Loyola University Maryland

Presidential Search

Provost Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D., to serve as interim president of Loyola

This message was sent to the Loyola community on Friday, May 7.

Dear Members of the Loyola Community,

When the Board of Trustees met this week, we celebrated the Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., and expressed our gratitude for his extraordinary leadership over the past 16 years. When he retires on June 30, 2021, and becomes President Emeritus, he will leave Loyola University Maryland poised for continued and ever-greater success. 

Interim President 

Recognizing that the search for the 25th president of Loyola will still be underway when Fr. Linnane retires, the Board has asked Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D., to serve as interim president from July 1, 2021, until Loyola’s next president can begin in the role. The Board expects to complete the search and name a new president early this fall.

Dr. Thomas has been provost and vice president for academic affairs for Loyola since September 2018, serving as interim vice president for academic affairs since July 2017. She is a longtime member of the Loyola community who has served with leadership and distinction. She joined the Loyola faculty in 1991, became a full professor of psychology in 2002, and served as chair of the psychology department, associate dean of arts and sciences, and associate vice president for graduate studies before she left Loyola in 2014 to become dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for Saint Joseph’s University. Dr. Thomas returned to Loyola a year later as dean of Loyola College, a position she held until she was named interim vice president for academic affairs in July 2017. 

A licensed psychologist, Dr. Thomas earned both her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia and her B.A. from the College of William and Mary. 

Other Interim Leadership Changes 
As she takes on the interim presidency, Dr. Thomas has named Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., NCC, to serve as acting provost and vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Moore-Thomas, who has been Loyola’s first chief equity and inclusion officer since Jan. 1, 2020, came to Loyola as an assistant professor of education in 2001. She has since served as associate dean in the School of Education, chair of Education Specialties, associate vice president for faculty affairs and diversity, and associate vice president for graduate academic affairs and diversity.

A professor of education, Dr. Moore-Thomas earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and M.Ed. in School Counseling from Loyola before receiving her Ph.D. in Counselor Education with a specialization in school and multicultural counseling from the University of Maryland College Park. 

While Dr. Moore-Thomas is serving in the provost role, Dr. Thomas has named Rodney Parker, Ph.D., LCPC, NCC, to serve as acting chief equity and inclusion officer. Since July 2019, Dr. Parker has been Loyola’s assistant dean of undergraduate and graduate studies, a position he assumed after serving as director of ALANA Services for 14 years. His combined interests in research, diversity, inclusion, intercultural engagement, and the overall well-being of students have made him an integral member of the Loyola University Maryland community. He completed a three-year term as the chairperson for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Conference on Diversity and Equity in 2016. In addition, he continues to serve as affiliate faculty in the department of theology, where he has taught since 2018. 

Dr. Parker earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from Duke University. He holds a Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola, as well as a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision. 

Gratitude 
Loyola is fortunate to be able to turn to Dr. Thomas, Dr. Moore-Thomas, and Dr. Parker for their exemplary leadership at this moment. I am grateful to them for stepping into these new roles with dedication, a commitment to collaboration, a deep understanding of the University and the Loyola community, and a willingness to accompany our students and their colleagues during this time of transition.

The Board has full confidence that Dr. Thomas will provide the guidance Loyola needs at this moment in history and serve as a bridge between the two administrations. This is an opportune time for Loyola University Maryland, and I hope you share my optimism and enthusiasm for all that the months and years ahead will bring. 

Sincerely, 

James Forbes, ’80
Chair, Board of Trustees