine its role as a leading public research university.”
Prior to serving as provost, Dean was dean of UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he launched a highly-ranked online MBA program that increased revenue by millions of dollars. His work in the business school started shortly after he joined the faculty at UNC in 1997, when he was asked to lead the Kenan-Flagler Business School’s flagship MBA program. His initiative to identify core values for the business school continues to shape the school 20 years later. As associate dean for executive education, Dean recruited new clients, including the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force, and increased revenue by 60 percent.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Jim during the interview process and was struck by his thoughtful approach, experience and understanding of the need for the president of the state’s flagship public university to build relationships with businesses as well as the state’s leadership and its residents,” says Governor Chris Sununu. “Given Jim’s experience as a provost and business school dean, I look forward to working with him to keep our best and brightest students in the state and to continue to build the skilled workforce our businesses and the state’s economy need to thrive.”
Dean will take the helm at a university that:
- Contributes $1.5 billion each year to the state’s economy
- Is ranked #1 for safest university town in the country
- Has equipment on board 36 satellites currently orbiting the Earth
- Has raised over $300 million in its largest capital campaign
- Is home to the nation’s leading research center on how to effectively prevent sexual assaults
Dean will visit all three UNH campuses April 9-10.
Dean and his wife, Jan, have two daughters and two 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.