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James (Jim) W. Dean Jr., a longtime faculty member and currently dean of Kenan-Flagler Business School, has been appointed as the next executive vice chancellor and provost for UNC-Chapel Hill.

Chancellor Holden Thorp and Chancellor-Elect Carol Folt announced Dean’s appointment, effective July 1, in an email to the campus community on May 23. The University’s Board of Trustees approved a joint recommendation from Thorp and Folt earlier in the day.

Dean, also professor of organizational behavior and a Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Scholar, will fill the vacancy left by Bruce Carney, who has served as provost since 2009, including one year in the post on an interim basis. He is returning 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.

“Jim is an accomplished scholar and outstanding educator,” Folt said. “He is respected widely for his visionary leadership of the 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.”

Thorp appointed a campus search committee, chaired by Kristen Swanson, dean of the School of Nursing and Alumni Distinguished Professor, which started its national search in January and coordinated closely with Folt after her appointment as chancellor-elect in April. Thorp, Folt and Carney are working together toward a seamless leadership transition in South Building, Carolina’s main administration building. Folt begins as chancellor on July 1.

Dean was appointed as Kenan-Flagler’s dean in 2008. Thorp said Dean had successfully positioned Kenan-Flagler as a leading global business school that is a valued member of the campus community and a major contributor to the welfare of North Carolina, the nation and the world.

Previously, Dean served in the school’s top academic position, senior associate dean for academic affairs, for a year. He also was associate dean of Executive Development from 2002 to 2007 and associate dean of the master’s of business administration (MBA) degree program from 1998 to 2002. He joined the business faculty in 1997.

Leadership, organizational change, strategic decision making, international management, and organizational performance improvement are the focus of Dean’s research, teaching and consulting. He has published in many of the top academic and business journals. Dean was program director of the National Science Foundation research program, Transformations to Quality Organizations, jointly sponsored by the government and the private sector, and served as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for six years.

He earned his Ph.D. and master’s degrees in organizational behavior from Carnegie Mellon University. He received his bachelor’s degree from The Catholic University.

An interim dean will be announced later, along with plans for a search committee to identify Dean’s successor.

Read more about the Provost search.

Published May 23, 2013.