Dwayne Smith, Ph.D., interim president of Southern Connecticut State University, is a firm believer in the transformative power of education and the importance of higher education in shaping the trajectory of individuals’ socioeconomic lives, and he brings nearly 40 years of progressive leadership experience in higher education as an administrator and as faculty.

Dr. Dwayne Smith

On June 1, 2023, Dr. Dwayne Smith assumed the role of interim president of Southern Connecticut State University, a public institution of over 8,800 students in New Haven, Connecticut.

Since 2020, Dr. Smith served as campus CEO of Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and before coming to Housatonic, he served as interim president of Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Mo., following his successful 13 years as that institution’s provost. Overall, he has enjoyed a 40-year career in higher education.

He has received numerous awards and honors for his service to the community, including being recognized as one of the Connecticut NAACP’s 100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut in 2021.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in educational administration from Truman State University. He earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri.