Robert Thomas

UF Warrington names dean for diversity and inclusion

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Dr. Robert Thomas, Darden Restaurants Professor in the Department of Management, has been named the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business. His appointment begins in the fall of 2018.

In his role, Thomas will work to foster an atmosphere and environment for positive conversation and collaboration among all members of Warrington’s student body, faculty, staff and external stakeholders within and outside of the University. Additionally, he will oversee college-wide efforts to support faculty, staff, students and alumni from historically underrepresented groups across the Heavener School of Business, Fisher School of Accounting and the Hough Graduate School of Business, including the coordination of diversity and inclusion programming between and among the College’s programs and between the College and the University. Thomas will also advise Warrington’s leadership team on matters of diversity and inclusion across all three schools.

“In this day and age, diversity is so important, especially in the business world,” Thomas said. “Companies that ignore the importance of diversity do so at their own peril. My mission is to enhance Warrington’s efforts in having our college reflect the society we live in, and to truly be a community in every regard.”

Thomas’ main responsibilities as Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion are to:

  • Develop and implement educational programs that promote diversity and inclusion of all members of the Warrington community
  • Work with Warrington leaders to implement diversity and inclusion programs to recruit and retain students and staff from historically underrepresented groups
  • Work with the University of Florida Chief Diversity Officer and diversity liaisons from other colleges to develop joint programs, implement best practices, and engage in a unified university-wide diversity and inclusion effort
  • Work with Warrington programs to develop, maintain and nurture relationships with outside affinity groups including, but not limited to, the National Association of Women MBAs, the National Black MBA Association, Prospanica and the Ph.D. Project
  • Work with Warrington leadership and personnel on the College’s accreditation efforts

Thomas has been with the Warrington College of Business for 25 years. He is an expert in the areas of intellectual property, technology law and negotiation. His research interests include intellectual property policy, patent law reform, managing technology innovation, e-commerce law, law and economics and balancing innovation incentives with access. Thomas also teaches intellectual property, e-commerce law, technology law, business law and negotiation in the Warrington College of Business graduate programs. Most recently, he was a visiting scholar at the Stanford School of Business researching political economy issues.

Thomas received his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford Business School, his J.D. from Stanford University and his A.B. in economics from Princeton University.