Dr. Randy Smith is the new President at Sisseton Wahpeton College. Dr. Smith has been involved in higher education for over twenty-two years. He also serves as the president of the largest organization of rural and tribal colleges in the United States, the Rural Community College Alliance. His research interests include leadership in higher education and recruitment and retention of students at tribal and rural colleges. Randy is a regular presenter at state and national conferences on the topics of leadership in higher education and student recruitment and retention at two-year colleges, and workforce and economic development in rural communities. He has testified in front of committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate as an expert on issues regarding community colleges. He was an invited participant to the White House Summit on Community Colleges. He served as a member of the 21st Century Community College Commission that was charged with developing a long-term strategic plan for community colleges nationally. He also facilitated the first ever Memorandum of Understanding between a higher education organization and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Recently, he facilitated the inclusion of rural community, technical and tribal colleges in the 2014 Farm Bill, the first time rural colleges have been specifically included in federal legislation. Randy received a three-year appointment from the Obama Administration to the America’s College Promise Advisory Board. His true passion is helping colleges retain students to completion, and he has developed training programs to assist colleges in all aspects of enrollment management. This includes a special program assisting tribal colleges with Native American Male student retention. Randy also developed a Board Training Program entitled Roles and Responsibilities for Boards of Trustees and teaches this program across the Nation.
Randy serves on dissertation committees and enjoys helping graduate students do research on rural colleges and enrollment management and leadership. He serves on the program advisory committee for the Mississippi State University Ph.D. program in Community College Leadership and the University of Texas program advisory committee for the Ph.D. program in Higher Education Leadership.
Randy enjoys serving in the community and has held several positions including board chairman for a rural county hospital district, volunteer fire fighter and paramedic, member of a municipal police commission, boy scout troop committee chairman, and board member for the Southwest Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is a certified law enforcement officer and is an active reserve deputy sheriff in Hughes County Oklahoma. He served as a judge for the Miss Rodeo America Pageant in Las Vegas in 2013 and he currently coaches rodeo queens and contestants from across the Nation. Daughter Emily was a 2014 Miss Rodeo Oklahoma State Titleholder.
Randy holds a B.A. in Political Science, an M.S. in Emergency Health Services Administration, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership. He also completed the Educators’ Leadership Academy at the University of Central Oklahoma.
He is married to Tricia who is a music teacher for the Holdenville, OK public schools. The family operates a cow/calf operation near Holdenville, Oklahoma. Randy is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma. He enjoys working with horses, ranching, playing sports and all outdoor activities.