Thomas Gibson became the 15th chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Jan. 11, 2021.
A mission-driven leader, Dr. Gibson is focused on three key goals to achieve student success:
- Ensuring academic excellence
- Expanding Inclusive Excellence
- Increasing enrollment and growth
At the chancellor's direction, these three imperatives were incorporated into the university's strategic plan, Purpose Made Possible. This plan guides intentional, strategic work on all three UWSP campuses. Among highlights of the first-year goals are the launch of an online and graduate program enrollment growth initiative; the opening of the Center for Inclusive Excellence at UWSP at Marshfield; and a process to provide first-year students with applied learning experiences.
Dr. Gibson is focused on enhancing student success and inclusive excellence through purpose-driven education. Within his first month at UW-Stevens Point, he created the Chancellor's Commission on the Ancestors Buried Below Us to expand the educational opportunities for Native students, families and communities. He is building an environment that opens more doors and fosters a sense of belonging, pride and support for students, faculty and staff.
He successfully led efforts to return to in-person classes, athletic events, performances and student activities, safely maintaining them as the pandemic persisted. During his tenure, UW-Stevens Point received state approval and $96 million to replace Albertson Hall, which housed student support services and the library collection. The university also received several major gifts that give students greater hands-on opportunities, including a land donation to support College of Natural Resources programs; a cello and music advocacy faculty fellowship; and the Skyward Internship Center located on campus. Partnerships have been strengthened with businesses, educational institutions and community and industry leaders. New programs include a community sustainability major, doctorate in physical therapy and certificates in Inclusive Excellence and Native American and Indigenous Studies.
Prior to joining UW-Stevens Point, Dr. Gibson served as vice president for Student Affairs and vice provost at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, from 2016 to 2020. In that role, he advocated for the academic and social development of students, devised institutional policies, engaged in strategic planning, led student success efforts and oversaw diversity, equity and inclusion. He also helped increase record student retention and helped raise $8 million with University Advancement.
He has held numerous positions to enhance student success and diversity in higher education. He was associate vice president of Student Affairs at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. He held several roles at York College, City University of New York in New York City, including associate dean for student development. He led academic support services at Queens College/CUNY and the University of Connecticut at Stamford.
Dr. Gibson has taught graduate courses in higher education and English and undergraduate interdisciplinary programs.
He completed his bachelor's degree in communication from Eastern Connecticut State University; his master's in education from University of New Haven, Conn.; and his doctorate in educational leadership in higher education at Johnson & Wales University, Providence, R.I.
Dr. Gibson grew up in New Haven, Conn., and enjoys reading, theatre, live music and traveling. He and his wife, Brigette Gibson, have a daughter, Kennedy.