Campus News

Thomas appointed UGA Franklin College associate dean for leadership development, diversity

Kecia Thomas-10-12-2009
Kecia Thomas

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia professor Kecia Thomas has been appointed associate dean for faculty leadership development and diversity in the University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

A professor of industrial/organizational psychology in the department of psychology, Thomas has served on the UGA faculty since 1993.

“As associate dean, Dr. Thomas will have a portfolio that is well-aligned with her academic and professional expertise as an industrial/organizational psychologist who is an award-winning graduate mentor and instructor, an internationally recognized scientist/practitioner in the psychology of workplace diversity and a certified executive coach,” said Alan T. Dorsey, dean of the Franklin College. “Given her scholarship, dedication to the college and to the university, and her extensive leadership experience, I am pleased to have Dr. Thomas serve in this important role.”

Thomas has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, one textbook and four edited volumes. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the American Psychological Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as by school districts, nonprofits and other national organizations.

An elected fellow of both the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the American Psychological Association, Thomas is a recipient of the Janet Chusmir Distinguished Service Award from the Academy of Management. Organizations such as the EEOC, Homeland Security and the state of Georgia have called upon her expertise.

Thomas has provided leadership for the Franklin College in several roles, including as graduate coordinator for psychology, interim director for the Institute for African American Studies and interim associate dean. She has been a member of the dean’s staff since 2007, serving as senior adviser to the dean and director of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity Leadership. In that role, Thomas launched a number of successful diversity initiatives and provided consultation on diversity matters to the college and other units on campus.

Thomas’ responsibilities will continue to include efforts related to inclusion and diversity, in addition to faculty leadership development, and oversight of the social and behavioral science departments. She will serve in the role of liaison to the Graduate School for the Franklin College.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to serve our faculty and students in this new role and am especially proud to be a member of a leadership team that is known to be innovative, effective, collegial,” Thomas said. “This is an exciting time for me as a scientist and practitioner. This new role allows me the opportunity to serve the college and institution in ways that capitalize on my training, scholarship and experience.”

Thomas received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish from Bucknell University in 1988 and master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial and organizational psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 1990 and 1993, respectively.

Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest college on the University of Georgia campus. With more than 650 faculty and 15,000 students—in 30 departments and more than 30 programs, institutes and centers—the Franklin College spans disciplines from anthropology to women’s studies and includes the Lamar Dodd School of Art and the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. For more information, see