Nick Swartz named dean of JMU SPCE

JMU News

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Following a national search, James Madison University has named Nick Swartz as the new dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Education, effective June 1.  

Nick SwartzSwartz served as the interim dean for the past two years and brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to lifelong learning. In his new role, he will oversee the school, which encompasses the Adult Degree Program, Lifelong Learning Institute, Youth Programs and Professional Development.  

A native of Selma, North Carolina, Swartz joined JMU in 2008 as an assistant professor of public policy and administration in the political science department. Throughout his tenure, he has made significant contributions to the university, including serving as the director of the master’s in public administration program and associate vice provost of research and scholarship. Swartz also founded the Madison Center for Community Development and served as its director until 2022.  

Swartz became an associate dean at SPCE in 2017 when it was known as Outreach and Engagement. He has played a key role in many local, regional, state and national initiatives and projects and led a university-wide working group that helped establish the new Office of Youth Safety.  

JMU Provost Heather Coltman said, “This appointment recognizes Nick's significant contributions to JMU’s professional and continuing education initiatives as well as the strength of the existing leadership team in SPCE. His experience and knowledge will add significant value as SPCE continues to expand opportunities for individuals and the community through education, programming and experiences for all ages.”  

Swartz expressed his gratitude and excitement for the new role, saying, “I am deeply honored to be named dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Education. Serving as interim dean over the past two years has allowed me to witness firsthand the incredible impact our programs have on individuals and the community. SPCE plays a vital role in providing accessible education and professional development opportunities, driving economic growth and enhancing the quality of life in our region. I look forward to continuing our work to expand these opportunities and support lifelong learning for all.”  

Swartz holds a doctorate in public policy with a concentration in urban and regional economic development from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; he also earned a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.  

For more information, please contact Eric Gorton at 


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Published: Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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