Sue Thomas Q & A

After the Truman State University Board of Governors announced in an email on Friday, Feb. 10. that Interim University President Sue Thomas was selected unanimously as the 17th University President, Truman Media Network met with Thomas to get her take on both her newly – accepted position as well as prevalent issues in the Truman community.

TMN: When, where and how did you find out you’d become the next Truman State University president?

Thomas: “Mike Labeth, who is the chair of the Board of Governors, called me. He told me it was a unanimous decision, and they wanted me to be the next president at Truman. It was probably a billion different emotions all at the same time. I was enormously excited. I was slightly shocked because whenever you’re offered something like that it’s pretty amazing. I didn’t want to be president anywhere else but Truman. This is quite an amazing place. The faculty and staff are very bright, talented and committed, as are the students. I always tell people our students are our secret weapon. You guys are amazing. To be able to help lead an institution like Truman is very stunning, humbling, exciting, energizing and exhausting all rolled up into one.”

TMN: Were you expecting this opportunity?

Thomas: “I was hopeful. Being an internal candidate can be quite the double edged sword. With an internal candidate, they’re going to know a lot more about you than they know about everyone else. I have great respect for our Board. They really do have the best interest for the University at heart. I felt really comfortable that they were going to choose who they thought was the very best person to lead Truman. If that wasn’t me, I was going to be disappointed, but I was going to understand it because they were going to think somebody else at this moment in time was better to lead Truman than me. I would have been very respectful of that. So I’m thrilled it’s me, but I would have completely accepted if they had landed on another person because we have a wonderful Board who thinks really hard about how Truman can succeed. I was hopeful. Not expecting.”

TMN: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thomas: “This is going to sound crazy, but I feel like I have 6,200 sons and daughters on this campus. I have been so enormously proud of everything you guys do. I love celebrating it all. There’s really nothing cooler than being the president for Truman University students. You guys are really quite amazing, so it’s super cool to be your president.”