APRU appoints Professor Thomas Schneider as its new Chief Executive

Professor Thomas Schneider, Chief Executive at Association of Pacific Rim Universities

The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) announced that it had named Prof. Thomas Schneider Chief Executive. The Professor of Egyptology at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and Executive Director of the Pacific Alliance of Liberal Arts College (PALAC) succeeds Dr. Christopher Tremewan, who served as Secretary General for 11.5 years.

What does Professor Schneider mean for APRU?

A native of Germany, Professor Schneider studied at the University of Zurich, the University of Basel, and the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. He earned his degrees, all in Egyptology, from the University of Basel. He has held positions in North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East – including Research Professor of the Swiss National Science Foundation and inaugural holder of the Chair in Egyptology at Swansea University, Wales.

Professor Schneider has held several Visiting Professorships and, from 2018-20, served the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), China’s fastest-rising new STEM university, as Associate Vice President (International), spearheading its internationalization efforts. Recently, he 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 leadership roles at the departmental and university level, Prof Schneider has been a consultant, adjudicator, and reviewer for a range of universities, funding agencies, and publishers. His scholarship focuses on cultural and linguistic interconnections in the Near East, the environmental history of Egypt, and the history of the humanities in Nazi Germany.

What does the appointment mean for APRU?

Professor Gene D. Block, Chair of APRU

In announcing the appointment, APRU Chair and Chancellor of UCLA Professor Gene D. Block said, “Professor 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. I look forward to working with him and the Secretariat team to advance our shared goals.”

“I am delighted and humbled to have joined APRU. I look forward to working with the Steering Committee, COO, International Secretariat, 61 member universities and its 2,000,000 students, 200,000 faculty staff, and many more alumni to enhance the mission of APRU as a beacon of cross-Pacific connections and collaborations,” Professor Schneider said.

Professor Schneider was selected after an extensive global search by the APRU Search Committee led by Professor Rocky Tuan, Vice-Chair of APRU and Vice-Chancellor and President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and search partner Perrett Laver.

Other Search Committee members were Professor Carol Folt, President, University of Southern California; Professor Dawn Freshwater, Vice-Chancellor and President, The University of Auckland; Dr. David Garza, President, Technologico de Monterrey; and Professor Tan Eng Chye, President, National University of Singapore. ​Please visit the website for more.