Grand Valley State President Thomas J. Haas was elected vice chair of the Division II Presidents Council during the Council’s January meeting.
He replaces West Texas A&M President Pat O’Brien, who became Council chair at the conclusion of the Convention. Among other duties, the vice chair of the Presidents Council chairs the Division II Planning and Finance Committee.
During the past 29 years, Haas has been a tenured faculty member, department chair, dean, vice president and president.
Before his Grand Valley State appointment in 2006, Haas was president of the State University of New York at Cobleskill. In addition to his presidential duties, Haas also is professor of chemistry.
Haas is an internationally recognized expert in hazardous-material transportation, strategic planning and higher education leadership. He has published numerous articles in various journals.
He is active in the community, serving on the board for Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center, Grand Rapids Economic Club, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and Grand Rapids Opera. He is a member of the Grand Rapids Rotary Club, consultant and evaluator for North Central Association Higher Learning Commission, and a commissioner for the American Council of Education Commission on Effective Leadership. He also is current chair of the Michigan Public Universities Presidents Council.
Haas is a 1973 honors graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He has master’s degrees in chemistry and environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan and another in human resources management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Connecticut.
Fellowship experiences in higher education include Yale University Faculty Fellow and an American Council on Education Fellow at Western Michigan University. He also completed executive leadership programs at Harvard University. He is a retired captain after 23 years of commissioned service in the Coast Guard.