Michael "Mike" Thomas was a previous chair of the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering from 1978 to 1989 and a Professor Emeritus at ISyE.
Thomas left the chair's position in 1989 to join the President's office as acting executive vice president, responsible for overseeing Tech's academic restructuring, which resulted in the formation of three new colleges and numerous new degree programs. In addition, he helped to oversee the implementation of many of these degree programs; created new promotion, tenure, and reappointment standards; and managed the Institute's budgeting process. In 1996 his title was changed to Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, overseeing all academic and most administrative areas.
Thomas stepped down from his position as provost to become executive director of the Center for Internet Research, Policy, and Application, which focused on integration of Internet-related research. He retired in 2002, but came out of retirement soon thereafter to serve as interim chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering while a search was underway for a new chair.
Thomas received a BSChE and MSChE from the University of Texas-Austin. In 1965, he received his Ph.D. in operations research from Johns Hopkins University. He was also president of the Operations Research Society (now INFORMS) and elected as a fellow of INFORMS and AIIE.