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Office of the President


Dr. John W. Smith, Acting President
Dr. John W. Smith is a seasoned university faculty member and administrator who has served the University of South Alabama for five years, most recently as acting president.

Dr. Smith came to USA in 2008 as vice president for student affairs. Two years later, he was selected by President Gordon Moulton as special assistant to the president.

As vice president, Dr. Smith has been involved with numerous student life enhancement projects including construction of new residence and dining halls, a new student recreation center, and a major renovation of the student center. He has been instrumental in successful implementation of the NCAA football and marching band programs at USA.

As special assistant to the president, Dr. Smith served as Moulton’s chief of staff and liaison to the Faculty Senate. At the same time, Dr. Smith continued in his position as vice president for student affairs, overseeing divisions including student activities, student housing and food service, police, bookstore, counseling, campus recreation, and multicultural affairs, among others. He has served as USA’s representative to the NCAA.

Dr. Smith was chosen by the USA Board of Trustees to assume presidential duties following Moulton’s retirement, and, with seamless transition, has provided steady leadership. As acting president, Dr. Smith leads the 15,000-student, 5,500-employee University, which includes USA’s main campus in west Mobile, the Baldwin County campus in Fairhope, and USA’s Health System – the USA College of Medicine, USA Physicians Group, USA Medical Center, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, and USA Mitchell Cancer Institute. USA’s health system currently serves more than 250,000 patients each year. USA awarded its 75,000th degree in May 2013 during the celebration of its 50th Anniversary.

Dr. Smith has nearly 40 years of experience in higher education. He came to the University of South Alabama after 24 years at the University of Central Arkansas, including a term as interim president.

At Central Arkansas, Dr. Smith held increasingly responsible positions including vice president for student affairs and dean of students, vice president for financial and administrative services, and executive vice president. Dr. Smith oversaw financial and administrative divisions, created and administered the budget, and managed major university construction projects, among other duties.

Dr. Smith began his professional career in student life at Berry College in Georgia, where he earned his bachelor of science in physical education. He received a master of education in guidance and counseling from West Georgia College and a doctorate in educational leadership from Mississippi State University.

A native of Gaffney, S.C., Dr. Smith is married to the former Jeanne Williams. They have three children.


University of South Alabama - Mobile Alabama 36688-0002 / 1 (251) 460-6111
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Date last changed: November 20, 2013 9:06 AM