Skip to header Skip to Content Skip to Footer

UNCW Names New Watson College Dean

Dr. Tracy Linderholm will assume her new role as the college’s chief academic and administrative officer on June 24, 2024.

Dr. Tracy Linderholm
Dr. Tracy Linderholm

Dr. Tracy Linderholm has been appointed dean of the Watson College of Education (WCE) at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The university made the announcement following a special called meeting of the Board of Trustees on March 22. 

Dr. Linderholm joins UNCW with 16 years of administrative experience, including most recently as associate dean of the College of Education at Georgia Southern University. She previously served at the University of Florida as associate director for the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education, and program director of the Educational Psychology doctoral program. 

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Linderholm to the Watson College of Education,” said Provost James J. Winebrake. “I believe Dr. Linderholm's leadership experience in the education field, her demonstrated commitment to community engagement and her passion for supporting students, faculty and staff will enable the Watson community to flourish in the coming years.”  

Dr. Linderholm was named the next dean for WCE after a nationwide search. In her role as associate dean, Dr. Linderholm led a number of successful initiatives for Georgia Southern University’s College of Education. These initiatives led to significant student enrollment increases; expanded external research funding; new scholarship opportunities for faculty; and additional support from donors to support student success.  

“I am honored to have been selected as incoming dean of the Watson College of Education,” said Dr. Linderholm. “Watson College has a long tradition of providing high-quality, innovative programming that promotes student success. I look forward to continuing that tradition by forging new collaborations with school, community and campus partners.” 

Dr. Linderholm holds a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She also achieved a Master of Arts in Psychology from California State University Sacramento, and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Kansas. She has held positions in higher education since 2000. 

The Watson College of Education, originally established in 1979 as the School of Education, offers high-quality programs, extensive applied learning opportunities and collaborative learning environments, leading to highly qualified graduates in education or education-related fields. The college has over 250 faculty and staff, and three academic departments: Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, and Special Education, Department of Educational Leadership, and the Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education. 

As dean, Dr. Linderholm will provide leadership as the college’s chief academic and administrative officer. This will include strategic planning, enrollment recruitment and retention, budget administration, curriculum and program development, accreditation, external funding, community engagement and more. She will also lead the WCE community in achieving UNCW’s goals of excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service. Dr. Linderholm will assume her new role on June 24, 2024.