CHAPEL HILL – Jim Dean—currently the dean of UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School–will take over as UNC’s provost effective July 1. He’s replacing Bruce Carney, who’s returning to the faculty after four years in the position.

“Jim has proven a very thoughtful and well-organized colleague. He’s innovative and knowledgeable in ways that the university really needs for the future, including operational and organization strategies in distance education,” Carney said.

Carney explains the search was narrowed to  two individuals, Dean and a candidate from outside of the Carolina staff and administration. Carney will  help Dean transition into his new role; the two will begin meeting this week.

The official announcement was made Friday, after months of searching by a 21-member committee.

Kristen Swanson, Dean of the School of Nursing and Alumni Distinguished Professor, served as chair.

“We never went look for a business dean anymore than when we searched for another provost or another arts and sciences dean. But it was delightful that he brought that scholarship,” Swanson said.

Dean is also a Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Scholar and a Professor of Organizational Behavior.

Carney says Dean is well-placed to be able to handle the budget—something Carney himself found challenge during his time as UNC’s chief academic officer.

Before moving up through the ranks at UNC, Carney served as a chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

“I’ve learned a lot about the budget during my time here and I can assure that a background in astronomy does not prepare you for this kind of thing,” Carney said.

The UNC Board of Trustees approved the joint recommendation of Chancellor Holden Thorp and Chancellor-elect Carol Folt.

“The Chancellor-has her own reasons for making these kinds of choice and I don’t want to get into that,” Carney said. “But I’m sure a number of people feel more comfortable knowing that somebody internal is going to be over-seeing the academic mission.”