The Vice President for Access and Engagement (VPAE) is a member of the President’s Cabinet and works collaboratively with other Cabinet-level leaders, and the entire campus community to establish ways to enhance the recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff of color and other marginalized backgrounds. The VPAE provides strategic leadership in the development of a comprehensive and integrated framework focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and introduces cutting-edge practices that promote a more welcoming and inclusive learning and working environment. As well, the VPAE directs the activities of the Center for Justice and Sustainability and represents the College throughout there
Dr. Rodney D. Smith is co-founder of Sophic Solutions, LLC, a change management consulting firm based in Kansas City, Missouri. Smith also serves as a Graduate Adjunct Professor in the School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He specializes in courses that address racial and ethnic diversity and cultural understanding. Over the course of a 22-year career, Smith’s scholarly interests have taken aim at the implications of race and racism in American society.
Dr. Smith recently wrote and published Are We Really Crabs in a Barrel: The Truth and Other Insights About the African American Community as well as a chapter in an anthology entitled The Trayvon Martin in Us: An American Tragedy. Smith holds a Doctor of Education Degree from Tennessee State University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morris Brown College.