President Emerita

Fort Lewis College • (970) 946-0518 


Dr. Dene ThomasDr. Dene Thomas served as President of Fort Lewis College (Durango, Colorado) from 2010-2018 and of Lewis-Clark State College (Lewiston, Idaho) from 2001-2010.

Prior to her two presidencies, Dr. Thomas was at the University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, for 17 years. She began her academic service as a faculty member in the English Department. While there, she served in various administrative positions including Director of Writing, Associate Dean of the College of Letters and Science, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Thomas has held board appointments in various organizations, nationally and regionally, including the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Higher Education Resource Services (HERS), NCAA Division II, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE), the Idaho Development Council, and the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, and the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).


Presidential Evaluation, Executive Development, Strategic Planning, Academic Planning for provosts and deans, Department Chair Leadership

Service Highlights

  • Commissioner, Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE)
  • Commissioner, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Member, AASCU Council of State Representatives
  • Member, AASCU Teacher Education Committee
  • Member, AASCU Financial Review Committee
  • Member, Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC)
  • Member, NCAA Division II Presidents’ Council
  • Member, NCAA Division II Academic Affairs Task Force
  • Board of Directors, Higher Education Resource Services (HERS—Bryn Mawr, Wellesley, Denver)
  • Member and President, NAIA Council of Presidents
  • Member, Idaho Housing and Finance Association
  • Board of Directors, Valley Vision, Lewiston, Idaho
  • Member, Idaho Workforce Development Council


  • Ph.D. University of Minnesota

  • B.A. Southwest State University, Marshall Minnesota