Watson College Dean Van Dempsey Appointed to State Education Commission

Van Dempsey, dean of UNCW’s Watson College of Education, has been named to a new education commission created by the North Carolina General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session. 

Dempsey is one of 16 individuals from the educational community appointed to serve on the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission. The commission, formed through Senate Bill 599, will make recommendations to the State Board of Education on all aspects of teacher preparation, licensure, continuing education and standards of conduct. 

“It is an honor to be named to the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission, and to have the opportunity to represent the Watson College and our Professional Development System partners in this work,” Dempsey said. “It is also an honor to serve on the commission with outstanding colleagues in the education profession across North Carolina. We have a critical challenge to do important work for our state, and to provide collaborative leadership to ensure that we have well-educated, professionally supported educators who create great learning opportunities for children. I look forward to doing that work, and engaging the Watson College in making sure the best ideas, creativity and professional talent of our colleagues inform our decisions and recommendations as a commission.”

Dempsey was appointed to the commission by the N.C. House. He joins K-12 teachers, principals, administrators and superintendents as well as deans of colleges of education around the state. The legislation states that the purpose of the commission is to “involve stakeholders in establishing high standards for North Carolina educators.” In making appointments, the General Assembly is encouraged to select qualified citizens who are committed to improving the teaching profession and student achievement and who represent the racial, geographic, and gender diversity of the State.

Senate Bill 599 was sponsored by Sen. Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, who announced the appointments in a news release on August 4. 

Dempsey has served as WCE dean since 2015.