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Thomas More Names First Provost

Thomas More University announced the hiring of its first provost on Thursday.

After a national search, TMU President Joseph L. Chillo announced Molly Smith, Ph.D. as the new provost. She has held the same post at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts since last August.

When she arrives in Crestview Hills to assume her duties on July 1, she will hold the faculty rank of professor of English.

“With a distinguished record of leadership and service in academia, I’m confident in Dr. Smith’s commitment and abilities to enhance the academic excellence we pride ourselves in at Thomas More,” said Chillo. “I look forward to working alongside Dr. Smith to create and sustain an even higher level of academic reputation – one that is student-focused, supports strong and diverse mission-driven faculty, and emphasizes new and innovative academic practices and programs.”

The addition of a provost is part of Thomas More's change from a college to a university, which happened on October 1, 2018. That required some organizational changes, including the creation of three distinct colleges (arts and sciences, business, and education and health services) and the Institute for Ethical Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies.

The role of provost was established to serve as the chief academic and student life officer of the university, overseeing the three colleges. Smith will be responsible for the development, coordination, integrity, and quality of all academic programs, as well as the integration of student life programs into the full student experience.

“Inspired by Thomas More University’s Catholic mission, compelled by its nimble responsiveness to change, and humbled by its firm student-centered ethos, I look forward to being a member of the community and contributing to advancing the University in meaningful ways to meet the needs of our students and the communities we serve,” said Smith. “I am excited to join Thomas More and look forward to discovering the enchantments of Crestview Hills and the neighboring communities.”

Prior to Smith’s position at Stonehill College, she held leadership positions at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, serving as the vice chancellor of academic affairs/provost and tenured professor, at Saint Martin’s University, serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs and professor of English, at Manhattanville College, serving as president, and at Wheaton College, serving as provost.

A native of India, Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Ethiraj College for Women and a master’s degree in English from Madras Christian College in the University of Madras before earning a doctorate from Auburn University.  

She will replace Maria (Cari) Garriga, Ph.D., who has been serving as acting provost since the transition to University in 2018.

-Staff report