Skip to header Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Jack C. Watson Named CHHS Dean

UNCW names the next dean of the College of Health and Human Services following a nationwide search.

Jack C. Watson II
Jack C. Watson II

Jack C. Watson II, Ph.D., has been named the next dean of the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the university announced today.

Dr. Watson joins UNCW with 16 years of administrative experience and an extensive background in leadership development. This month he 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. From 2019-22 he 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.

Dr. Watson was named UNCW’s next dean for CHHS after a nationwide search. He will succeed Interim Dean Justine Reel and former Founding Dean Charles J. Hardy.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Watson to the College of Health and Human Services and our Seahawk community,” said Provost James J. Winebrake. “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 a Certified Mental Performance Consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

“I am excited to be joining the Seahawk family as dean of the College of Health and Human Services,” said Dr. Watson. “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. 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.”

Dr. 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 a Master of Science in Sport Behavior from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Virginia. He has worked in higher education since 1998.

Since its founding in 2010, UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services has developed into a vibrant and diverse college with faculty, staff and students who have contributed significantly to the university’s growth over the last decade. The college 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.

As dean, Dr. 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. Dr. Watson will assume his new role on June 26, 2023.