Associate Dean of Student Academic Affairs

Steve Smith soon to retire, leaving large administrative hole

Megan Garside

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Pacific University will say goodbye to a veteran of liberal education as assistant Professor and associate Dean for Student Affairs, Steve Smith plans retire at the end of the academic year.

Smith’s retirement will come as a huge loss to Pacific as he oversees more than most at the university. The dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Sarah Phillips said Smith oversees a lot of different things, all focused on the academic side of students experiences at Pacific.

In addition to teaching English literature, Smith’s role stretches far beyond the classroom. Smith works with students and faculty in cases of academic misconduct, and even advises faculty and students when a student appears to be struggling academically.

Smith also oversees the student academic appeals process, when students need to request an exception to existing rules or policies.

Smith feels now is the right time to move on and to pursue new adventures with his wife, Dr. Rampton, who also is retiring this year. He and his wife are moving to New Mexico. 

“I’ll do some writing, brush up on my Spanish, enjoy the great food and wine, and explore the country,” Smith said.

Smith cannot think of any low points he has had at Pacific but his high points include the expansion of the undergraduate and graduate programs, the double revision of the Core, the founding of the Advising Center and the hiring of talented faculty.

“Having Steve Smith retire will be a big change for all of us,” Phillips said.

Phillips says the department will not hire a single person to replace Steve in the exact same role, but instead will be distributing many of his roles and responsibilities to other existing offices on campus.

“It is our hope that we can do this in a way that makes sure that we cover everything,” Phillips said. “At the same time, make it so that students have fewer different offices that they have to navigate when they need something.”

Smith will stay at Pacific throughout the summer semester to make the transition as smooth as possible.

“There is no question that we will miss Dean Smith very much and that we will have a bit of an adjustment period after his departure,” Phillips said.

The whole College of Arts & Sciences will miss Smith tremendously but the college has used this year to map out all of his duties and roles, making plans to cover everything when he does leave.

Smith said he will miss most the opportunity to serve students and faculty, helping them to do their best work.

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