LaTonia Collins Smith

Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith has been appointed Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Harris-Stowe State University, effective August 1, 2020.

For the past year, Collins Smith has served as Interim Provost and the University’s chief academic officer, supporting the implementation of the University’s academic mission and providing curricular and administrative leadership. Going forward, she will oversee the University’s numerous colleges, the Academic Resource Center, academic success, accreditation, career services, retention and international programs, student support services, University institutes, and the University Library.

“Dr. Collins Smith is an incredibly talented scholar, practitioner, and educator,” said Dr. Corey S. Bradford, Sr., President of Harris-Stowe State University. “Her passion, drive, innovative spirit, and strong ability to link community needs to the curriculum have been a tremendous asset to this institution,”

Collins Smith began her career in higher education at Harris-Stowe State University in 2010 as a project coordinator in the Office of Counseling Services. Throughout her tenure, she has served the institution as associate provost, assistant provost, and executive director of the Center for Career Engagement.

"I am tremendously honored to be appointed to this position at such a pivotal time in the University's history,” Collins Smith said. “I am proud to be a champion for Harris-Stowe and truly believe in the mission of this institution and what we have to offer our community. I am committed to ensuring academic excellence through teaching, learning, research and civic engagement."

Collins Smith’s key accomplishments include the rebranding of the University’s career services and academic advising departments and university-wide math pathway implementation. She also led the efforts to increase degree production resulting in the largest graduating classes in Harris-Stowe’s 160-year history. She is the co-principal investigator of a $5 million National Science Foundation grant to substantially strengthen STEM in the state of Missouri - the largest grant in the history of Harris-Stowe. She currently serves as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the nation’s largest regional accreditation body. She has also served as the campus team lead for the following initiatives: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Re-Imagine First Year Project, the Strada Foundation Measuring College Value project, the Complete College America MSI Initiative, the Ascendium Project Success Initiative, and the Gallup Alumni Survey Project. She is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

She has received numerous leadership and service awards – and among her many honors include: the Equal Education Opportunity Group Pioneer award, Resilience in Action Merchant of Hope award, Delux Magazine’s Power 100 in Education award, the NAACP Ben Hooks Community Leader award and the AKA Central Region’s Outstanding Educational Advancement Captain award. She is a 2019 Millennium Leadership Initiative Protégé, a St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Fellow and a Higher Education Leadership Foundation Fellow.

Collins Smith earned an Educational Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis. She holds a Master of Social Work degree and a Master of Public Health degree from Saint Louis University. She is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri, where she majored in social work.

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