During his first four and a half years as president, Dr. Thayne has focused his efforts on innovation and on strengthening the College’s academic, alumni, athletic, enrollment, fundraising, inclusive excellence, physical plant, strategic planning, and student life areas through his leadership and vision.

In academics, Dr. Thayne has overseen the addition of eight new academic programs (accounting/MBA (accelerated), analytical finance, athletic training, communication sciences & disorders, environmental science, exercise science, international business, and speech-language pathology), the first online courses, the first major revision of the College’s General Education Program (Constellation LVC) in more than two decades, and the creation of numerous high-impact programs that benefit student and faculty learning. He created several new academic support centers—Center for Disability Resources, Center for Global Education, Center for Career Development, Center for Writing & Tutoring Resources, and Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning—to help all students succeed.

Innovation has been a consistent focus of Dr. Thayne’s presidency. Through the creation of a series of innovation funds, Dr. Thayne has established an internal proposal-driven, grant-making economy to catalyze innovation and incubate new ideas. The President’s Innovation Fund, Inclusive Excellence Fund, Edward H. Arnold and Jeanne Donlevy Arnold Program for Experiential Education, Breen Technology Fund, High-Impact Experience Fund, John Bowman Allwein Scholars Program, and Student Innovation Fund are among the programs established by Dr. Thayne to provide opportunities for innovation and engaged learning. 

President Thayne has made Inclusive Excellence an institutional priority since day one of his presidency. The annual Symposium on Inclusive Excellence was established in his first year in office. Inclusive Excellence is a strategic focus area for the new strategic plan, Envision 2020, and he has continually challenged the institution to increase diversity among faculty and staff. Under Dr. Thayne’s leadership, efforts to diversify the student body and make the College more inclusive have yielded impressive results. 

Dr. Thayne graduated from Wyoming Seminary. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Rutgers University, Thayne received his master’s and doctorate in comparative literature at Princeton University. His wife, Dorothy, is an artist and iconographer who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and received her master’s from Rutgers University. They have two daughters, Anne and Julia, and a son, Anthony.