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Thomas More University President Announces the University’s First Provost

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (June 4, 2020) — Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D., announced this afternoon that, following a national search, Molly Smith, Ph.D., will serve as the first provost for the University. 

Smith, who assumes her duties as provost on July 1, has served as the interim provost at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, since August 2019. Upon her arrival, she will also hold a faculty rank of professor of English. 

Molly Smith - Thomas More University's new provost
Molly Smith, Ph.D.

“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 President 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.”

On October 1, 2018, Thomas More College transitioned to Thomas More University, necessitating a new organizational structure by creating three distinct colleges – Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education and Health Sciences – and the Institute for Ethical Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies. With this transition, the role of provost was established to serve as the chief academic and student life officer of the University, overseeing the three colleges and institute and reporting to the president. 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.

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 thomasmore.edu.


MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Stratton, director of communications and PR, strattr@thomasmore.edu, 859.344.3309