UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State has appointed David R. Smith as executive director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) and associate dean for advising, effective Sept. 1.
As executive director of DUS, Smith will oversee the largest entry portal for first-year students enrolling at Penn State's 20 undergraduate campuses. He replaces Eric White, who retired earlier this year. DUS serves as the academic home for more than 7,500 students in their first two years of study University-wide, including more than 3,000 at University Park. The division provides assistance in educational planning to students exploring potential options for their eventual field of study and major. In the role of associate dean for advising, Smith will provide leadership for a broad range of University-wide activities that promote student success, including professional academic advising programs, academic components of new student orientation, and development of advising policy and innovative tools and processes.
David Smith comes to Penn State from the University of Michigan, where he served since 2010 as the deputy assistant dean for student academic affairs in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, and before that as academic adviser and program coordinator in the unit since 1997. He has been an adjunct assistant professor in history at the University of Michigan and also led study abroad programs in Vietnam. Smith holds a bachelor of arts degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University and a master's degree and doctorate in history from Wayne State University.
"A positive advising system is essential to starting students off on the right foot and assisting them in making good academic decisions," said Robert Pangborn, vice president and dean for undergraduate education. "We are very pleased to bring someone with David's experience to this significant leadership role at Penn State."