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Professor Thomas Schneider

Chief Executive, Association of Pacific Rim Universities

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Prof. Schneider was elected as APRU’s 5th Chief Executive and took up the role from Janurary 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.

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