Author Profile

Peter Smith | Orkand Chair and Professor of Innovative Practices in Higher Education, University of Maryland University College

Current Position and Past Experience
Peter Smith is currently the Orkand Chair and Professor of Innovative Practices in Higher Education, University of Maryland University College, a position he took on in 2016. He joined UMUC after retiring from Kaplan University as the Founding President of Open College @ Kaplan University. Smith also served as Kaplan Higher Education Group's Senior Vice President for Academic Strategies and Development.

In 1970, he became the Founding President of the Community College of Vermont. where he served for 8 years. In 1991, he became the Dean of George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development for several years before founding California State University—Monterey Bay in 1995, where he served as Founding President for a decade. He has served as the Executive Director of the US Commission on Responsibilities for Funding Post-Secondary Education. In 2005, Smith began his post as the Assistant Director General for Education of UNESCO.

In 1981, Smith was elected to serve as a Vermont State Senator. A year later, he was elected the Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, where he served a pair of two-year terms. Smith was elected to Congress in 1988.

Smith has authored a number of books focused on higher education. Your Hidden Credentials: The Value of Personal Learning Outside of College was published in 1986. In 2004, The Quiet Crisis: How Higher Education is Failing America hit the shelves. In 2010, Harnessing America’s Wasted Talent: A New Ecology of Learning was published by Jossey-Bass.

Education, Honors and Achievements
Smith earned his BA in History from Princeton University in 1968. In 1970, he earned his MAT and Ed.D. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Personal Details and Community Involvement
Smith served on the board of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning from 1972-1978. He has been a board member of the Committee for Economic Development since 2008, and a board member of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems since 2012. Smith also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

You can find Smith on Twitter at @PeterPSmith.