News & Messages

Appointment of an Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Jim DeanMay 23, 2013

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

Chancellor-Elect Carol Folt and I have exciting news to share about the University’s leadership transition. James (Jim) W. Dean, Jr., dean of Kenan-Flagler Business School and a longtime faculty member, will serve as the next executive vice chancellor and provost starting July 1. The University’s Board of Trustees approved our joint recommendation earlier today.

The excellent work of the campus search committee led by Kristen Swanson, dean of the School of Nursing and Alumni Distinguished Professor, was a critical factor in bringing the selection process to a successful conclusion on schedule. The committee conducted a thorough national search that attracted a strong candidate pool.

Jim will succeed Bruce Carney, who has been provost since 2009 and is preparing for a well-deserved return to the faculty and his research.

The executive vice chancellor and provost is the University’s chief academic officer and oversees the professional schools, the College of Arts and Sciences, the University Library, and a number of other academic-related units.

Chancellor-Elect Folt asked me to share this statement about Jim’s selection:

“Jim is an accomplished scholar and outstanding educator. He is respected widely for his visionary leadership of Kenan-Flagler Business School and for the innovative and interdisciplinary approaches he takes to ensure excellence in research, education and public service. As the chief academic officer, his deep knowledge of the University’s strengths across schools and commitment to providing an outstanding education for our undergraduate, graduate and professional students will assist me in engaging the entire community in building a bright future.”

Jim has performed with distinction since joining the faculty in 1997. He was appointed dean in 2008, and he has successfully positioned Kenan-Flagler as a leading global business school that is a valued member of our campus community and a major contributor to the welfare of North Carolina, the nation and the world. He previously served in Kenan-Flagler’s top academic position, senior associate dean for academic affairs, for a year. He was associate dean of Executive Development from 2002 to 2007 and associate dean of the MBA Program from 1998 to 2002.

Jim is a professor of organizational behavior and a Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Scholar. His other experience included serving as program director of the National Science Foundation research program, Transformations to Quality Organizations, jointly sponsored by the government and the private sector. He was an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for six years. Leadership, organizational change, strategic decision making, international management, and organizational performance improvement are the focus of his research, teaching and consulting. He has published in many of the top academic and business journals. Jim lives in Chapel Hill with his wife Janet Babilon Dean.

An interim dean will be announced in the near future, along with plans for a search committee to identify Jim’s successor. We are working together toward a seamless leadership transition in South Building and the start of the Folt administration in July.

Please join me in congratulating Jim on his appointment.


Holden Thorp