Thomas Ray

Interim Associate Vice President, Instruction

Thomas Ray is interim associate vice president, overseeing the Equity and Engagement Division and the Online Education and Learning Resources Division, which includes the Library and Online Ed Center. He also oversees the offices of Articulation and Transfer Services, Curriculum, Professional Development, Scheduling and other activities. 

Thomas Ray

Ray came to De Anza College as dean of Language Arts in 2011. As the first member of his family to attend college, and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, he is a strong advocate for first-generation and historically underrepresented college students.

A highlight of his service as dean is the development of the English Performance Success program, which provides academic counseling and other resources for students in English and English as a Second Language (ESL) who may benefit from additional support. As dean, he also helped guide the adoption of new English, ESL and Math curriculum, placement processes and support programs as required by AB 705. Ray continues to work closely with faculty leadership on equity-driven innovations and new program development. 

He has overseen the California Adult Education Program for the college since its inception and for the past four years has served as the co-chair of the Leadership Board of the North Santa Clara County Consortium for Adult Education.

Before coming to De Anza, Ray was dean of English, Basic Skills and Child Development at Merced College and associate dean of Academic Affairs for full-time faculty at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Earlier in his career, Ray was a full-time faculty member in English at Alpena Community College in Michigan, where he taught literature, creative writing and composition for seven years. While at Alpena, he helped bring a group of students on a service learning trip to Njawara, Gambia, and twice travelled to China to teach at Beijing Union University.

Ray grew up in a working-class household in a small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where he spent much of his free time during junior high and high school tailing lumber at his father’s sawmill and stocking shelves in the local grocery store.  After graduating, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theatre from the University of Minnesota and spent a year on a scholarship at Cambridge University. He held a variety of jobs to help pay for his undergraduate studies, including work as a janitor, bus driver, and desk clerk in the college library.

With his bachelor’s degree in hand, Ray moved south and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing  from Louisiana State University. He later returned to school to earn a Ph.D. in Education Leadership from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Related Offices

The AVP of Instruction oversees the following areas and activities

Important Deadlines


Jose Juarez

Division Assistant

Administration Building 130 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd Cupertino, Ca 95014

Email: Jose Juarez

Phone: 408.864.8985

Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., M-F 


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