Jeffrey Thompson

Jeffrey Thompson, Ph.D.

Acting Executive Vice President and Provost; Dean, College of Science


Dr. Jeffrey S. Thompson grew up in the state of Tennessee and attended the University of California, Los Angeles where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Tennessee and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics at the University of Colorado.

In 1991, he joined the faculty in the Physics Department at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Thompson has served as Physics Department Chair and Associate Dean of the College of Science. He continues an active research program in experimental atomic and molecular physics. Dr. Thompson was appointed Dean of the College of Science in 2008 and was appointed Acting Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2020.

Dr. Thompson has been married to his wife, Michele, since 1985.  They have two adult sons who also live in Reno.

From the Dean's desk

Dear Friend of Science,

As a physicist, I am a believer in the optimism of science: that by advancing scientific literacy and knowledge great things can be achieved that will benefit humanity and our world. But, apart from material benefit, what I hope all of us at the College of Science never forget is that science itself is a grand adventure that allows us to explore and understand the great mysteries.

That is why we encourage our students, faculty and staff with our motto “Live a life of discovery.” Yes, we want to provide our students with the tools to be successful in their careers. But we also want our graduates to marry the skills they worked so hard to acquire to a mindset that leads them to seek and to discover. Living such a life will yield infinite rewards.

Our faculty and students are making a difference through science in countless ways. Our students themselves, an increasingly diverse group, many of them first-generation college students. And, as we learned at the 2018 graduation ceremonies, a group imbued with gratitude and a desire to give back: of the 378 undergraduate and graduate students who graduated this past May, nearly 120 generously donated $20.18 each to help future students embark on their own science adventure. Such generosity speaks volumes about the character and quality of our College of Science students.

Thank you for your interest in the College of Science.


Jeffrey S. Thompson