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Smith to lead PSU’s enrollment, student success efforts

Pittsburg State University Provost Lynette Olson has announced that Howard W. Smith, dean of the PSU College of Education, has been appointed interim associate vice president for enrollment management and student success. This is a one-year appointment, Olson said, during which an interim dean will be named to oversee the College of Education.

Pittsburg State University Provost Lynette Olson has announced that Howard W. Smith, dean of the PSU College of Education, has been appointed interim associate vice president for enrollment management and student success. This is a one-year appointment, Olson said, during which an interim dean will be named to oversee the College of Education.

Howard Smith“I am grateful that Dr. Smith agreed to step into this interim leadership role,” Olson said. “Dedicated to Pittsburg State, he has proven himself as a strong and capable leader. He is well respected by the campus community and though the faculty and staff in the College of Education are reluctant to let him go, even for a year, they also support this appointment as they know it is in the best interest of the university at this point in time.”

The Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success oversees a variety of programs and services that begin with recruiting students to Pittsburg State but also focus on ensuring their success throughout their college careers through advocacy, enrichment and support. Those units include the Office of Admission, the Office of the Registrar, International Programs and Services, Student Diversity, Student Financial Assistance, Transfer and Articulation, Student Success Programs and the Exploratory Studies Program.

Olson said Smith’s record of service to the university demonstrates his ability to lead this critical part of the university.

“As I've met with the administrative team, faculty and staff in the College of Education in recent days, they have confirmed what I knew to be the case,” Olson said. “Dr. Smith’s ability to encourage individuals to stretch and innovate along with his great enthusiasm and open communication are well suited for leadership of our Enrollment Management and Student Success efforts. I look forward to working with him over this next year in a different capacity.”

Smith said the coming year will be an opportunity to help the university in a new way.

“I see this as a great opportunity to serve the university in a strategic manner for the future,” Smith said. “There’s a great staff to work with as we continue to tell the rest of the world about Pitt State’s wonderful living and learning environment and to help our students achieve their educational goals.”

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from PSU, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in educational administration from Kansas State University.

He began his career in education in 1975 as an elementary school teacher in Shawnee Mission, Kan. Over the years, he has worked as a middle school teacher, elementary school principal, middle school principal, executive director of middle schools and superintendent of schools. He served Kansas school districts in Shawnee Mission, Overland Park and Coffeyville, as well as districts in Amarillo, Texas, and Bentonville, Ark. 

Smith joined the PSU faculty in 1993. At PSU, he has served in a variety of roles, including professor, chairman of both the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Department of Special Services and Leadership Studies, director of the Kansas City Metro Center, and legislative liaison and assistant to the president.

He was named dean of the College of Education in 2010.

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