Upstate News

September 11, 2006
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

President David R. Smith, M.D., to preside over first Fall Faculty Convocation Sept. 13

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – David R. Smith, M.D., SUNY Upstate Medical University’s new president, will preside over his first Fall Faculty Convocation Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. in the Medical Alumni Auditorium of Weiskotten Hall, 766 Irving Ave., Syracuse.

The Fall Faculty Convocation marks the beginning of the new academic year. It brings together faculty, staff, volunteers and university alumni, to hear remarks from the president and to honor outstanding service on the part of faculty and staff.

In his convocation remarks, Smith is expected to introduce the theme “Engage Excellence” as a call to renew the university’s commitment to become a place of excellence so that greater success may be possible in all areas of its mission: patient care, education, research and service. Smith says SUNY Upstate is poised to reach new heights by “engaging excellence” and building on its existing foundation of accomplishment.

Smith’s appointment as president of SUNY Upstate became effective Sept. 1.

Smith comes to SUNY Upstate by way of Texas, where he served as chancellor of Texas Tech University and Texas Commissioner of Health. As chancellor of Texas Tech University (July 2001 to February 2006), he developed a strategic plan with a student-based focus that included an accountability scorecard for the System. Under his leadership, the Texas Tech System launched, in 2004, an aggressive five-year $450 million academic and research initiative designed to garner and invest resources in three critical areas: people, technology and facilities.

Prior to serving as chancellor, Smith served for more than five years as president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and dean of the School of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. During his tenure as president, more than $150 million was secured from fundraising to improve the academic and research enterprise of the Health Sciences Center; the faculty was expanded; and federally funded research tripled. Before his service at Texas Tech University, Smith served for five years as the commissioner of the Texas Department of Health, an agency with a $7 billion annual operating budget. From 1989 to 1992, he served as the senior vice president of Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, and as the chief executive officer and Medical Director of Parkland’s Community Oriented Primary Care Program.

A native of Ohio, Smith received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He completed his pediatric residency and chief residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 1985. Smith has served on numerous local and national boards throughout his career. In 1996 he was the recipient of the American Medical Association’s Dr. Nathan Davis Award, the organization’s highest award for outstanding public service. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Board of Trustees for the March of Dimes in White Plains, N.Y. and, in January 2005, he began his tenure on the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC).

Smith succeeds Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D., who stepped down June 1 after serving as president since 1993.

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