Dr. Burns began his current position as Provost at Belmont University on January 1, 2011. Upon appointing Dr. Burns to the position, Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “The provost position has been one of the key factors in Belmont’s success. I have no doubt that in this role Thomas Burns will continue to create one of the most amazing stories in higher education.”
Dr. Burns graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Chemistry from Dickinson College in 1991 and completed his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 1998. He taught in the chemistry and physics department at Florida Southern College for four years, winning two teaching awards and being named department chair in 1999.
For almost six years Dr. Burns served as the assistant dean for academic affairs for the Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences where, among other things, he oversaw the Fulbright program and participated in the creation, implementation and interpretation of the policies for the graduate school.
From 2006-2010, Dr. Burns served as associate provost for academic administration at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, where in cooperation with the provost he was responsible for the division of academic affairs, including the general education program, the First Year Experience, global education and community and academic partnerships among other duties.
Reporting to the provost are the deans for the University’s nine colleges: Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Sciences and Mathematics, Business, Entertainment and Music Business, Visual and Performing Arts, Health Sciences and Nursing, Law, Pharmacy, and Theology and Christian Ministry. In addition, Dr. Burns oversees the departments that manage Belmont’s adult degree programs, enrollment services, student affairs, interdisciplinary and global studies, honors program, registrar, assessment and institutional research.
Message from Dr. Burns
What I have always found most attractive about Belmont is our sincere commitment to an education that helps students develop, not just their academic selves, but, their whole selves. I relish the opportunity to be a part of a community focused on creating an environment of inquiry, discussion, engagement and compassion—ideals that are so deeply entrenched in Belmont's Christian environment.
As provost, my role is to help keep our commitments to quality education and student success central to every activity at the University, from admissions through matriculation and registration through ultimately graduation.
I find personal and professional fulfillment and purpose in the job of provost because every day is filled with the potential to do good work while serving our students. It is a privilege to be a part of such a supportive, caring, student-centered institution which possesses an overwhelmingly positive, supportive commitment to academic success and personal growth.
- Dr. Thomas Burns