Skip to header Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Jack Watson, CHHS Dean

Jack Watson,  College of Health and Human Services Dean
Jack Watson, College of Health and Human Services Dean
Photo: Jeff Janowski
Jack Watson always thought he would become a practicing sports psychologist, but in graduate school he discovered a passion for teaching that led him to academia, where he has built a fulfilling career as an educator and administrator.
“Helping students live lives of meaning and purpose is very important to me,” he said.

As the new dean of the UNCW College of Health and Human Services, one of the university’s largest colleges, Watson says student success will be a cornerstone of his leadership philosophy.
As CHHS dean, he leads more than 300 faculty and staff and over 4,500 students within the college’s three professional schools: School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, School of Nursing and School of Social Work. Previously, Watson served as dean of West Virginia University’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences; he was also associate dean, assistant dean and chair of the Department of Sport Sciences.

Drawn to CHHS’s mission to enhance the health and quality of life of those in southeastern NC, Watson wants to make an immediate impact.
“In my first year as dean, I would like to make a large splash with regard to setting up our college to help solve the healthcare workforce shortages in our community. This is a big focus of my time and energy,” he said.
To do this, Watson will continue to get to know the culture and people within CHHS and the broader community. 
“I am a future-focused leader who wants to play the long game,” said Watson, who has an extensive background in leadership development and higher education administration. “This means that we need to know how we can improve, and then we can develop strategies to help us get there. This isn’t always easy, but if we do it right, we can engage the entire college in the process and find a final destination that we can all be proud of.”  

To ensure CHHS is meeting the needs of students, Watson said the college will rely on valuable feedback from student ambassadors, and the Student Success Center will continue to be a primary resource for students. Supporting faculty research and engaging students in the discovery process as an R2 institution will also remain a priority.

“Having worked and been around several R1 institutions, I can say with confidence that we are doing a great job of supporting our students, staff and faculty in this area.” 
As Watson leads CHHS into the future, his vision and purpose for the college come naturally, representing many of the values and interests he shares with his family. His wife is a nurse and nurse educator; their son is a certified athletic trainer and pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy; their oldest daughter is a senior in sport psychology and completing her master's degree in sport management with a focus on the health of athletes; and their youngest daughter, a first-year college student, is likely to move into a health-related field, he predicts.

“This mission fits extremely well with my views of the world and what brings me meaning and purpose. CHHS is a dynamic college that brings together so many unique, creative and diverse people who all have the goal of enhancing health and quality of life in others.”