Washington, D.C., November 22 – President Samuel H. Smith of Washington State University was named chair of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) at the group’s recent annual meeting in San Francisco. He succeeds Delores Spikes, President of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Gregory M. St. L. O’Brien, Chancellor of the University of New Orleans, was named chair-elect of the association. The officers’ yearlong terms begin January 1, 2000.

Smith has held several leadership positions in NASUGLC in the past, serving as chair of the Council of Presidents and of the NASULGC Commission on Information Technologies. He is also a member of the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities, a panel supported by the W. K. Kellogg foundation to study and recommend ways to refocus public higher education to better serve society in the 21st century. The commission will issue its final report in March 2000.

Smith has been president of Washington State University since 1985, presiding over a major expansion of the institution. In fact, more than one-third of all WSU graduates have received their degrees during his presidency. In the state of Washington, Smith is well known for establishing branch campuses to serve placebound and job-bound students, and for further increasing access to the university through learning centers, the use of information technologies, and extended degree programs.

“NASULGC has been the beneficiary of Dr. Smith’s tremendous leadership for some years,” said C. Peter Magrath, President of NASULGC. “He is a nationally recognized leader in advancing distance education and other technology issues and has shared that expertise with us, particularly in his role as chair of the Commission on Information Technologies.”

Added Magrath: “The election of Greg O’Brien as chair-elect of NASULGC is important for several reasons. It is significant because he is the first president of a major American urban university to be in position to lead the association. This reflects the growing importance of urban-based universities in our society. Dr. O’Brien has earned enormous respect for the University of New Orleans in his years as chancellor there.

“Also significant is the fact of his personal engagement with public elementary and secondary education. It is one of his passions, which he acted on when he served for a period earlier this year as Interim Superintendent of New Orleans Public Schools.”

O’Brien has been chancellor of the University of New Orleans since 1987. Under his leadership, the university’s external research funding has increased significantly and partnerships have been created to develop a major new research and technology park and a center for the arts. During this time, O’Brien has also served as chair of the NASULGC Council of Presidents and on the Executive Committee of the NASULGC Commission on the Urban Agenda.

“NASULGC is exceedingly fortunate to have both Dr. Smith and Dr. O’Brien to lead our organization into the 21st century,” said Magrath.

Joining the association’s Board of Directors are Clinton Bristow, President of Alcom State University; Carol A. Cartwright, President of Kent State University; and Charles B. Reed, Chancellor of the California State University system.

New chairs also have been named to several of NASULGC’s councils and commissions. The leadership lineup for councils in 2000: Council on Academic Affairs, Lawrence Abele, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Florida State University; Council on Business Affairs, Jerry Wallace, Vice President for Finance and Administration, University of Idaho; Council of 1890 Colleges and Universities, Oscar L. Prater, President, Fort Valley State University; Council on Extension, Continuing Education, and Public Service, Sherwin L. Davidson, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Portland State University; Council on Governmental Affairs, Raymond E. Bye, Interim Vice President for Research, Florida State University; Council of Presidents, Graham B. Spanier, President, The Pennsylvania State University Council of Presidents’ and Chancellors’ Spouses, Kathleen Malone, Montana State University; Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education, Joan Lorden, Associate Provost for Research and Dean, Graduate School, University of Alabama-Birmingham; Council on Student Affairs, David Williams II, Vice President for Student Affairs, the Ohio State University; and Council on University Relations and Development, Bruce B. Darling, Vice President for University and External Relations, University of California.

The chairs of commissions in 2000: Commission on Food, Environment, and Renewable Resources, Paul G. Risser, President, Oregon State University; Commission on Human Resources and Social Change, Frances Degen Horowitz, President, The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York; Commission on Information Technologies, Molly Corbett Broad, President, University of North Carolina; Commission on International Affairs, William E. Kirwan, President, The Ohio State University; Commission on Outreach and Technology Transfer, James C. Moeser, Chancellor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and Commission on the Urban Agenda O’oint commission with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities), Nancy Belck, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Founded in 1887, the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges is a voluntary association of 205 public research universities, land-grant institutions, and state university systems. Its members enroll more than 3.2 million students, award approximately a half-million degrees annually, and have an estimated 20 million alumni.

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