Add a story, deadline to InHouse or an event to the Calendar.

In the news

Read the latest stories featuring UNT people and programs.

Share photos

Share your campus and event photos and view the gallery.


Quick links

Common UNT web resources for faculty and staff.

Contact us

Who to Contact. Learn How to... Write for InHouse, Share Photos, and more.

Portrait Gallery: College of Education Dean Jerry Thomas

Dean Thomas

College of Education Dean Jerry Thomas turned his love for sports into a career. The former college football player built an impressive 52-year career in public and higher education teaching physical education and kinesiology. He will leave it all behind when he retires from UNT in July.

"I will become a 'house husband' in charge of golf and fishing," he jokes.

Thomas began his career in education in 1964 as an elementary physical education instructor for the Tuscaloosa Public School system in Alabama. He went on to serve in various academic roles at community colleges and four-year universities across the south, including Georgia Southern College, the University of Alabama, Florida State University and Lousiana State University. He arrived at UNT in 2008 to serve as dean of the College of Education, having previously served as a professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University.

In his eight years at UNT, he's overseen the college's growth, increased its endowments and grant funding.

"There is a lot to like about UNT,” Thomas said. “My favorite is that faculty really care about the well-being of their students. I have seen many faculty do exceptional things to help students succeed."

Faculty and staff are invited to attend a reception in Dean Thomas’ honor from 4-6 p.m. May 4 in the Union Ballroom, Room 314.

Bertina Combes, associate dean for academic affairs and research in the College of Education, has been named the college's interim dean. The university is conducting a nationwide search for Thomas's replacement.

Q&A with Dean Thomas

What are the accomplishments you’re most proud of during your tenure as dean?

During my time as Dean, the College of Education has substantially increased both endowments and grant funding. For example, we now have five endowed professorships. I was involved in obtaining two of them — the Mike Moses Chair in Educational Leadership and the Elaine Millikan Mathes Professorship in Early Childhood Education.

What do you hope your legacy will be?

That as Dean, I listened to and supported faculty and enhanced the enrollment of undergraduates and graduate students. Currently, the College has two of the largest undergraduate majors at UNT. Our Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation alone has about 1,500 majors and the Department of Teacher Education and Administration boasts about 1,400 majors.

What was it like to retire and then un-retire to become the College of Education dean?

It was interesting. I had just retired for two days as chair of the Kinesiology department at Iowa State when I was invited by then-President Gretchen Bataille to interview for the Dean’s job at UNT. Gretchen and I were long-time friends from Arizona State University.  The rest is history.

Is there something interesting about you that most people don’t know about?

I attended college at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina on a football scholarship and played there four years. Furman provided a wonderful education and clearly influenced the rest of my life. 

What are your plans post-retirement?

My wife, Dr. Katherine Thomas, is a faculty member in Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation. She has accepted the position of chair of the School of Health and Kinesiology at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga. We will be moving there in the early summer where I will be “house husband” in charge of golf and fishing and she will continue her work in Kinesiology. 

 -- Scott Slemmons, News Promotions

Photos, Above Dean Jerry Thomas (right) is pictured with Finley Graves, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Below, Thomas (left) with UNT President Neal Smatresk and his wife, Debbie, at UNT Homecoming in 2015.

Dean Thomas and President 

Posted on: Wed 04 May 2016

Owning Excellence

Faculty and staff members have roles in transforming UNT into a nationally prominent university. Share your ideas on how you can help UNT to own excellence, keep students on track and improve graduation education.

Mean Green Pride


No current Deadlines

UNT Calendar