Paul Thomas (academic)

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Professor Paul Thomas AM
Professor Paul Thomas AM - Founding Vice-Chancellor and President USC.jpg
BSc(Hons) Wales, DipEd Wales, MA Lough., PhD Qld., FACE, LRPS
Founding Vice-Chancellor and President University of the Sunshine Coast
In office
1996–2010
Succeeded by Professor Greg Hill
Personal details
Alma mater University of Wales Loughborough University University of Queensland
Inaugural Chairman
Chair of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Board
In office
2012 – present

Paul Thomas AM is the founding Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

From March 1994 to December 1995, Thomas was the Planning President of the university, then named the Sunshine Coast University College. In 1996, he became the inaugural Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Sunshine Coast. He retired from office in 2010.

On May 2012, the Minister for Health of Queensland Lawrence Springborg announced that Thomas had been appointed Chair of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Board.[1] This new role involves the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital in which the Queensland Government is investing $2.03 billion.[2]

Education[edit]

Thomas received undergraduate degrees from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and a research MA (Master of Arts) from Loughborough University before coming to Australia in 1976. At the University of Queensland, Brisbane, he received a PhD.[3]

Career[edit]

Thomas occupied senior posts in the British higher education system before taking up a position as Head of Education at Kelvin Grove Campus of Brisbane College of Advanced Education (later Queensland University of Technology). [4]

From March 1994 to December 1995, Thomas was the Planning President for Australia's newest public university, University of the Sunshine Coast. In the early planning stages, Thomas operated out of the boot of his car when he consulted with Sunshine Coast community groups and businesses. [5] Thomas has been interviewed and presented on planning and designing university campuses. [6]

Thomas commissioned the USC donor funded Leonard SABOL, "Between" sculpture commemorating the USC Health and Sport Centre Complex in background.

In 1996, Thomas became the inaugural Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Sunshine Coast. The university then only had 524 students, two buildings and a choice of two degrees. Under his tenure and 15 years later, the university today has more than 7,000 students, 16 buildings and more than 100 undergraduate and postgraduate study programs.[7][8]

During Thomas's term as Vice-Chancellor, the University of the Sunshine Coast developed an art collection of contemporary Australian art with an emphasis on Queensland artists including indigenous artists. [9] [10]

Thomas also initiated a $2.1 million Olympic-size swimming pool which opened in late 2011. This is used for training by elite athletes as well as for community use.[11][12]

Thomas was also the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast through all stages of its development.[13]

In March 2010, the University of the Sunshine Coast received its sixth consecutive Employer of Choice For Women citation. These citations are awarded annually by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency in recognition of efforts to increase the representation of women at senior staff levels and to help staff maintain work-life balance.[14]

Thomas is currently a member of the National Leadership Institute Advisory Board,[15] made up of Australian experts from academia, government and industry. [16]

Site of the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital at Kawana, Queensland

Post-university career[edit]

On 18 May 2012, Thomas was appointed Inaugural Chair of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Board by the Minister for Health of Queensland, Lawrence Springborg. He will be involved in the new $2.03 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) which will open in 2016.[17]

Honours[edit]

In 2002, Thomas was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to Australian society through higher education and university administration.[18]

On Australia Day 2007, Thomas was given the Order of Australia for service to higher education, particularly through the development and administration of the University of the Sunshine Coast, and to the establishment of educational links with China and Japan.[19]

In 2009, Thomas was the recipient of the Asia-Pacific Chief Executive Leadership Award by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He is the first Vice-Chancellor of any Australian university to be recognised in this way by CASE, which annually presents leadership awards in eight districts throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe and the Asia-Pacific.[20] CASE President John Lippincott hosted the presentation ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on 25 March 2009. Lippincott praised Thomas for his pioneering leadership and for developing a culture of philanthropy through exemplary regional engagement.[21]

In 2011, Thomas became the first Emeritus Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast.[22]

No academic institution I’ve ever been associated with has meant more to me than USC does. To be formally linked with the University in this way is a great honour, and even more so because it’s the first Emeritus Professorship from USC to be awarded. -- Professor Paul Thomas AM [22]

In addition, Thomas is:

Photography[edit]

Thomas at the opening of his photographic exhibition "Images of Vietnam"

In 2013 a photographic exhibition titled Paul Thomas AM: Images of Vietnam was opened displaying 56 photographs of markets, fishing boats, scenery and street life Thomas captured during his 2012 trip to Vietnam.[25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Minister for Health announcement of new role Retrieved 19 May 2012
  2. ^ New $2.03 billion hospital for Sunshine Coast region Retrieved 19 May 2012
  3. ^ Education Retrieved 10 January 2012
  4. ^ Queensland Government Biography Archived from the original on 9 Mar 2013.
  5. ^ Community Magazine 2006 Page 6 [1] Retrieved on 9 Mar 2013.
  6. ^ Interview on university campus planning [2] Retrieved 9 Mar 2013
  7. ^ History and Growth at USC Retrieved 28 January 2012
  8. ^ Video: "Today's Challenges in University Design" | Informa Higher Education Series Retrieved 29 January 2012
  9. ^ Art collection during term of office. Archived from the original on 12 Mar 2013.
  10. ^ Western Desert Education Resource. Archived from the original on 12 Mar 2013.
  11. ^ Construction begins on USC Olympic Pool 2010 Retrieved 30 January 2012
  12. ^ USC Olympic Pool Opens in 2011 Retrieved 30 January 2012
  13. ^ Innovation Centre - Man with a Vision Retrieved 29 January 2012
  14. ^ EOWA Citations Retrieved 8 February 2012
  15. ^ Board Member of National Leadership Institute Advisory Board Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  16. ^ National Leadership Institute Advisory Board Retrieved 28 January 2012
  17. ^ Suncoast Daily article Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  18. ^ Centenary Medal AO Retrieved 17 Jan 2012
  19. ^ Order of Australia AM Retrieved 17 January 2012
  20. ^ CASE Leadership Award Retrieved 28 January 2012
  21. ^ CASE prestigious international award for excellence in leadership Retrieved 16 January 2012
  22. ^ a b Emeritus Professorship Archived from the original on Mar 2013.
  23. ^ a b The National Leading in Education Summit 2009 Archived from the original on 10 Mar 2013.
  24. ^ The National Leading in Education Summit 2009 Archived from the original on 10 Mar 2013.
  25. ^ Sunshine Coast Daily (6 February 2013). Former university leader sees world through a camera Archived from the original on 9 February 2013.
  26. ^ USC Art Gallery (7 February 2013). USC Art Gallery Opening - Paul Thomas: Images of Vietnam. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013.