Professor Thomas has been Interim Vice-Chancellor at the University and will transition immediately into the permanent role.
David Taylor, Pro Chancellor and Chair of the University Board, said: “These are exciting times for UCLan with the backdrop of significant change heralded in the recent Higher Education Green Paper. I look forward to working closely with Mike as he leads the University through this landscape and makes significant positive change at UCLan in the coming years.”
Professor Thomas, from North Wales, said: “Working as Interim Vice-Chancellor over the last eight months has been the most intensive induction programme that I could ever hope for. I feel as if I already know the University inside out – its strengths; the areas where it needs to improve – but most of all, I feel a true affinity for the ethos of the institution. This is a University that changes peoples’ lives for the better, through its research and predominantly through its teaching and learning and the impact it has on the community around it. As someone who passionately believes that there is an onus on universities to do social good, and in the power of university education as a social enabler, I feel very much in tune with the approach taken at the University of Central Lancashire.
This is a University that changes peoples’ lives for the better, through its research and predominantly through its teaching and learning and the impact it has on the community around it
“It’s a fascinating and highly challenging role, but having worked with the staff and the students here I have seen that we have the potential to really make an impact over the next few years. I would like to thank David Taylor and the Board for entrusting me to lead the University on a permanent basis.”
Professor Thomas brings a wealth of experience to the role of Vice-Chancellor having served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UCLan and in a variety of senior leadership roles at the University of Chester. Still an active researcher in psychology and mental health, his academic career also includes spells at Leeds Metropolitan University, the University of Salford and the University of Wales, and is balanced with experience as a practicing clinician and as a submariner in the Royal Navy.