Current Millersville associate provost, former Yale assistant dean, Vanderbilt graduate to take helm as Belmont’s chief academic officer
Following an extensive nationwide search, Belmont University announced today that Dr. Thomas Burns, current associate provost at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, is being named Provost. Dr. Pat Raines, Belmont’s interim provost and dean of the College of Business Administration, will continue to serve as provost until Burns’ term begins January 1.
In the role of provost, Burns will act as the university’s chief academic officer, providing visionary direction and serving the academic mission of the University. Reporting to the President and serving in his absence as the chief executive officer, the Provost has broad responsibilities for the planning, development and administration of Belmont’s academic programs and student services.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “The provost position has been one of the key factors in Belmont’s success. I have no doubt that in this role Thomas Burns will continue to create one of the most amazing stories in higher education.”
Burns said, “My wife and I are both very excited to move our family to Nashville to join the fantastic community at Belmont. It is a rare privilege to be able to join such a strong student-centered institution and to become part of an overwhelmingly positive, supportive academic community like Belmont. I am particularly excited about joining the students at Belmont because of the University’s dedication to preparing them to be active, confident participants in our society.”
Dr. Burns graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Chemistry from Dickinson College in 1991, and completed his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 1998. He taught in the Chemistry and Physics department at Florida Southern College for four years, winning two teaching awards and being named department chair in 1999. For six years Dr. Burns served as the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs for the Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where he oversaw the Fulbright program and participated in the creation, implementation and interpretation of the policies of the Graduate School. Since 2006, Dr. Burns has served as Associate Provost for Academic Administration at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, where in cooperation with the Provost he is responsible for the Division of Academic Affairs, including the general education program, the First Year Experience, global education, and community and academic partnerships among other duties.
Reporting to the Provost position at Belmont University are the deans for the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Entertainment and Music Business, Visual and Performing Arts, Health Sciences & Nursing, University College and the Schools of Religion and Pharmacy as well as the associate provosts for Enrollment Services and Student Affairs, and all academic support units.
Thomas is married to Margret, also a Ph.D. graduate in Chemistry from Vanderbilt, and the couple has two children. Margret has previously worked for the Army Corp of Engineers in Nashville, as a chemist for an environmental consulting firm, as a chemist for the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research and as a Professor of Chemistry at Valencia Community College. Currently, she is an adjunct instructor in chemistry at Millersville.