Montana State University

Wichita State administrator selected as dean of MSU’s College of Arts and Architecture

May 10, 2016 -- MSU News Service

Royce Smith, director of the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries at Wichita State University, is the new dean of the MSU College of Arts and Architecture. Smith is a contemporary art historian, curator and critic with an interest in providing international learning opportunities for students. Photo provided by Royce Smith.

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Royce Smith, a contemporary art historian, curator and critic who is the director of the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries at Wichita State University, has been selected as dean of the Montana State University College of Arts and Architecture.

An award-winning professor and self-described creative thinker, Smith has innovated international service learning experiences for his students and has curated exhibitions in Paraguay, Cuba, Brazil and Australia. He is a recipient of the 2015 Wichita State University President’s Innovation Award.

MSU Provost Martha Potvin said Smith distinguished himself in the hiring process with his passion for his field as well as providing experiential learning for students.

“In addition, Dr. Smith is an experienced collaborator and strategic thinker,” Potvin said. “We look forward to the energy and direction that will be provided by his leadership.”

A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Smith is a graduate of Wabash College. He earned his master’s degree in English from Purdue University as well as a series of awards that enabled him to study and work in Australia, including the Commonwealth of Australia International Postgraduate Research Fellowship, the University of Queensland International Postgraduate Research Fellowship and the Rotary International Ambassadorial Postgraduate Research Fellowship. He earned a second master’s degree as well as a doctorate, both in contemporary art history and theory, from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. In 2005, he joined Wichita State University’s School of Art, Design and Creative Industries as a professor and has been director of his department for the last three years.

In 2015, Smith won a Fulbright Award to Paraguay to create and curate the Asunción Biennial, a first-ever, large-scale exhibition of international contemporary art. He also was selected to chair a panel and give a presentation at the Theoretical Forum for the 30th anniversary of the Havana Biennale in Cuba and gave an invited lecture at the "Biennials: Prospect and Perspectives" symposium hosted by the World Biennial Forum at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Smith said he has emphasized providing unique applied learning opportunities for Wichita State students and implementing an immersive curriculum that prioritizes travel and cultural discovery. Such approaches, Smith said, give students the chance to work collaboratively with their professors in new contexts, as well as to incorporate cultural diversity and sensitivity into their creative processes.

According to Smith, he was drawn to the MSU opportunity by the university and college’s vision, and hopes to expand the impact of the college.

“I have been absolutely impressed with the creative vision embraced by the students, faculty and staff in the College of Arts and Architecture at Montana State University,” Smith said. “The college’s commitment to creative risk-taking, innovation, collaboration and expressive rigor have been the foundations for its current success and will continue to inspire its future growth. I look forward to learning from such a talented group of thinkers and doers and working together as we expand the impact of the college in the region, the nation and the world.”

Smith will begin his duties at MSU July 1.

The MSU College of Arts and Architecture advances studio-based learning, critical studies, and public art, providing an experience unique to the region and vital to the world through four schools: the School of Architecture; the School of Art; the School of Film and Photography and the School of Music.

Martha Potvin, (406) 994-4371, mpotvin@montana.edu