31 Jul 2023

SAU Appoints John E. Smith, Jr., Ed.D. as Chief of Staff

Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. John E. Smith, Jr. as Chief of Staff, effective Monday, August 7, 2023. Dr. Smith has a wealth of knowledge in various higher education capacities, making him a versatile professional who will bring myriad of experience, energy, and excitement to this crucial role.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. John E. Smith, Jr. as the new Chief of Staff at Saint Augustine’s University,” said SAU President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail. “His extensive experience in higher education, particularly in graduate education, and his leadership skills and innovative approach make him a valuable addition to our team. We look forward to Dr. Smith’s energy and expertise as we continue to advance our mission of providing a transformative educational experience for our students.”

Dr. Smith previously served as the Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Director of Graduate Programs at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) in Atlanta, Georgia. In this role, Dr. Smith managed the Graduate Resource Center, Graduate Education’s Title III Project, graduate workshops, the world’s first-ever Graduate Student Success Academy, and theses and dissertations preparation and final approval for all academic departments. He also served as a member of the CAU Staff Assembly and as a Board Member/Parliamentarian. Dr. Smith recently completed CAU’s HBCU Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) Fellowship as a part of Cohort II. In addition, Dr. Smith has served as adjunct faculty, teaching courses in First-Year Experience, Team Leadership, Project Leadership, Academic Writing for Doctoral Students, and Designing, Developing, and Evaluating Presentations. Dr. Smith serves as Vice President of the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools (CHBGS) and as an Executive Committee Board Member for the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS).

“I am honored and excited to join SAU as the Chief of Staff,” said Dr. Smith. “I am grateful to President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail for selecting me for this critical role, and I am eager to contribute to the strategic initiatives and operations of the university. I look forward to working with the talented faculty, staff, and students at SAU and positively impacting the campus community.”

Dr. Smith has over a decade of higher education experience, with most of his contributions and primary roles in graduate education. In 2014, he became a Future Faculty Fellow at the University of Houston in the College of Education. Before becoming Associate Dean, Dr. Smith was Director of Graduate and Professional Programs at the University of Houston — College of Technology. While Dr. Smith served in that role, graduate enrollment notably increased by 200% in two years. He served graduate professionals throughout Texas as President of the Texas Association of Graduate Professionals (TxGAP). He served on several committees for NAGAP — The National Association for Graduate Enrollment Management (GEM) Professionals. John also served as Board Chairman of The University of Houston’s Wesley Foundation.

Dr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership & Supervision (University of Houston), a Master of Science in Human Services with an emphasis in Organizational Management and Leadership (Springfield College), and a Doctor of Education in Professional Leadership (University of Houston). He also has certificates in Project Management, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace, and his Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Yellow Belt. His research interests include underrepresented populations in STEM and Non-STEM graduate programs, with his focus primarily on motivational and influencing factors of minorities pursuing health science careers. He has served on several thesis/dissertation committees, presented at conferences, and administered training sessions on various topics, including Customer Service on a college campus, Team Building, Corporate Communications, and Traits of Leadership.

Lastly, in 2018 he was recognized by the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) for his dissertation, “Black Men in Medicine Matter: A Comparative Analysis of Factors Influencing Black Men’s Motivation to Apply to Medical School,” where he placed 4th in their dissertation of the year competition during their annual conference. Dr. Smith has two sons, Emory and John Smith, III, and is also a 96th-degree Mason and a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.