Robert Morris University

Thomas Gibson, Expert in Student Success in Higher Education, Named RMU’s Presidential Leadership Fellow

Thomas Gibson, a nationally renowned expert in student affairs and higher education leadership, has been named the Fall 2020 Presidential Leadership Fellow by Robert Morris University.

Thomas Gibson

Just this week, Gibson was named the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, effective January 11, 2021. Most recently he was vice president for student affairs and vice provost at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where his achievements included increasing freshman-to-sophomore retention rates, developing a sexual assault prevention tool in collaboration with an education technology company, and creating the university’s Multicultural Student Center and LGBTQ+ Resource Center. 

At RMU, Gibson will speak to students and faculty in the university’s Ph.D. program in instructional leadership and management, and he will lead a series of events with faculty through the RMU Center for Innovative Teaching. Among the topics he will cover:

  • Challenges and opportunities for higher education leaders
  • Aligning academic affairs and student affairs in support of student success
  • Taking action toward diversity, equity, and inclusion 

Gibson also will serve as an advisor to the RMU Anti-Racism Task Force and to students of color. His fellowship at RMU is being supported by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), and RMU is a proud member of AGB.

“Given the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest that are impacting institutions and students across the country, my focus will be to support RMU in its efforts to help more students succeed in this new normal,” said Gibson. 

“The pandemic has exposed significant inequities among students and illuminated institutional vulnerabilities. How universities conduct their business has changed. But our commitment to serving students has not waned.” 

Gibson earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Eastern Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in education from the University of New Haven, and a doctorate in education leadership in higher education administration from Johnson & Wales University. He has previously held leadership positions at Ball State University, York College/CUNY, Queens College/CUNY, the University of Connecticut at Stamford, and Mitchell College.

“Dr. Gibson has a superb record of accomplishment in bolstering student achievement and ensuring that all students have access to the tools they need to succeed,” said RMU President Chris Howard. “We are eager to learn from his success, and grateful to him and AGB for this opportunity.”