Maria (Cari) Garriga, Ph.D.

Thomas More University Appoints New Vice Provost

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (August 3, 2020) — Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D., and Provost Molly Smith, Ph.D., have announced that Maria (Cari) Garriga, Ph.D., will serve as the University’s vice provost.

Garriga, who assumes her role as vice provost this month, has served as the acting provost for Thomas More since October 2018.

Maria (Cari) Garriga, Ph.D.

“Dr. Garriga brings deep commitment to Thomas More’s mission and values and a rich commitment to supporting faculty and students in their development as teachers and learners,” said Provost Smith. “I look forward to having Cari join my academic leadership team and to working with her and others to continue advancing the University’s academic reach, reputation, and resources.”

As vice provost, Garriga will supervise the design of faculty and staff development programs and lead training and workshops to continuously improve the teaching and learning experience. She will also lead the academic oversight of the College of Arts and Sciences during the 2020-21 academic year as the University conducts a search for a dean. 

“I am thrilled to be a part of the leadership team that will take Thomas More University and its signature liberal arts education – rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition – into its second century and beyond,” said Garriga. “Faculty, staff, and students’ efforts to advance our educational outcomes will continue to shape the tristate area and expand to regional and national communities. It is a good time to be a Saint!”

Originally from Puerto Rico, Garriga has been part of the Thomas More community since 1997, serving in various academic roles. Prior to her position as acting provost, Garriga chaired the University’s Department of Foreign Languages, served as assistant dean of the college, and led collaborations with national and international institutions of higher learning. For nine years she was the faculty representative at the board of trustees. She is currently the director of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force and holds a tenured rank of professor. 

Garriga earned her bachelor’s degree from Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, and a magistère from the Université de Paris IV before earning a doctorate from The Ohio State University.  

Thomas More University provides students with something much more than job training. Graduates are prepared for any career. But they leave prepared for much more. They are exposed to the very best thought, literature, art, and music. They learn to harness the power of human reason to solve problems and discover truth. Most importantly, they have the chance to begin to become the person they were created to be. This is the power of the liberal arts in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition at Thomas More University. Our students come here looking for more. And that’s exactly what we offer. Here our students take that opportunity and…Make It More. Learn more at


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