President Thomas J. Haas

President Haas

Thomas J. Haas, PhD

Office of the President
3035 James H. Zumberge Hall

President Thomas J. Haas is Grand Valley State University’s fourth president.

During the past 35 years, Tom Haas has been a tenured faculty member, department chair, dean, vice president and president. Just prior to his appointment in 2006, Haas was president of the State University of New York Cobleskill.  In addition to his appointment as president of Grand Valley, Haas has also been appointed professor of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

He is a 1973 honors graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.  He then earned a Master of Science (MS) in chemistry; another in environmental health sciences from The University of Michigan. Haas also holds a MS in human resources management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT). Fellowship experiences in higher education include Yale University Faculty Fellow and an American Council on Education Fellow at Western Michigan University.  He completed executive leadership programs at Harvard University.  He was recently recognized with an honorary degree, Doctor of Science, by Kingston University in the UK and a second from Cracow University of Economics in Poland. He is a retired Captain after over 23 years of commissioned service in the USCG.

Haas is an internationally recognized expert in hazardous material transportation, strategic planning and higher education leadership, and has published numerous articles in a variety of journals.

He is active in the community serving on a number of boards including Michigan Campus Compact, Talent 2025, Van Andel Institute Graduate School, Spectrum Health Hospitals, Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center, The Right Place, Economic Club of Grand Rapids, What’s Next (for
Grand Rapids) and Grand Rapids Opera. He is a member of the Grand Rapids Rotary Club, consultant and evaluator for North Central Association Higher Learning Commission and the immediate past Chair of Division 2, NCAA and Member of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He is former chair of the Michigan Public Universities Presidents Council. 

Haas has professional and personal ties to Michigan. Haas is married to Marcia (Knapp) Haas, who is a native of Union City and a graduate of Albion College. They have three children and four grandchildren and have other family living in Grand Rapids.

Grand Valley State University attracts more than 25,000 students with academic excellence, first-rate faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. Grand Valley is the comprehensive university for the state’s second largest metropolitan area and offers 87 undergraduate and 37 graduate degree programs. It has campuses in Allendale, Grand Rapids, and Holland and centers in Muskegon, Traverse City and Detroit. The university’s focus on a strong liberal education fosters critical thinking, creative problem solving, and cultural understanding. Through personalized learning enhanced by active scholarship, Grand Valley accomplishes its mission of educating students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies. 

Grand Valley State University, one of the 100 largest universities in the nation, attracts more than 25,000 students with high-quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities. Grand Valley is a comprehensive university, serving students from all 83 Michigan counties and dozens of other states and foreign countries. Grand Valley offers 88 undergraduate and 37 graduate degree programs, from campuses in Allendale, Grand Rapids and Holland, and from centers in Muskegon, Traverse City, and Detroit. The university is dedicated to individual student achievement, going beyond the traditional classroom experience, with research opportunities and business partnerships.

Page last modified April 5, 2019