Philadelphia, PA (December 15, 2022) — Claudine Thomas has been appointed Chief Academic Officer (CAO) and Dean of the College at Moore College of Art & Design, the first and only historically all-women’s undergraduate college for art and design in the nation. Thomas was selected following an extensive and inclusive national search, led by an internal interdepartmental search committee of faculty and staff that collected and synthesized feedback gathered from the broader Moore community. Thomas will formally assume the role on January 1. She has served as Moore’s interim CAO since December 2021, a role she also took on during a previous leadership transition in 2015–2016.
As Moore’s CAO and Dean of the College, Thomas will work in partnership with President Cathy Young and the entire campus community to move the College into the promising next phase of the institution’s history, and to contribute to the inspiring work of establishing Moore as one of the best art and design colleges in the country. She will oversee development of new curricula, new academic programs and new organizational structures, cultivating a vibrant and holistic student experience. She will also contribute significantly to student recruitment and enrollment efforts; build and execute new initiatives in diversity, equity, inclusion and access; identify compelling funding initiatives; and take an active role in Moore’s alumni and donor engagement efforts.
“It’s a thrill and an honor to build upon my experience here at Moore College of Art & Design in the exciting leadership role of the Chief Academic Officer and Dean of the College,” said Thomas. “Moore is poised to enter a new era of inclusion, vibrancy and strength, and this position is unique in its ability to see the overall picture while keeping a sharp focus on academic integrity and student experience. I am excited to assist in leading the institution into its next chapter, and to collaborate with my colleagues on preparing our students to be the dynamic creative leaders of the future, fostering their skills and passions far beyond Moore’s doors.”
In a short period of time as interim CAO, Thomas has led the charge for academic excellence at Moore and worked with faculty and staff colleagues to assess programs, expand study abroad opportunities for students, and to foster innovation, access, diversity, equity and inclusion in Moore’s curriculum. In her prior role as Associate Dean of Academic Services and Director of Institutional Research, Thomas ensured that the College stayed mission-driven and data-informed, creating benchmarks and systems that better informed processes around decision making, strategic planning and budgeting. In both roles, she has helped the College make great strides in boosting retention and graduation rates, faculty diversity and overall student enrollment.
“Claudine’s extensive experience and institutional knowledge, paired with her leadership skills and evident passion for the College and its mission, uniquely qualify her to lead Moore’s academic vision into the future,” said Cathy Young, president of Moore College of Art & Design. “She will take on a host of new and exciting challenges as she transitions from her interim role, and we are excited to dream big with her and see her continue to achieve great things as an essential member of our senior administration. I have no doubt that she will continue to be a strategic, thoughtful and visionary partner in pursuing our goals of enrolling and retaining talented art and design students, leading curricular innovation, fostering a stellar and celebrated faculty body, preparing graduates for exciting creative careers, and continuing to achieve overall academic excellence in art and design higher education.”
Prior to her time at Moore, Thomas spent several years at the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania, managing program operations for youth services, and served as an AmeriCorps-VISTA member with the National Corporation for Service. She has presented at several conferences, including the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) Symposium, Middle States Commission of Higher Education Annual Conference, Pennsylvania Association of Developmental Educators Annual Conference, and Association of Writers & Writing Programs, among others. She is a Middle States peer evaluator and co-chair of the AICAD diversity, equity and inclusion task force. She served as an executive board member of ArtWell, a Philadelphia-based art education nonprofit, and is a current board member of Nationalities Service Center, an immigrant, refugee and community service organization. Thomas holds a MS in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, a MFA in creative writing from Arcadia University and a BA in psychology from Pennsylvania State University. In 2023, she will celebrate 19 total years at Moore College of Art & Design.
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Photo: David Rizzio, Courtesy of Moore College of Art & Design.