BATON ROUGE – LSU has named Robert T. Smith the Chancellor of LSU Shreveport, effective July 10, pending approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors.
Smith currently serves as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Mathematics at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga.
Since LSU Shreveport’s current Chancellor, Larry Clark, retires June 30, LSU Shreveport Provost Helen Taylor will serve as the interim Chancellor until Smith begins his tenure.
“We are very excited to welcome Robert Smith to the LSU family,” LSU President William F. Tate IV said. “His breadth of experience leading faculty, improving retention and graduation rates, and mentoring students will be a tremendous asset to LSU Shreveport. LSUS is a vital part of our mission to provide quality higher education, service and outreach across the state of Louisiana, and I am confident that Bob is the right person to lead those efforts in Shreveport.”
During his time as Chief Academic Officer for Valdosta State University, Smith led student success initiatives that resulted in an increase in first-year retention by 9% in the first two years. He overhauled the university’s scheduling and registration process to better serve the students’ needs, and developed and implemented a new Academic Affairs Strategic Plan.
“I am humbled and truly honored to be named Chancellor of LSU Shreveport. During my visit to LSUS, the positive energy and spirit of the faculty, staff and students were palpable in every meeting I had. It is clear that LSUS is heading toward a very bright future, and I look forward to joining the LSU team and contributing to the ongoing success of the campus and the Shreveport community.”
Prior to joining Valdosta State in 2017, Smith was the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Armstrong State University in Savannah, Ga. He also served six years as Dean of the School of Science and Mathematics at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Smith has completed leadership training programs at Harvard University and the American Academic Leadership Institute, and is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research and the American Mathematical Society.
From 2004 to 2016, Smith garnered more than $2 million in external grants, including a five-year National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholarship grant to fund a program to prepare secondary mathematics teachers for high-need school districts. He has authored 10 calculus textbooks.
Smith, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., has earned multiple mathematics degrees. He earned two Bachelor’s degrees, in German and mathematics, from Widener College, and a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Delaware.
Founded in 1967, LSU Shreveport is a regional four-year institution offering a wide array of nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as a doctoral degree in an accessible, student-centered environment in north Louisiana. LSUS serves a student population of more than 8,500 and has bestowed more graduate degrees to African American students than any other institution in the state. It has also emerged as a global leader in online education during the past 10 years. The university’s mission is to educate a diverse population of graduate and undergraduate students; engage in regional and global thought leadership through community collaboration and service; and innovate to enhance the application of knowledge and intellectual discovery through faculty and student research and creative endeavors.