UNT College of Education dean announces retirement

Jerry Thomas, the dean of the College of Education at the University of North Texas, will retire in July. Thomas has served as dean since 2008. He came to UNT from Iowa State University, where he was a professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology.

UNT Provost Finley Graves said Thomas' leadership has been a significant benefit to the university.

"Since arriving at UNT as dean of the College of Education in 2008, Jerry Thomas has been an amazing leader," said Graves. "In 2010, Jerry also was appointed by then-President Rawlins as faculty representative to Athletics. His dedication to the university and our students has been an inspiration, and we'll miss his wisdom and hard work greatly."

During his tenure as dean, the College of Education brought in at least $2 million in private donations every year through 2014, with a high of $3.3 million in 2013. Total grant and contract funding for the college was more than $12 million in 2014-15.

"Dean Thomas has been very good for the College of Education," said Jan Holden, department chair of the college's Counseling and Higher Education department. "Although the college has always been strong, by every index I can think of, it is notably stronger now than it was when he became Dean. I have found him to be a model of good leadership."

Cinnamon Sheffield, senior associate athletic director at UNT, praised Thomas' consideration and eagerness to help students.

"His compassion for the students is immeasurable," said Sheffield. "I appreciate his willingness to assist wherever we needed him. And, he always has a great story and a joke or two."