Provost Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D., to serve as Loyola’s interim president
| By Rita Buettner
After the Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., retires from the presidency of Loyola University Maryland on June 30, 2021, Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D., will serve as the interim president until the next president assumes the role.
The Board of Trustees announced Thomas’ appointment today after their meeting earlier this week. The Board expects to complete Loyola’s presidential search and name a new president early this fall.
“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,” said James Forbes, ’80, chair, Board of Trustees. “This is an opportune time for Loyola University Maryland, and the trustees and I have great optimism and enthusiasm for all that the months and years ahead will bring.”
Dr. Thomas has been provost and vice president for academic affairs for Loyola since September 2018, though she served as interim vice president for academic affairs since July 2017. She joined the Loyola faculty in 1991, became a full professor of psychology in 2002, and served as chair of psychology, 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, acting provost and vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Moore-Thomas, who began in her role as Loyola’s first chief equity and inclusion officer on 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, the University’s 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. He holds a Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola, as well as a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision.
“Loyola is fortunate to be able to turn to Dr. Thomas, Dr. Moore-Thomas, and Dr. Parker for their exemplary leadership at this moment,” Forbes said. “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.”