As Interim Associate Provost for Graduate Academic Affairs, Richard Thomas will oversee graduate academic program planning and performance review, as well as the Office of Graduate Education and Life.
Thomas’ interim role is a two-year appointment reporting directly to Provost Reed, in which he will help to assess the future direction of WVU’s graduate programs, including their organizational structure and leadership.
Prior to this appointment, Thomas has served as a respected leader, teacher and mentor in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology since 2009. Under his leadership, the department saw significant growth in student numbers, as well as extramural and internal research funding. Thomas also successfully recruited 11 tenure-track faculty, including in the areas of neuroscience and genomics research, and seven teaching faculty members to the department.
To promote family-friendly, work-life balance, Thomas designed and instituted an innovative mentoring policy for faculty, which became the basis for a model in other units across campus, and a departmental policy for reduced teaching and service loads for pre-tenured faculty.
To date, he has 62 peer-reviewed publications, seven book chapters and one edited volume. Thomas’ work has been highlighted by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, NBC News and the New York Times, and he has presented his research to audiences around the globe, including China, Austria and multiple locations across the US. He was named Eberly College’s Outstanding Researcher of the Year in 2001.