Finance and Administration VP Joe Thomas calls it a career
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After four decades of exemplary and dedicated service to his alma mater, Joseph R. Thomas, Jr. is calling it a career and retiring as Louisiana Tech University’s vice president for finance and administration.
Thomas, who graduated from Louisiana Tech in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and 1972 with an MBA, has served as vice president for finance and administration since 2006. He also served as Louisiana Tech’s vice president for financial services from 1997 to 2006, comptroller and investment officer from 1979 to 1997, and assistant comptroller and director of systems and procedures from 1973 to 1979.
Thomas holds memberships in the Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has been a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Louisiana since 1973.
“It has been my privilege to work with a wonderful group of dedicated business office staff over these many years,” said Thomas. “I will miss the daily interaction with our enormously talented faculty, staff, and students, and will especially miss the finance and administrative staff who I have worked so closely with for so long.”
Although Thomas will officially vacate his current position on January 22, he will remain with Louisiana Tech on a part-time basis to assist with several ongoing projects.
Louisiana Tech President Les Guice notified the campus of Thomas’ decision prior to the winter holiday break, expressing his deep appreciation and admiration for his vice president.
“Throughout his distinguished career, Joe has served Louisiana Tech with the utmost professionalism and integrity, and has helped our university navigate through some of the most challenging and yet most successful times in its history,” said Guice. “His tireless efforts and his commitment to building a strong fiscal and physical campus infrastructure has been a cornerstone of Louisiana Tech’s growth and institutional stability.
“I congratulate Joe on his retirement and sincerely thank him for being a trusted colleague and a true advocate for Louisiana Tech.”
Thomas’ career at Louisiana Tech and in the finance industry has been one of exemplary leadership and achievement. In addition to his duties as vice president for finance and administration, Thomas has served on a number of university’s councils and committees including the Administrative and Planning Council, Technology Fee Committee, NCAA Self Study Steering Committee, NCAA Financial Integrity Committee and University Grievance Committee.
“I think of the many accomplishments, honors and recognitions bestowed on Louisiana Tech, and take pride in being a small part of the team of faculty, staff, administrators, and students that always work so hard to bring about excellence at every level,” said Thomas. Louisiana Tech seems foster an environment that brings out the very best in our people to excel.”
He has also given a great deal of time to serving his community which has included a seat on the Board of Directors for Lincoln General Hospital where he also served as president, the role of president of the Ruston Kiwanis Club where he was selected as a Distinguished President for the district, and a member of the Health Care Committee for the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.
Thomas’ daily duties at Louisiana Tech will be assumed by Lisa Cole, who has been promoted from comptroller to assistant vice president for finance and comptroller, and Sam Wallace, who has been promoted from director of facilities to assistant vice president for administration and facilities.
Looking back on his distinguished career at Louisiana Tech, Thomas takes pride in the great advancements the university has made in its educational programs, its graduate and research activities, and its service commitment to the state.
“Our students continue to help us set new levels of educational excellence,” Thomas said. “I am pleased to have been part of a tremendous team that has worked hard to achieve these goals.”
In his retirement, Thomas said he’s looking forward to a change to a slower pace and hopes to take on some personal projects, travel a little, and enjoy his grandchildren.
“Joe has been a model of leadership in the Division of Finance and Administration and will be truly missed, as will be his daily presence on our campus,” Guice said.