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AMERICUS, GA (March 29, 2018) — Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) has named Suzanne R. Smith, Ph. D., as its new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs (VPAA), effective July 1, 2018, concluding a nationwide search.

Smith comes to GSW from Washington State University Vancouver (WSUV) where she has been employed for over 20 years. For the past 12 years, she has served in leadership roles including her current position as director of academic planning and special assistant to the vice chancellor.

“I am honored to be joining the team at GSW and look forward to becoming a part of the campus and local community,” said Smith. “I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with such wonderful people, on a beautiful campus that has limitless potential in the years to come. I know that together we will achieve great things.”

As the new provost and VPAA, Smith will be responsible for the instructional program of the university and the daily administration of academic affairs for both faculty and students. She will serve as the chief academic officer for the university, reporting to GSW President Neal Weaver. Working closely with the president and an extensive group of campus colleagues, she will guide strategic planning and policy development as well as promote campus-wide academic initiatives.

“We look forward to having Suzanne join us,” said Weaver. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in academic leadership to the table. Her energy and enthusiasm for student success is fundamental to the university. We are excited to see fresh ideas in how to bring GSW’s campus and the community together.”

Having grown up in the Atlanta area, Smith is no stranger to Georgia. She received her Ph.D. in child and family development from the University of Georgia in 1996. Prior to this, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in behavioral science at Erskine College and her Master of Science in family and child development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. In 2015, she completed the Management Development Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Smith has over 25 years of experience teaching sociology and human development at the university level. She began her career in higher education as a graduate assistant at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and currently teaches as an associate professor in WSUV’s Department of Human Development.

She has received multiple awards for excellence in teaching and has written numerous journal articles and books, including her latest textbook, Exploring Family Theories (4th Ed), published in 2017.Smith has been active in the National Council on Family Relations, the Family Science Association, and the Northwest Council on Family Relations throughout her career.

Smith and her husband, Brett, have two grown children.

SuzanneSmith Provost Web

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