Candis Watts Smith, associate professor of political science, began her new role as interim vice provost for undergraduate education this month, per a release. Outgoing Vice Provost Gary Bennett, will work alongside Smith as he transitions into his new position of dean of Trinity College of Arts and Sciences on Feb. 1.
In leading the Office of Undergraduate Education, Smith will facilitate initiatives to support Duke students in their intellectual and educational experiences during her 18-month term in this leadership position.
“[Smith] is an outstanding scholar and teacher who cares deeply about the Duke undergraduate student experience, and I am confident she will excel in her leadership of both the Office of Undergraduate Education and our university-wide efforts to provide transformative learning opportunities for all undergraduate students,” Interim Provost Jennifer Francis said in the release.
Smith became a Duke faculty member in 2021 after earning her undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees at Duke. Her current political science work investigates how ethnicity and race influence citizens' political and policy opinions. Smith additionally serves on the President’s Athletic Council, the Interdisciplinary Strategy Council, and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship as faculty director, all while living on East Campus with her family as Southgate residence hall’s Faculty in Residence.
“I am excited to take on this role,” Smith said in the release. “I had a great experience as a student at Duke, and I hope to be able to pay that forward a bit by being an advocate for our students, and helping them connect to the many opportunities, resources, and possibilities available at Duke.”
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Madeleine Berger is a Trinity senior and an editor at large of The Chronicle's 119th volume.