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UNH President to Retire in 2024

Published Thursday Sep 7, 2023

Author BNH Staff Reports

UNH President to Retire in 2024

University of NH President James W. “Jim” Dean Jr. announced he will retire on June 30, 2024. At that time, Dean will have served six years as president of the state’s flagship public research university and more than two years as interim chancellor of the University System of NH.  

“Serving as president of this university has been a great honor and the highlight of my forty-year academic career,” says Dean. “Together we have strengthened UNH’s position as a leading public research university and helped to prepare thousands of people for successful lives and careers. UNH is positioned for a bright future. It is also poised for new leadership and the time is right for me to pass the baton.” 

As part of Dean's “Future of UNH” initiative, the university has improved graduation rates, focused on providing high-impact educational opportunities to more students and repeatedly been named a top 10 value school by U.S. News & World Report. 

Under Dean’s leadership, UNH sett up a testing lab on its Durham campus during the COVID-19 pandemic, using testing and other mitigation methods to slow campus transmission rates to below state and national levels. 

As part of his “Embrace New Hampshire” initiative, Dean encouraged the university to focus on critical challenges facing the Granite state, such as health care, energy and education. 

“Jim has devoted his career to public higher education,” says Alex Walker, chair of the University System Board of Trustees. “His commitment to students, impactful research and the unique role public universities should play in their communities have informed his leadership and have helped to further UNH’s position as a leading public university. The university system community is grateful for Jim’s cooperative and steadfast leadership during his tenure in two incredibly demanding roles and we wish him and his wife Jan many years of happy, well-earned retirement with their family.” 

Dean’s retirement will conclude a 40-year academic career, of which more than 25 years have been spent in leadership roles. Before becoming president of UNH in 2018, Dean, who is 67, served as executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Before that, he was dean of UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School where he was a professor of organizational behavior. He earned his doctorate 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. 

The board of trustees is discussing the future governance model of the university system, including the continuation of the dual President and Chancellor role Dean has filled since March 2022. Those decisions will inform the search process for the university’s next leader and will be announced soon.

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