The Dean's Office

Home to the Dean's Challenge, Dean's Book List, and more, this page exists to provide our students with the latest news, resources, tips, thoughts, and challenges from the mind of Dr. John Thomas, Dean of the La Sierra University School of Business.

The Dean's Challenge
Designed to challenge and cultivate creative solutions to real problems in the world around us, the Dean's Challenge is emerging as a highly rewarding (academically and financially) opportunity for individual and groups of students. Click here to view the latest Dean's Challenge.

The Dean's Bookshelf
This collection of posts was created to provide students with connections to the best tools and resources available in business today. Visit and subscribe to our blog for the latest from Dean Thomas, or click here to view the most recent posts from the Dean's Office.

Dean's Biography

Dr. Thomas has more than 25 years of experience in new venture start-ups, mergers, acquisitions, capital sourcing, research and development both domestically and internationally. Dr. Thomas is Dean of the School of Business at La Sierra University (sister campus of Loma Linda University) in Riverside, California, where he teaches finance, entrepreneurship and economics and has mentored and developed four consecutive winning teams for the Students in Free Enterprise International Championship, which includes more than 1,000 colleges and universities.

A creative thinker committed to integrity, compassion, and entrepreneurship, Dr. Thomas has mentored many businesses in combining both theoretical and practical acumen to solve business problems and is considered by many as a innovative and creative deal maker. His industry experience includes global risk assessment, international finance and international trade development and retailing, franchising and distribution.

Dr. Thomas holds graduate degrees in marketing and finance, and a PhD in political economy. His thesis focused on the behavior of international lenders, and was designed to increase understanding of the nature of lending biases, and their potential contributions to financial crises. Numerous awards have honored his success as a passionate teacher who motivates students to seek and achieve excellence. Among them are the Freedom Foundation's Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education (1998), the Zapara Award for Teaching Excellence (1996), Students In Free Enterprise Hall of Fame, and the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce Hero Award for Community.