Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr. began his tenure as the 16th president of Langston University in 2012 and also serves as professor of education.
Dr. Smith has more than twenty years of progressive administrative experience in higher education. Under his leadership, Langston University has seen record highs in fundraising, admissions applications and freshman enrollment. He is committed to developing quality academic programs focused on retention and completion for all students, particularly those from underserved populations. A visionary and inclusive leader, Dr. Smith is passionate about collaboration with students to shape their learning environment in a holistic way.
Prior to leading Langston University, Dr. Smith served as the vice president for student affairs, chief student affairs officer, and assistant professor of education at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He is a former dean of students at Auburn University in Alabama, director of multicultural affairs at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and was an adjunct professor at Cleveland State University. While an adjunct professor of education at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, he served as assistant director of black student services.
Dr. Smith has been recognized as a leader within the state of Oklahoma and among his peers nationally in higher education. Dr. Smith currently serves as Chair of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Council of 1890 Presidents, representing 19 universities, Chair of the Red River Athletic Conference, Council of Presidents. Locally, Dr. Smith is a member of the Logan County Economic Development Council, and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Campus Safety and Security Task Force.
A Louisiana native, Dr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, a Master of Education in educational administration and supervision from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, and a doctorate in education and human resources studies, with a concentration in educational administration and student affairs, from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Dr. Smith is an FAA instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys flying with family and friends with plans of teaching private flying lessons in the future. As a father of five, he loves spending quality family time and coaching basketball.