RIO GRANDE, OH – (Oct. 3, 2019) – The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College has appointed Ryan Smith as its new president. Smith, former state representative and speaker of the Ohio House, will assume the role on October 14, 2019.
The hiring of Smith was approved by the University of Rio Grande’s board of trustees on Sept. 18 and by Rio Grande Community College’s board of trustees on Sept. 26.
“We are very happy to have Mr. Smith on board and believe that his experience and dedication to our region is going to help propel Rio forward,” said Chairman of the University of Rio Grande Board of Trustees Bob Foster. “One of his greatest strengths is the long list of contacts and connections he brings with him from his work in the State. He also brings strong leadership experience that benefit the university in many ways. This is an exciting time for Rio!”
The Joint Board Commission and Boards of Trustees for the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College worked together during the selection and hiring process.
“Mr. Smith brings a passion for education and a unique skill set based on his vast experiences,” said Chairman of the Rio Grande Community College Board of Trustees Paul Reed. “His strong financial background can help Rio in our desire for financial stability while his political background showcases his ability to effectively collaborate, negotiate and work together with a diverse group of people.”
Smith is a lifelong resident of Gallia County and graduate of Gallia Academy High School. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in finance and his wife of 20 years, Vicki, graduated from the University of Rio Grande with a nursing degree. They have four children together. Smith served on the Gallipolis City Schools School Board during the successful Red Dot levy campaign and has been a state representative for the 93rd district of Ohio since 2012. He has served as Speaker of the House and Chair of the House Finance Committee.