Emporia State University’s next provost and vice president for academic affairs has long shown his leadership abilities throughout his career at ESU. Dr. Brent Thomas was announced as the new academic leader this afternoon.
“Dr. Thomas was selected for his leadership, his ability to forge relationships and for his vision for the future of Emporia State University,” wrote ESU President Ken Hush in a message to campus. “During his time at ESU, Brent has proven to be an exceptional leader who has been critical in helping ESU plan a bright new future.”
A first-generation college student, Thomas began his career at Emporia State in 2006 after earning his Ph.D. in biological sciences from Mississippi State University and serving on faculty at University of South Carolina Upstate.
“After serving ESU for about 17 years, I am both honored and excited to take on the permanent role of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs,” Thomas said. “Emporia is my home, and Emporia State University is my university. I care very deeply about ESU and our community and, I look forward to working with faculty, staff and students to ensure that ESU continues to adapt.”
In his announcement to campus, Hush noted that Thomas’ first act of leadership was choosing a style of employment agreement.
“Dr. Thomas chose a first-of-its-kind, performance-based agreement,” Hush explained. “It is this type of transformative, visionary thinking and action that sets ESU apart for both students and employees of the university.”
As full-time provost, Thomas will step down as dean of the College of Liberal Arts + Sciences. Information on filling that role will be shared later.