James Smith

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Lancaster dean appointed

James Smith becomes seventh dean

Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit announced today the appointment of James M. Smith as the new dean of Ohio University Lancaster effective Aug. 16.


Smith will be the seventh dean of the Lancaster campus. John Furlow, Smith’s predecessor, recently completed a two-year term as dean.


Smith is the associate dean for academic programs and services at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) Firelands College in Huron, Ohio. From 2007 to 2009, he served as interim dean of BGSU Firelands. His administrative experience also extends to several years as an associate dean for engagement and outreach and a departmental chair at his present institution, and to time spent as a branch and acting division head at the United States Navy Occupational Development and Analysis Center in Washington, D.C.


In relaying the news of Smith’s appointment, Benoit noted that he possesses an impressive track record of accomplishment at BGSU.


"The work that Jim has done as a dean and an associate dean demonstrates that he has the ability to be successful in every area that matters to a dynamic regional campus like Lancaster. He has extensive experience in establishing innovative academic programs, facilities development and management, high-level budget oversight, community partnerships, and the promotion of student success."


Smith who is an associate professor at BGSU Firelands holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Maryland at College Park in industrial, technological, and occupational education with an emphasis in industrial and organizational psychology. He began his undergraduate work as a regional campus student at Pennsylvania State University Beaver Campus before completing a B.S. at the California University of Pennsylvania.


Smith's research has centered on the impact of technological and organizational change and related productivity improvements in the workplace. He has been successful in securing and managing grants totaling over $1,130,000 from a variety of sources including the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Ohio Department of Education.


Smith's strong regional campuses roots played an important role in his selection according to Dan Evans, executive dean of regional higher education and vice provost for e-learning and ttrategic initiatives. "Jim is an experienced administrator who understands the importance of the regional campus access mission and appreciates the historic connections to the communities we serve," said Evans. "He will be a welcome addition to Ohio University and the Regional Higher Education leadership team."


Finding ways to help students complete their educations and aligning program offerings to the economic development needs of communities are two of Smith's top priorities coming into his new job.


"I am excited about the opportunity to serve as dean of Ohio University Lancaster," said Smith.  "In my visits to campus, I have found the faculty and staff to be highly committed to excellence and the continuing success of the campus. I look forward to working with faculty, staff, and the community to continue the growth seen at OU Lancaster and the Pickerington Center so as to meet the educational needs of the community that Ohio University serves."


Furlow's efforts as dean have provided a strong foundation for Smith to build on. In his two years as dean, he presided over impressive enrollment increases, campus renovations, and the establishment of new community partnerships. After Smith's arrival, Furlow will continue to serve in an administrative capacity on the campus focusing on community issues and on the capital campaign.