Radford University announces selection of Matthew J. Smith, Ph.D. as Dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences

Matthew J. Smith, Ph.D.
Matthew J. Smith, Ph.D.

Following a national search, Radford University has announced the selection of Matthew J. Smith, Ph.D. to lead the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences in the role of Dean.  Dean Smith has served as Interim Dean since 2018.  Prior to Dean Smith’s interim role, he served as Director and Professor in the School of Communication since joining the Radford family in 2016. 

In being named the permanent leader effective February 25, 2020, Dean Smith shared, “I am honored to serve as the Dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences. This College is fortunate to have talented faculty, dedicated staff, promising students, and fervent alumni, and I look forward to the partnerships that we will deepen and those that we will develop as the College pursues its mission to educate and serve the people of the Commonwealth and beyond.”

In addition to Dean Smith’s strong commitment to the College, he is deeply dedicated to the University and the broader community.  “Radford is an institution brimming with opportunities, and I am eager for us to explore how to pursue and promote those opportunities even more enthusiastically,” said Dean Smith.

Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. said, “Dean Smith is a consummate professional, who has made a significant impact during his time at Radford University.  Through a competitive and open search with a national focus, the best candidate was found right here on our campus.  Dean Smith has both the expertise and energy to skillfully lead the College and faithfully serve the University in both new and profound ways.  I look forward to continued work with Dean Smith in furthering our mission and supporting the growth of our campus, community, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Through the diligent efforts of the Search Committee, which was led by Department Chair and Professor of Psychology Jeff Aspelmeier, Ph.D., a robust search process was utilized in partnership with AGB Search.  In reflecting on the extensive process, Dr. Aspelmeier shared, “The members of the Search Committee worked incredibly hard on this search process to make sure that we provided the campus with three strong applicants to choose from. I want to thank them all for the time, energy, and care they put into this process. I look forward to working with Dean Smith. He has been an incredibly energetic and skilled advocate for our College as Interim Dean, and we are lucky to have him supporting our College.”

Radford University Interim Provost Joseph P. Scartelli, Ph.D. said, “I would like to congratulate Dean Smith on his selection.  I am confident that his leadership will maximize opportunities for the College in the 21st Century and moving forward, while building upon the College’s solid foundation and enabling future growth and continued success.  I have always been impressed with his intelligence, compassion, and fortitude, all of which are needed to meaningfully and successfully work with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners on a daily basis.”

Incoming Provost Carolyn “Lyn” Ringer Lepre, Ph.D., who will officially join the Radford family on July 1, 2020, said, “I had the honor of meeting Dean Smith during my interview process and also engaging with each of the finalists as part of on-campus visits.  Dean Smith was selected following exemplary reviews and strong recommendations from and within the College due to his visionary leadership, strong intellect, and dynamic personality.  I look forward to having him as both an enthusiastic and integral member of the Academic Affairs Leadership Team.”

Prior to Dean Smith’s tenure at Radford, he served as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor of Communication at Wittenberg University from 2001 to 2016.  He also served in faculty roles at Indiana University South Bend and Miami University Hamilton.

Dean Smith received a bachelor’s degree in English from West Liberty State College; a master’s degree in English from Ohio University; and a doctoral degree in Interpersonal Communication from Ohio University.

Feb 24, 2020
Ashley Schumaker
(540) 831-5370