Office of the President


photo of Central State University President Dr. Jack Thomas

Dr. Jack Thomas took office as the ninth president of Central State University on July 1, 2020, bringing decades of successful academic leadership.

Dr. Thomas comes to Central State after nearly a decade as president of Western Illinois University, a state-run university, where he successfully managed a budget of nearly $224 million during a period of unprecedented state fiscal challenges.

In addition to serving as president, he has also held an assortment of senior leadership and academic positions at Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and South Carolina State and Johnson C. Smith universities.

A native of Lowndes County, Alabama, Dr. Thomas holds a Ph.D., in English (Literature and Criticism) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of English Education from Virginia State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Alabama A & M University. He is a noted scholar and lecturer, as well as a highly sought-after keynote speaker presenting his research and inspirational messages locally, nationally, and internationally.