Smith, Samuel

Sam Smith

Dr. Samuel H. Smith has enjoyed a distinguished career in higher education, first at the University of California, Berkeley, then at the Pennsylvania State University. He also served 15 years (1985 -2000) as the President of Washington State University (WSU). As President Emeritus, he has served on several national and state commissions and boards. Since 2000, he has also been the founding director of five foundations, two institutes and one university. As President of WSU he successfully founded three new campuses, creating a university system. These campuses were established utilizing technology delivered programs prior to the availability of the internet. Their success led to the leadership of the Western Division of the National Governors Associations asking him to be one of the designers and founders of the Western Governors University (WGU). He is currently a member of WGU’s Executive Committee which is a highly successful non-profit, competency-based, online, accredited, affordable university which does not use continuing state or federal funds. In addition to its national structure, WGU also has or is establishing “virtual state campuses” in Indiana, Texas, Washington, Missouri and Tennessee. He has chaired national organizations such as the Presidents Commission of the NCAA and the National Association of State University and Land Grant Colleges. He has served on or been the executive director of several national commissions on the future of American universities and the use of technology as a strategic asset. At the state level he served for nine years on Washington’s Higher Education Coordinating Board, where he was one of the authors of the legislatively approved strategic master plan. Dr. Smith has been the chair of the accrediting team for Cal State San Bernadino and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He has also been a consultant for several universities, including University of Maine, University of Massachusetts System, Auburn University, New Mexico State University and the University of Nevada Reno. In recognition of his efforts, he has been awarded four honorary doctorates including those from Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan and Far Eastern State University, Vladivostok, Russia.