Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Office of the President
President Jack Thomas
Jack Thomas was named the 11th president of Western Illinois University on January 18, 2011, and began his presidential tenure July 1, 2011. Prior to being named president at Western, Thomas served as the University's provost and academic vice president since January 2008.
Under his leadership, as provost and academic vice president, Western established new academic programs, including degrees in nursing, engineering, museum studies, anthropology and religious studies. His initiatives included identifying WIU's signature academic programs; establishing the Provost Award for Faculty Travel fund; expanding distance learning options; implementing a faculty merit system; and enhancing summer school. A strong proponent of mentoring young faculty from diverse backgrounds, Thomas created under-represented dissertation and post-doctorate fellowships, visiting professorships, young scholar initiatives and other professional development programs.
Prior to his appointment at WIU, Thomas served as senior vice provost for academic affairs and interim dean at Middle Tennessee State University. Thomas has also served in various capacities at other universities, including interim president, executive vice president, associate vice president for academic and student affairs, executive assistant to the president, department chair, coordinator of freshman English and assistant track coach. He has been an American Council on Education Fellow and a Kellogg-NAFEO Fellow, and is a graduate of the Harvard Leadership Program. He is also a member of the executive board for the American Council on Education Council of Fellows and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Stillman College.
Thomas is the author of numerous publications, is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, particularly in his area of research, Black males in literature, and is a noted lecturer. He has served as the editor and founder of "Image: The Scholars Release Journal, Men and Women of Color," which showcases writers, poets and artists. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Sigma Pi Phi, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Tau Delta and several other organizations. In the Macomb community, Thomas is a member of the Macomb Noon Rotary.
Thomas earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, his master's degree from Virginia State University and his bachelor's degree from Alabama A & M University.
Thomas and his wife, Linda, have two children. Their son, Patrick, is a senior at Western, and their son, Darius, is a senior at Macomb Senior High School.