Jeff Thompson, a longtime faculty member and college and campus administrator, has been named Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Nevada, Reno. His appointment, which is effective immediately, comes following a national search and support from the Chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), Dr. Melody Rose.
“I have appreciated my discussions with President Sandoval regarding this critical hire, and, having consulted with Board of Regents Chair Pro Tempore Carol Del Carlo, I am happy to support the decision to name Jeff Thompson Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Nevada, Reno,” Rose said. “I wish the University every success under his leadership.”
“Dr. Thompson has a clear understanding of the University’s people, programs and mission that will help serve him well as the University’s new Executive Vice President and Provost,” Del Carlo said. “He has held practically every post an academic faculty member could ever hold on campus. Whether it has been as a professor, researcher, mentor to countless students and junior faculty members, department chair, or as a dean, he has always shown a unique ability over the course of his distinguished three-decade career to foster collaborative, genuine and highly productive relationships that have led to achievement and success. It is always a pleasure to work with Dr. Thompson, who epitomizes all of the best attributes we expect from our leaders in academic affairs.”
Thompson served as Interim Executive Vice President and Provost of the University since December 2020.
"For the past year, Jeff’s work has been instrumental in the University’s ongoing Strategic Planning process, as well as successfully steering the University’s academic and faculty affairs through a challenging time due to the pandemic," Brian Sandoval, president of the University, said. "Jeff has served the University well over the years, and I look forward to continue working with him for many more as we navigate the challenges before us and move the University in bold new directions."
Prior to the interim position, Thompson was Dean of the College of Science for more than a decade. He joined the faculty of the University's Department of Physics in 1991, at which time he started a research laboratory in atomic and molecular physics. He served as Chair of the Department of Physics and Associate Dean of the College of Science prior to becoming Dean of the College of Science in 2008.
While Dean of the College of Science, the college experienced a time of historic student achievement and faculty and staff productivity. This included record levels of enrollment, student diversity and faculty research.
"This is a great honor and I appreciate the support and confidence from the Wolf Pack Family," Thompson said. "The past year as Interim Provost has given me an even keener connection to a campus culture that I've be fortunate to be a part of for so many years. Those connections are valuable as we continue and build on the path of a positive teaching, research and outreach environment for faculty and an exceptional educational experience for students."
“I wish to thank Dean of the Reynolds School of Journalism, Al Stavitsky, who chaired the search committee, and all of the members of the committee who spent a great deal of time considering candidates from across the country, in interviews and open forums with an excellent pool of candidates, and in providing valued input regarding the selection,” Sandoval said.
Thompson is a graduate of University of California, Los Angeles where he received a bachelor of science degree in physics. He received his doctorate in physics from the University of Tennessee and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics at the University of Colorado.