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ERIC Number: ED547051
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 134
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2675-2452-2
Biography of Dr. Eugene W. Smith Arkansas State University President 1984 to 1992
Newsom, Glenda
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Arkansas State University
A president of a university in the state of Arkansas would benefit from researching the roots of the educational system within the state. Even though the state now has a number of universities that have evolved and are on the cutting-edge of advanced technology, Arkansas was slow in growth and development. Since Arkansas was slow to expand public education and universities have had to compete for scarce resources from the state, a university president with knowledge of the state's political system and the financial operation of the university he/she represents would be successful in expanding the institution. Dr. Eugene W. Smith was such a university president as he worked extensively with Arkansas legislators for Arkansas State University's funding formula and knew how the university's financial system operated. Dr. Smith realized higher education needed the public's attention and approval to attract students, not only within the state, but also outside the state's borders, even internationally. Higher enrollment meant financial stability for the university, as well as offering educational opportunities to a variety of students. This study may be helpful to increase the understanding of university leaders, faculty, staff, students, and the community in general regarding how an educational institution operates and the requirements, as well as pressures, for a university president. The potential benefits from this study are aiding in understanding the accomplishments, contributions, controversies, issues, and disappointments a university president experiences during their administration. This study will provide information to educational leaders and university heads for future reference when seeking a new president to help them understand the potential lessons learned from a university president. Dr. Smith was associated with ASU for sixty-one years, played a pivotal role in the growth and progress within the institution during that time, and maintained a close connection with the local community. Dr. Smith was closely involved with the work and preparations that went into attainment of university status by the Arkansas General Assembly, led the university in the adoption of new innovations and technologies, and according to Dr. Robert L. Potts, former chancellor and interim ASU System President, much of the institution's development occurred during Dr. Smith's tenure as President of ASU. According to Dr. Les Wyatt, ASU's tenth President, anyone who had been associated with ASU in the past fifty years would have been touched in one way or another by Dr. Smith. Dr. Wyatt accredited Dr. Smith as having taught, inspired, and supported the people and the institution during his years at ASU. When the researcher asked Dr. Smith to describe what he would like for his legacy to be, he listed four things. He stated his first priority was the library, as a good library was required for accreditation and future programs at the institution. The Convocation Center was Dr. Smith's second goal, elevating football to Division 1-A NCCA sports was the third goal, and the fourth goal was to elevate the university to a doctoral-level institution. Dr. Smith stated those things came about either during his tenure or shortly thereafter due to efforts from his administration. Therefore, if people could not remember him as president of the university, let people remember those four achievements, as a result from his era. The researcher's final analysis could be summed up by citing a statement related by several of the interviewees, that "Dr. Smith was the right man at the right time for the job". [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas