Spotlight on Dr. Ronald C. Thomas, Jr.

Executive Director
Florida Academic Center

Q. What excites you about being a part of higher education?

A. The transaction between faculty member and student is the fundamental thing to me. When I have seen my students go on to be successful, that gratifies me. I still hear from students I had back in the 80’s. I told them that once they have me as a professor, they have me for life. I felt that way about mine and I wanted them to feel that way about me.

Q. What attracted you to become a part of the Union family?

A. This was the right opportunity at the right time in my career. This institution, especially in Florida, is poised to do great things and I felt I could contribute to that. I already knew of Union because of a past colleague who attended Union and I had even considered it for my own doctoral studies.

Q. If you could have any job in the whole world, what would it be?

A. Quarterback for America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. In fact, I skipped my high school reunion (won’t say which one) just to see Roger Staubach go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Q. What surprises people about you?

A. Most people would be surprised at what an introvert I am, especially in light of how much public speaking and meetings I have to do in my position. It is totally a learned skill rather than any desire on my part to be the center of attention.

Q. What is your favorite book, and why?

A. The next one. Literally, there is at least one bookcase in every room of my house and a stack of several in various stages of completion at any one time on my night table. I cannot get out of Barnes and Noble for less than $50 a trip! However, in this context, Paul Goodman’s book “The Community of Scholars” from 1962 is one I revisit often. It recharges my academic sensibilities and puts me in the right frame of mind to think about higher education.

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