Jerry Thomas

2023-24 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow
Dr. Jerry Thomas has worked in higher education for 29 years and is a U.S. army veteran. He is National Park College's Vice President for Academic Affairs in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In his current role, Dr. Thomas is responsible for leading the academic enterprise of the college.

Before this position, Dr. Thomas was National Park College's Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. Under his leadership, National Park College transitioned to a residential campus, increased new student enrollment, and launched an athletic program. Dr. Thomas also served as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, New Jersey. He led the college's Learner Support Center, a one-stop enrollment service center, to receive national recognition for exemplary student service. Employed at Southern Arkansas University (SAU), Magnolia, Arkansas, from 1993 to 2013, Dr. Thomas served in various student affairs positions and maintained an adjunct instructor position teaching U.S. History courses at the university.

Dr. Thomas's research interests include southern history, educational leadership, and student success strategies to support community college students. He has served on non-profit boards in his community, including the Hot Springs Metro Partnership Board, the YMCA, and the United Way of the Ouachitas. He is a Trustee of the Roanoke Baptist Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and President of the Hot Springs, Arkadelphia, Malvern Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

Dr. Thomas earned his undergraduate degree in history from Southern Arkansas University, his master's in history from Louisiana Tech University, a master's in counseling from Southern Arkansas University, and a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A & M University in Commerce, Texas.