ATHENS, Ohio (May 10, 2006) -- Kent J. Smith Jr., Ph.D., has been named vice president for student affairs at Ohio University, effective July 24. He will serve as a consultant prior to his official starting date.
Smith is currently dean of students and chief student affairs officer at Auburn University (Ala.), a position he has held since January 2004.
"I am very pleased that Dr. Kent Smith is joining Ohio University in this very important position," Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis said. "Kent has outstanding professional and personal qualities. He is well regarded as an energetic individual who connects with students and is a very strong leader. I look forward to having him as part of the Ohio University community and helping to enhance the exceptional educational experience for our students that is a hallmark of our university."
The mission of Ohio University's Division of Student Affairs is to prepare students to be responsible and contributing members of a diverse, global society by providing learning-centered environments, meaningful out-of-class opportunities, and professional support services that help them learn through their experiences and achieve academic success. The vice president for student affairs oversees 13 departments, including Baker University Center, University Judiciaries and Campus Life.
"I am excited to join the group of student affairs leaders in building partnerships across campus to support an outstanding learning environment for students," Smith said. "I am honored to be named to this position and look forward to working with the students of Ohio University, who contribute to the life of the university."
Smith has had a progressive career in student affairs. He was previously director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Case Western University in Cleveland from 2001 to 2003. He served as assistant director of the Office of Black Student Services and as a coordinator/facilitator of the Multicultural Curriculum Infusion Project at Colorado State University from 1998 to 2001. Smith has been an adjunct faculty member at Cleveland State University and at Colorado State University.
He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., and his doctorate from Colorado State.
"His youth and energy enable him to establish real connections with students, and he has personal and administrative skills that make him an outstanding manager of people and resources," the Opelika-Auburn News quoted Auburn University's interim President Ed Richardson. "Certainly with all his great qualities, I knew that Kent would be on the short list for student affairs positions at a lot of colleges and universities."
Smith, a Louisiana native, will be married on Saturday, May 13, to Tiffany Hill, an attorney. He has an 11-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter.
He was chosen following a national search chaired by Tom Davis, interim dean of the College of Education. He replaces Mike Sostarich, who retired in December 2005. Richard Carpinelli has served as interim vice president of student affairs. Carpinelli will continue his role as associate vice president for student affairs and director of Baker University Center.
"I would like to thank Dr. Tom Davis for chairing this important search committee that identified a very strong field of applicants. We appreciate their interest in our vice president position," McDavis said. "I also want to thank Rich Carpinelli for his leadership of the division during this transitional period."
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