URI selects new director to head Labor Research Center
KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 16, 1999 -- The University of Rhode Island
has named Terry Thomason director of the Charles T. Schmidt, Jr. Labor Research
Center and associate professor of Labor & Industrial Relations, effective
July 1. Thomason joins URI after 11 years on the faculty of McGill University
in Montreal, Canada, where he has been associate professor of management
since 1994. He also has five years of private industry labor relations experience.
"Terry has very broad and substantial multidisciplinary and administrative
experience, a strong academic background, and an internationally recognized
research reputation," said Charles T. Schmidt, Jr., chair of the search
committee and founding director of the center which bears his name.
An internationally recognized scholar on workers' compensation and workplace
health and safety, Thomason also conducts research on a wide variety of
industrial relations, human resource management, and public sector labor
"The search committee conducted an exhaustive international search,
lasting about a year," Schmidt said. "We narrowed the field to
30 applicants, from some of the best labor and industrial relations schools
in the United States and as far away as New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Thomason was the search committee's first choice."
Thomason earned three degrees from the University of Alabama: a bachelor
of science degree in psychology in 1972, a master's degree in psychology
in 1975, and a master's degree in industrial relations in 1978. He earned
his Ph.D. in Industrial Relations at Cornell University.
"The Charles T. Schmidt, Jr. Center has an excellent reputation,
"Thomason said. "I was impressed by the enthusiasm, motivation
and talent of the faculty and staff at the Center, and by the number and
quality of projects they are involved in. There's room for growth and expansion.
It's just a great opportunity."
Thomason has set several goals for the next few years. "I'd like
to build the Center's research component, expand its teaching programs,
evaluate the curriculum, and explore new partnerships," he said.
Schmidt, who headed the Center for 16 years and retired in 1998, will
remain actively involved and looks forward to new leadership. "As we
move into the next century, it is time for another look at the Center's
mission, focus, curriculum, outreach and research," Schmidt said. "The
challenge for Terry and the faculty is to maintain and improve upon what
has worked and remains relevant, and to have the imagination and courage
to change, scrap, improve and add programs, curriculum and focus to move
the Center forward."
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For information contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-2116