Truman Board Takes Action on Items Related to Presidential Search

The Truman State University Board of Governors announced at their April 9 meeting that Dr. Susan L. Thomas, Truman’s current executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, will serve as the school’s interim president, effective July 1, 2016.

“Dr. Thomas is immensely qualified to serve in this role,” Sarah Burkemper, chair of the Board of Governors, said. “The Board supports the direction the University is taking to enhance Truman’s distinctiveness. We are confident that Dr. Thomas, with her dedication to Truman’s mission, will continue that work while effectively leading the University.”

Thomas’ educational background includes a Ph.D. and two master’s degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She earned her Ph.D. in social psychology in 1988, after obtaining her MBA in administrative management and a Master of Arts in social psychology in 1987 and 1986, respectively. Thomas graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.  

“I am humbled, honored and energized by the faith the Board of Governors and President Paino have in me to serve the University in this capacity,” Thomas said. “Truman is at an exciting and crucial moment in our history, and together – faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, the Board of Governors, Foundation Board, Alumni Board and the community – we will take the University to even greater heights as we define and promote Truman’s distinctiveness.”

The Board also chose the firm of Academic Search to assist in the selection of a permanent replacement for departing President Troy D. Paino. Jessica Kozloff, president of Academic Search, will serve as the lead consultant.  
Next steps will include the board appointing a presidential search committee and bringing the firm to campus to obtain input from faculty, staff and students on the potential qualities, background and experience to seek in Truman’s next president.

In addition, Thomas has appointed Richard Coughlin, dean of Libraries and Museums, to assume the role of interim executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. Coughlin served in this position from May 2010 through June 2012.