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Dr. Ceeon Quiett Smith Selected for National Program That Prepares Leaders

Benedict College Chief of Staff is one of 20 Administrators Selected by the Council of Independent Colleges


COLUMBIA, SC – April 29, 2019 –
Benedict College is pleased to announce that Ceeon Quiett Smith, PhD is one of 20 senior college administrators selected by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to participate in the year-long Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program for prospective college and university presidents. The seminar- based program is designed to help individuals with the potential to serve as college and university presidents to clarify the alignment between their personal and professional values and goals and the missions of institutions that they might lead in the future. With a wave of retirements of university presidents on the horizon, it is especially important that individuals who become new presidents are well suited to the culture of the institution. The program aims to produce presidencies that are highly effective, long lasting, and satisfying to both the individual and the institution.

Participants, including Quiett Smith, will engage in two seminars, participate in consultations with experienced facilitators, and undertake a series of readings about the vocation of college presidents and the role of vision and mission in institutional leadership.

“The alignment of personal vocation and institutional mission emphasized in this program addresses a common pitfall of presidencies,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “The program aims to help participants achieve great things for their institutions and to avoid being ‘the right person in the wrong place.’”

Smith has a unique combination of private and public executive experience coupled with academic leadership experience. Her research area involves a mixed method approach to investigating federal policies and new technology applications in crisis and risk matters. She has juried papers and conference presentations in crisis communication and framing narratives. Smith has taught courses in Homeland Security, Emergency Management and Crisis Communication. Smith is the first African American to earn a PhD from the Walter Cronkite School of Mass Communication at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona. She has served executive leadership experience in the City of Detroit and City of New Orleans (response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita); liaison for the U.S. State Department during the U.S. Donor Infrastructure Conference (Haiti earthquakes); and consultant to BP during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As Chief of Staff for Benedict College, her portfolio includes Facilities Management, HR, IT, Communications and the Business Development Center. 

“Dr. Smith is an integral part of Benedict’s executive leadership team.  Her knowledge, skill and experience make her an ideal candidate for this development opportunity and I am confident that when the time is right, a higher education institution will be very fortunate to have her as its President or Chancellor.”  said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO, Benedict College.

The CIC program’s approach to the preparation of new presidents has proven highly successful in the period that the program has been operating. Since 2005, 60 program participants (33 percent) have been named to college presidencies—a very high rate of advancement among leadership development programs.

The program is directed by Frederik Ohles, Nebraska Wesleyan University president and CIC senior advisor. For more information about the Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program, which is generously funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., visit www.cic.edu/VocationMission.

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