Dr. Vernon C. Smith


Dr. Vernon C. Smith is Provost of the American Public University System (American Military University and American Public University) where he serves as chief academic officer leading initiatives to increase access, equity, and quality, while reducing costs and barriers to student success including the promotion of Open Educational Resources (OER) and the use of big data for predictive modeling and teaching excellence.

Dr. Smith served as Vice Provost, Distributed Learning and Instructional Technology at the University of the Pacific (Stockton, Sacramento, San Franscisco). Previously, he oversaw the successful launch of Portmont College at Mount St. Mary's University (Los Angeles) through MyCollege Foundation, a Bill and Melinda Gates funded initiative where he served as the founding Chief Academic Officer and Provost. He served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Rio Salado College (Tempe), the largest public, online two-year community college. During his over two decades of service at Rio, he served as Dean of Instruction overseeing institutional effectiveness, strategic planning, accreditation, and early-college programs. As Faculty Chair for Foreign Languages, he 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 the use of big data for predictive modeling and student success.

Dr. Smith earned 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. His 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.

Dr. Smith serves on Executive Council of WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) a division of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. He recently completed his tenure on the Advisory Board for ELI (EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative). He served on the membership and data working groups for Transparency by Design, a national higher education accountability initiative, and on the Board of Directors of EDUCAUSE.

Dr. Smith has received the Dolores Brown Award from Arizona AATSP, 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.

EDUCAUSE Publications

EDUCAUSE Presentations