McDaniel College Names Associate Provost for Equity and Belonging


September 8, 2021

McDaniel College has named Richard M. Smith as the college’s inaugural associate provost for equity and belonging.

Smith, who graduated from McDaniel in 2000, has taught at the college as a sociology professor since 2010. For the past three years, he served as special advisor to the provost and has led diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) academic programming, including faculty professional development and training.

In this new role, Smith provides vision and leadership to the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He also works in collaboration with the provost to co-lead the college’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) administrative committee and guides the Bias Education Response Support Team (BERST).

“Richard is the perfect choice for this new role where he will both aid in the promotion of an institutional culture that values and supports diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as in connecting the college’s DEI initiatives with the surrounding community,” said Provost Rosa Rivera-Hainaj.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Smith attended Temple University after graduating from McDaniel, where he earned both his master’s degree and Ph.D. His teaching and research has been focused on race and racism in the United States, African American culture, race and justice, and racism and religion.

In addition to serving on faculty committees, he has been an advisor to the Black Student Union and Brothers Elite student organizations and a first-generation student mentor. He was the 2020 recipient of McDaniel’s Dr. Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Award, which recognizes inspired classroom work and dedication to students.

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