Roland B. Smith Jr, Ed.D., MPA
Dr. Smith is associate provost and adjunct professor of sociology at Rice University. He Oversees the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and chairs Rice Council on Diversity and Inclusion. He continues to teach ethnographic research methods and mentor students while serving on the Graduate Council and Institutional Review Board. He is the principal investigator/coordinator for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program at Rice. He came to Rice from the University of Notre Dame, where he served as executive assistant to the president, concurrent associate professor of sociology and founding director of the Center for Educational Opportunity. He also served as a research intern in the United States Senate.
Dr. Smith served as a member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Congressional Commission and chair of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education. Giving back to his alma maters, he served on the Bowie State University Board of Visitors, the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs Alumni Advisory Board, and the Board of Directors for the Harvard Alumni Association.
He served as the charter president of the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education and as a board member for the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education. In Houston, he is a past board chair of the LifeGift Organ Donation Center He is past board chair of the Education Foundation of Harris County and past board president of the Center for Health and Faith Initiatives located in the Texas Medical Center. He is a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Born in Washington, DC, he holds a BA degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Bowie State University and a MPA degree from Indiana University. He holds an Ed.D degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he was elected to the Harvard Educational Review and served as a teaching fellow.