Susan L. Thomas, Ph.D.
Interim President, Truman State University
Dr. Sue Thomas began her duties as the 17th President of Truman State University on July 1, 2016, and serves as the chief executive officer and principal spokesperson for the University. Prior to becoming interim president, Dr. Thomas served since July 2014 as Truman’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. In this leadership position she served as a senior member of the president’s cabinet and as chief academic officer for the University.
Prior to arriving at Truman State University, Dr. Thomas served for seven years as the Associate Provost for Academic Planning and Program Development at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She began her career at Edwardsville in 1991 as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. She was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1999, and became the Assistant Provost for Planning in 2005. In 2006, she was promoted to the rank of Professor. Prior to arriving at Edwardsville, Dr. Thomas served as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Central College.
Dr. Thomas received her Ph.D. and Master of Arts degree in social psychology as well as her M.B.A. in administrative management from the University of Missouri–Columbia, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. Her recent teaching and scholarly interests include underrepresented students in STEM, mentor effectiveness and psychological grit.
Dr. Thomas has a professional affiliation with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), the Council on Public Higher Education in Missouri (COPHE), the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), and the American Psychological Association (APA). She also serves on the Council of Chief Academic Officers, an advisory body to the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE), and as a board member for the Missouri Rural Enterprise and Innovation Center (MREIC). In addition, Dr. Thomas is a member of the National Honor Society of Phi Beta Kappa, the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the Psychology National Honor Society of Psi Chi, and the Business National Honor Society of Beta Gamma Sigma. Dr. Thomas holds the academic rank of professor of psychology at Truman.
Dr. Thomas and her husband, Dr. Michael Oliveri, a clinical neuropsychologist, have one son and one daughter, Sam and Annie.