Loyola names Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., as first chief equity and inclusion officer
After conducting a national search, Loyola University Maryland announced today that Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., ’86, M.Ed. ’89, will serve as the University’s first chief equity and inclusion officer. Moore-Thomas, who is currently associate vice president for graduate academic affairs and diversity at Loyola, will begin in the role on Jan. 1, 2020.
“We need to address the challenges around racism and diversity issues we know we are facing and become the welcoming, inclusive Jesuit, Catholic university we aspire to be,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president of Loyola. “We have known that creating this leadership position would be integral to strengthening Loyola—and we have been looking for the right person to step into that role.”
Moore-Thomas earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, summa cum laude, 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 University of Maryland at College Park in 2000.
“Being charged with leading the conversation about equity and inclusion is the honor of a lifetime. I have been the student who came to Loyola wanting to do well, but not really feeling that I had a voice,” said Moore-Thomas. “Now I get to think about this across the institution and challenge each of us to meet that opportunity. There is an urgency that I hope is going to inspire us—each of us.”
Also a professor of education at Loyola, Moore-Thomas came to Loyola as an assistant professor of education in 2001. Her leadership positions include serving as associate dean in the School of Education, chair of Education Specialties, and associate vice president for faculty affairs and diversity.
“Dr. Moore-Thomas brings a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities before us, a passion for Loyola, and a clear and compelling vision for how we can move forward,” said Father Linnane. “I look forward to working with her as she applies her wealth of experience and significant expertise to help us make progress on these critical issues for our Jesuit, Catholic university, as we prepare leaders for a diverse and changing world.”
As chief equity and inclusion officer, Moore-Thomas will partner with leadership and stakeholders to plan, strategize, and implement programs promoting inclusive academic and professional excellence, and the institutional values of equity, inclusion, diversity, and respectfulness for all individuals that differ by race, gender or other social identity characteristics. She will serve as the subject matter specialist and serves as a change management expert to intentionally build and preserve a culture of equity, inclusion, and diversity appreciation throughout the institution.
Moore-Thomas said she looks forward to connecting with students and their families who have dreams and hopes for their education and future career opportunities.
“We can exceed those dreams and those wishes and those hopes,” she said. “The key is that we’re going to have to take the time to listen to each other and work with each other and encourage each other every step of the way, because it is a difficult journey. But full inclusion and full equity with everyone being respected and everyone being heard is the only way to excellence.”