Wednesday, July 17, 2024

UNCW hires new Health and Human Services dean

Jack Watson will take over as dean of UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services in June. (UNCW/Greg Ellis)

WILMINGTON — UNCW has named its next dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

Jack Watson II, Ph.D., will become the third dean of the college, bringing 16 years of administrative experience and an extensive background in leadership development. He will succeed succeed interim Dean Justine Reel and former founding Dean Charles Hardy.

From 2019 to 2022, Watson served as dean of West Virginia University’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences. He previously served as associate dean, assistant dean and chair of the Department of Sport Sciences.

As dean, Watson will provide leadership as the college’s chief academic and administrative officer. This will include strategic planning, meeting enrollment targets, budget administration, curriculum and program development, accreditation, external funding, community engagement and more.

He will assume his new role on June 26.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Watson to the College of Health and Human Services and our Seahawk community,” Provost James J. Winebrake said in a press release. “The robust work of CHHS faculty, staff and leadership has established the college’s recognized position across the state as a dynamic resource for collaborations and meeting the health and human services workforce demands. I look forward to Dr. Watson strengthening this legacy. Under his leadership, I know opportunities will continue to thrive for CHHS to have positive impacts on the health and quality of life of individuals, families and communities in our state and beyond.”

Dr. Watson has achieved numerous notable accomplishments in his various administrative roles. These include leading a college that engaged with 44 of the 55 counties in the state of West Virginia on community programming; implementing college structural and strategic changes that led to significantly increased revenue; co-leading a merger of two colleges over a 13-month span; increasing student success indicators; and creating several academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. He is also a certified mental performance consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

“It is a great honor to have been chosen for this position and I look forward to following in the footsteps of strong leadership, working with Chancellor Volety, Provost Winebrake, the other deans and the UNCW administration,” Watson said in a press release. “CHHS is blessed with an incredibly strong leadership team and a world-class faculty and staff who are focused on the success of their students and the process of preparing the future health and human service professionals and leaders in southeast North Carolina and beyond. I look forward to being part of the UNCW team and building upon the great work in the surrounding communities to promote health and well-being within the region. This opportunity is a dream come true for me.”

Watson holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology with a concentration in sport psychology and post-doctoral respecialization in counseling and school psychology from Florida State University. He received his master’s in sport behavior from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Virginia. He has worked in higher education since 1998.

Before he takes up the post at UNCW, Watson is completing a year-long fellowship with the American Council on Education at the University of Kentucky, a rigorous, comprehensive leadership program for higher education administrators.

The College of Health and Human Services was founded in 2010 and now has more than 300 faculty and staff, over 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students, and three professional schools: the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, the School of Nursing and the School of Social Work.

New facilities house the college and provide state-of-the-art laboratories, simulation learning spaces and an interprofessional collaborative teaching clinic.

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