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March 30, 2004
CONTACT: Carol Anderson

Thomas named new dean of EMU's College of Health and Human Services

YPSILANTI - Jeanne Thomas, 49 , has been appointed dean of Eastern Michigan University's College of Health and Human Services, effective Aug. 1, 2004, pending approval by the EMU Board of Regents. Currently, Thomas is dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at California State University (CSU), Chico.

"Dr. Thomas has demonstrated the ability to effectively lead a complex college like Eastern Michigan's College of Health and Human Services," said Paul Schollaert, EMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. "I believe that she will facilitate the consolidation of the newly-configured college and help the college strengthen its role as a regional leader in issues of health care and social services."

"I am tremendously excited about the appointment. It is an honor to have the opportunity to provide leadership for the college and to join the EMU family," said Thomas. "I have missed working with allied health programs and see a wealth of interesting and challenging opportunities ahead."

She said one of her goals at EMU will be to continue to strengthen the diversity of the college and, over the next several years, initiate a doctoral program.

Since coming to CSU, Chico, in 2000, Thomas has increased externally-funded research; developed an intra-college funding program to support faculty professional development; increased the diversity of the college; and moved the master's of social work program towards accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education.

In 1996, Thomas was dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Southwest Missouri State.   Prior to that, she was associate vice chancellor for planning, budget and resource allocation at the University of Wisconsin   (UW)-Parkside for two years.   In addition, she was a member of the psychology department at UW-Parkside for 13 years.

Thomas received a doctorate in life-span developmental psychology in 1982 and a master's degree in 1981 from West Virginia University. She received a bachelor's degree in 1976 from Kenyon College.

Her publications have focused primarily on gerontology issues. In 2001, Thomas contributed a section on grandparenthood for the "Encyclopedia of Psychology" (Oxford University Press), New York; and is the author of "Adulthood and Aging," published in 1992 (Allyn & Bacon).

Her research has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, one of 25 institutes and centers of the National Institutes of Health, which has a mission to improve the health and the well-being of older Americans through sponsored research.

In addition to the College of Health and Human Services, which was established in 1975, EMU offers programs in its colleges of arts and sciences; business; education; and technology.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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