By Rosemary Pollock
LDS Educator is New President of CEU
PRICE, UTAH -- Ryan L. Thomas is looking forward to the opportunity
to return home to Price, Utah where he will become President of the
College of Eastern Utah on July 1. "My roots run deep," Thomas said
of the small town where his father was born and raised. "We hope our
family will establish even deeper connections here."
Thomas will leave Utah Valley State College where he has been serving
as Administrative Vice-President and acting Dean of Computer Science
and Engineering Technology since 1999. Thomas will replace Grace
Jones, who announced more than a year ago that she would step down on
July 1. Jones was the first black and the first female president of
a public college in Utah.
Jones declined to say if she was being considered for another
appointment. "Obviously, I have to be somewhere by July 1," Jones
said. "That is really all that is appropriate for me to say. I plan
to do what I have committed to do here, and that is to spend the time
between now and then being a good president at CEU."
"This leaves an incredible hole in our administration," UVSC
President Kerry Romesburg said. "Probably one of the hardest
positions to fill. But he is absolutely ready to assume a presidency
and will do a fantastic job."
Thamas was selected by unanimous vote after an extensive national
search that included 62 candidates. CEU has about 3,000 students from
southeastern Utah. It also has five off campus sites in Blanding,
Castle Dale, Green River, Moab and Mounment Valley.
Thomas is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Ann have five children. The
search committee said they were influenced by Thomas' attachment and
commitment to the community.
"This was the place of my childhood dreams, where I grew up hearing
stories about rugged, strong miners," Thomas said of his hometown.
"As I drove through an unknown, but remembered gate, I recognized
that this would be for me an opportunity to return to some important
beginnings for my family."
Thomas' father worked as a miner, welder and cabinetmaker before
earning a doctorate in English literature from Columbia University in
New York and joining the family at Brigham Young University. Thomas
also spent 10 years as an administrator at BYU, where he received
both his law degree and doctorate in higher education administration.
"What we do as educators is get people from where they are to where
they want to be," said Thomas. "The image of my father will set the
tenor of my work at CEU," he added.
In addition to Thomas, Mormons head several colleges and universities
outside of the LDS Church's educational system. Outside of Utah they
include E. Gordon Gee, currently chancellor of Vanderbilt University
and V. Lane Rawlins, president of Washington State University.
Native Son Named to Head CEU
Salt Lake Tribune 21Apr01 P2
By Kirsten Stewart: Salt Lake Tribune
New CEU president is native of Carbon
Deseret News 21Apr01 P2
By James Thalman: Deseret News staff writer
UVSC VP leaving for College of Eastern Utah
Provo UT Daily Herald pgA8 21Apr01 P2
By Havalah Ghouldston: The Daily Herald