Consultant to Assist University with Diversity and Inclusion


Truman has hired a consultant as part of its continuing efforts to help the University gain a shared understanding of its role in addressing racial injustice and inequity.

Bertha Thomas, former assistant dean for multicultural affairs and the Scholastic Enhancement Experience Program at Truman, will serve as a diversity and inclusion consultant.

“A goal of my life has been to play a part to bring forth the dreams, talents and promise of incredible students, especially those from first-generation and underrepresented groups,” Thomas said. “I’m energized by the thought of partnering with Truman students, alumni, faculty and staff as we seek to develop impactful short-term strategies and long-term goals to bring about greater diversity, inclusion and equity.”

Among her responsibilities, Thomas will work with Truman departments, faculty and staff to address student concerns and inclusion efforts. She will also serve on the search committee for the hiring of the director for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Additionally, Thomas plans to bring together a small group of alumni of color, faculty, staff and students for a series of virtual and in-person conversations regarding institutional change.

In a career dedicated to student success, Thomas spent 22 years at Truman. She served as the University’s first McNair Program coordinator starting in 1992 and later spent 15 years as the assistant dean for multicultural affairs and the SEE Program. Since her retirement in 2014, Thomas has remained civically active, serving as a member and secretary of the A.T. Still University Board of Trustees and the vice president of the United Way of Northeast Missouri Board. A longstanding member of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. State Celebration Commission, she founded the Kirksville Martin Luther King Jr. Citywide Committee raising funds for local non-profits committed to promoting equality. Thomas has spoken on diversity topics to students in several organizations, as well as to local law enforcement officers about the implications of the events in Ferguson, Mo.

While her duties will officially begin June 29, Thomas will participate in Truman’s Racial Injustice and Inequity Town Hall at 6 p.m. June 24.
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