Interim University President Susan Thomas took over for former University President Troy Paino July 1 and hit the ground running.
Thomas stepped into a busy role during the summer break after Paino announced his move to the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia last semester. Paino left a host of projects in process upon his exit, including renovations to Baldwin Hall and the progress of faculty Blueprint Teams.
Thomas says since she took on the position during July, her focus as interim president has been on meeting people and learning the ropes of how things work outside her more internally-focused previous role as provost. She says the opportunity has been an uncommon one for her, as she has gotten to experience two very different positions that work closely.
“It’s been cool because you don’t usually get the chance to try out a job like you’d try on clothes, but I’ve gotten to do that,” says Thomas.
Regarding the search for a candidate to fill the position permanently, Thomas says she will have no role, as the search is up to Truman State’s Board of Governors. Instead, Thomas says she will primarily focus on advancing projects and University goals during the rest of her time at the helm. She says she won’t be sure about whether she’ll be applying for the permanent position or returning to her role as provost until the campus is back in full swing.