APRU Appointed Professor Thomas Schneider As Next Chief Executive
October 24, 2022

Dear APRU Community,

On behalf of the Steering Committee, I am delighted to announce that Thomas Schneider – current Professor of Egyptology at the University of British Columbia, Canada and Executive Director of the Pacific Alliance of Liberal Arts College (PALAC) – has been appointed as the next Secretary General / Executive Director for the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). Prof. Schneider will bring considerable skills, knowledge and experience to his new role and I am confident that he has the ability to lead APRU into its next phase.

Prof. Schneider will begin his new role on January 1, 2023.

A native of Germany, Prof. Schneider studied at the University of Zurich, the University of Basel and the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. He earned his degrees (Lizentiat 1990; Dr. phil. 1996; Habilitation 1999), all in Egyptology, from the University of Basel. Throughout his career, he has held academic and administrative positions in four global regions – North America; Asia; Europe; the Middle East. He was a Lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Zurich (2000-3), a Junior Research Professor of the Swiss National Science Foundation at the University of Basel (2001-5), Professor and inaugural holder of the Chair in Egyptology at Swansea University, Wales (2005-7), before joining the University of British Columbia. He held Visiting Professorships at the University of Vienna (1999), the University of Heidelberg (2003-4) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2018). He was a Visiting Scholar at New York University (2006), the University of California, Berkeley (2012), the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing (2016) and Shanghai University (2018, International Masters Program). And from 2018-20, Prof. Schneider served the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen, China’s fastest-rising new STEM university, as Associate Vice President (International), spearheading its internationalization efforts. Recently, Prof. Schneider has founded PALAC – a new consortium of liberal arts colleges focused on experimental learning in the liberal arts across multiple economies in Asia and North America.

In addition to his Executive Directorship of the PALAC consortium and the Associate Vice President position at SUSTech (in which functions he has engaged with a large number of APRU member institutions), Prof. Schneider has acquired significant leadership experience at the departmental level (Acting Department Chair; Director of Graduate Studies; Chair of Egyptology) and university level (Senator on the UBC Senate, 2014-8). He oversaw specific strategic projects and initiatives as Special Advisor to the Vice-Provost and Dean, Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, at UBC (2015-7) and as Advisor to the President at Quest University Canada (2016-17).

Prof. Schneider has acquired a broad knowledge of the spectrum of disciplines represented by APRU member institutions, as a humanities scholar who has also worked for a STEM research university. He has been a consultant, adjudicator and reviewer for universities, funding agencies and publishers in North America, China, Europe, Israel, and Australia, as well as an executive editor of academic periodicals. His own scholarship (160 publications, among which 7 authored books and 7 edited books) focuses on cultural and linguistic interconnections in the Near East, the environmental history of Egypt, and the history of the humanities in Nazi Germany.

I would like to thank the Search Committee, led by Prof. Rocky Tuan of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and its members for conducting a global search with our search partner Perrett Laver. They have devoted time and energy in assembling a respectable pool of candidates and making a final selection. The other Search Committee members were:

  • Prof. Carol Folt – President, University of Southern California
  • Prof. Dawn Freshwater – Vice-Chancellor and President, The University of Auckland
  • Dr. David Garza – President, Technologico de Monterrey
  • Prof. Tan Eng Chye – President, National University of Singapore

I also wish to recognize and express my utmost gratitude to Christopher Tremewan for serving as Secretary General for the past 11.5 years and for his longstanding commitment and many contributions to APRU. I wish Chris well after his term finishes on December 31, 2022.

Given Prof. Schneider’s experience, I am confident that he will provide extraordinary leadership in this new role. I look forward to working with him as Chair of APRU and the Secretariat team to advance our shared goals.

Please join me in offering a heartfelt congratulations to Prof. Schneider and welcoming him as the Secretary General / Executive Director next January.

Prof. Gene D. Block
Chancellor, UCLA
APRU Chair