Small College America Interviews Ryan Smith President of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College

Small College America speaks with Ryan Smith, President of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College in Ohio. He joined the institution as President in October 2019 after serving as an elected State Representative and the 103rd Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.
Joining us today is President Ryan Smith, President of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College. He joined the institution as President in October 2019. 
 
Ryan spent the first 23 years of his career working as a Vice President and partner with Smith financial advisors. In 2007 he was elected to the Gallipolis City School board, and in 2012 he won election to be State Representative for the 93rd District of Ohio.  He served as Finance Chairman and in 2018, Ryan was elected to serve as the 103rd Speaker of the Ohio House until stepping down from his post in October 2019. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a B. S. degree in Finance. His wife, Vicki, graduated from Rio Grande, and they are the proud parents of four children.

Questions include:
  • Tell our audience about the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College.  These are two separate institutions that have one President. Can you give our audience a brief history of your institution's profile of the students and programs offered? 
  • The University of Rio Grande is a private university and Rio Grande Community College is a public community college. They have separate boards and funding structures. Can you discuss with our audience about this unusual model and its advantages?  
  • For a small institution located in a rural region, Rio Grande has quite an intercollegiate athletic program. Tell us about the program and the students who participate. 
  • You do not come from a traditional path to become a university president. However, you have been a public servant first at the local school board and then the state legislature, where you served not only as a legislature but as Speaker of the House. Are they similar in any way, and what lessons in leadership you learned in public office are applicable in your current position?   
  • The school has been in the community since 1876. Can you tell us about the school’s involvement with the outside community meaning businesses and people in the region? 
  • A number of articles and people over the past years have questioned the viability and sustainability of smaller colleges and universities. Tell us why in your opinion, the value of small schools such as yours to higher education 
If you would like to comment on today’s show and suggest a future guest, please go to www.higherededwithoutborders.com Comments section.
Small College America Interviews Ryan Smith President of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College
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