Dr. Jack Thomas is President of Western Illinois University (WIU). Previously, he served as Provost and Academic Vice President at WIU. The institution serves approximately 13,000 students through its traditional, residential four-year campus in Macomb, Illinois and its upper-division metropolitan commuter location in the Quad Cities/Moline, Illinois. WIU offers 66 undergraduate degree programs and 37 graduate degree programs, has over 700 faculty members, and has an annual budget of over $220 million.
Prior to his appointment at WIU, Dr. Thomas served as Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Interim Dean at Middle Tennessee State University. Dr. 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, Chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages, Coordinator of Freshman English, and Assistant Track Coach.
Dr. Thomas has served as an American Council on Education Fellow, is a graduate of the Harvard Leadership Program and the Leadership Middle Tennessee Program, a Kellogg-NAFEO Fellow, and participated in the Salzburg Seminar in Salzburg, Austria. He is a noted scholar and lecturer appearing as a keynote speaker presenting his research and inspirational messages locally, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Thomas has numerous publications and professional presentations. His research focuses on Black males in literature. He served as the editor and founder of Image: The Scholars Release Journal, Men and Women of Color which showcases writers, poets, and artists. In addition, Dr. Thomas gives many hours to the community, both educationally and personally, serving on numerous boards and committees, and is very active in church.