Prof Eric Thomas
Professor Eric Thomas has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol since September 2001.
He graduated in Medicine from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1976 and proceeded to obtain his MD by thesis in research into endometriosis in 1987. He trained as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and worked at both the universities of Sheffield and Newcastle. In 1991 he was appointed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Southampton and then became Head of the School of Medicine there in 1995 and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Biological Sciences in 1998. He was a Consultant Gynaecologist from 1987 to 2001.
In August 2011, Professor Thomas became President of Universities UK. He was previously Vice-President of UUK, Chair of its England and Northern Ireland Council and Chair of the Research Policy Committee. Professor Thomas is Chair of the Board of CASE Europe and a Member of the Board of CASE. He chaired the government Taskforce into Increasing Voluntary Giving in Higher Education, which reported in 2004. He was Chair of the Worldwide Universities Network from 2003 – 2007. He was a member of the Board of the South-West Regional Development Agency from 2002 – 2008.
He is a Deputy Lieutenant of the City and County of Bristol and is married with two children.
Membership is by invitation to men and women who are prominent in the business and commercial life of the greater Bristol area, and who are prepared to give their time and skills in support of the Merchant Venturers’ objectives.
All the members meet together four times a year at what is known as Quarterly Hall, and again on Charter Day in November.
The Merchant Venturers are governed by the Master and two Wardens. They head a 15-strong Standing Committee of members who are elected annually on Charter Day, 10th November.
Day-to-day administration is carried out by the Treasurer, who is effectively the chief executive. He is advised as necessary by the Clerk, who is a lawyer.