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Becky Thomas is Earlham’s new academic dean

August 21, 2018

Sarah Rebecca “Becky” Thomas, Ph.D. has been hired as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty.

Thomas was previously the Dean of the College at Bard College where she had been a member of the teaching faculty since 2000. At Bard, a highly regarded college of 1,900 undergraduate students in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, she had oversight of the undergraduate curriculum and faculty.

Sarah Rebecca “Becky” Thomas, Ph.D. has been hired as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty.At Earlham, she will be the chief academic officer leading a faculty that was recently ranked seventh nationally for “Best Classroom Experience” by The Princeton Review. She will also provide oversight for many of the opportunities that Earlham offers its students, including study abroad programs and funded internships and research experiences.

“Becky brings tremendous experience and enthusiasm into this role,” Interim President Avis Stewart says. “Her thoughtfulness and outstanding credentials make her ideally suited to lead us into the future, especially given the landscape that the world of higher education faces today. I look forward to working with her.”

Earlier in her career, Thomas taught at Marist College, the University of Northern Iowa, and Middlebury College. A computer scientist, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. from Stanford University. She brings to Earlham an exceptional record as a teacher of undergraduates, a frequently published scholar on both technical and pedagogical subjects, and an academic administrator.

“I am delighted to join the Earlham community,” Thomas says. “In the weeks I have been on campus, I have found wonderful colleagues in the teaching and administrative faculty and staff.  I look forward to continuing to work with all of these colleagues to engage our students in the very best education in the liberal arts tradition as informed by Quaker values.”

Earlham has named James Logan, Ph.D., to serve as Associate Academic Dean.The College has also named James Logan, Ph.D., to serve as Associate Academic Dean. Logan is Professor and Director of African and African American Studies and Professor of Religion and has taught at Earlham since 2004. He is also the College’s National Endowment for the Humanities Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies. James serves as adviser to the Cunningham Cultural Center, which is devoted to programming that tracks the life and history of African Americans and African Diaspora Peoples.

“We are very fortunate to have leaders like Becky and James to guide us as we move into the next chapter of College’s history,” Stewart says. “As we chart our course into the future, I know that Earlham will benefit from their leadership.”

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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. We rank 7th nationally for Best Classroom Experience, according to The Princeton Review.

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and


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