EDUCAUSE, the association for information technology in higher education, recently announced that Vernon C. Smith, vice president for academic affairs at Rio Salado College, has been appointed to the EDUCAUSE Board of Directors. Smith assumes the seat vacated by Linda Thor, chancellor of Foothill-DeAnza Community College District, who recently resigned due to conflicting commitments.
Smith has an extensive background in organizational effectiveness, including strategic planning and change. As faculty chair for foreign languages, Smith was a pioneer in online language courses and programs and served as faculty senate president. He has an extensive background in distance learning issues and practices, including effective assessment and retention strategies and predictive modeling for student success.
Smith earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Latin American studies and Spanish at Brigham Young University, graduating magna cum laude. He has a master of organizational behavior from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. He earned a doctor of philosophy in organization and administration of higher education from the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona.
Smith’s research interests include high-quality, cost-effective production models for online courses, the unbundling and re-bundling of the faculty role, adjunct faculty issues, academic integrity, and teaching and learning. He serves on the membership and data working groups for Transparency by Design, a national higher education accountability initiative.
EDUCAUSE President Diana Oblinger stated, “Vernon’s diverse background in academic, administrative, and technical leadership roles makes him a superb addition to the EDUCAUSE Board. As an active EDUCAUSE member, community college leader, and IT innovator, Vernon has been at the forefront of change in our profession throughout his career, and I look forward to benefiting from his insight and experience.”
Smith has received the Dolores Brown Award from the Arizona American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) and the Administrator of the Year Hallmark Award from Phi Theta Kappa and has been recognized for outstanding teaching, presentations, and service, including the Homer Sarasohn Award for Meritorious Service.
His board term runs through 2013.
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education. EDUCAUSE programs and services are focused on analysis, advocacy, community building, professional development, and knowledge creation because IT plays a transformative role in higher education. EDUCAUSE supports those who lead, manage, and use information technology through a comprehensive range of resources and activities.
Rio Salado College was founded in 1978 and serves one of the largest online enrollments nationwide. The college was recently recognized as one of eight highly productive institutions of higher education in the nation by McKinsey & Company. Rio Salado offers general education courses as well as a variety of degree and certificate programs with more than 62,000 students enrolled annually. It is also Arizona’s largest provider of Adult Basic Education.