October 2, 2012
ALL ACADEMICS AND STAFF AT UC SAN DIEGO
ALL STUDENTS AT UC SAN DIEGO
After more than seven years of distinguished service as Provost of John Muir College, Professor Susan Smith has announced her decision to step down as Provost at the end of the Winter Quarter, 2013. An expert on medieval art, she will also retire from her faculty position in the department of Visual Arts, which she has held since 1987. She received her B.A. from Swarthmore College, where she studied history and philosophy and received her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978.
Provost Smith has had a profound impact on John Muir College and the UC San Diego campus. She secured a major Campus Heritage Grant from the Getty Foundation to draw up a historical resources assessment and preservation plan for the College’s exemplary ensemble of Modernist buildings. With great attention to the student experience, Provost Smith advised, consulted and collaborated with Housing, Dining, and Hospitality to complete the Tamarack Apartments for second year students, the first building to be constructed at Muir since the early 1970s. As Chair of the Council of Provosts, she oversaw the consolidation of the six college business offices and the establishment of a new campus-wide Writing Center, which opened this fall.
In the spirit of namesake John Muir, Muir College supports local, national, and global efforts to preserve the natural environment and to promote environmental sustainability in energy and water use, waste disposal, food production, and other practices. During her tenure, Provost Smith has added new academic and student life programs and developed traditions that strengthen the Muir College mission. She established the Muir Environmental Fellows awards, which each year honor selected UC San Diego faculty, staff, and alumni whose work has contributed significantly to the cause of sustainability and environmental preservation. She also established the Stewart Society, named for Muir’s founding provost John Stewart, the senior honors society that recognizes the academic achievements of Muir College students who come to UC San Diego as transfer students. Provost Smith revived the Muir College signature course Wilderness and Human Values that examines the ethical, scientific, economic and political issues presented by environmental preservation, and takes students on wilderness trips in the Sierras and elsewhere, as well as on outings in San Diego's local nature reserves.
Please join me in expressing our sincere gratitude to Provost Smith for her outstanding leadership of, and dedication to, John Muir College over these past seven and a half years, and for her 25 years of extraordinary service to UC San Diego. A campus-wide search for her successor will be initiated shortly.