Rollins

Smaw Selected as an ACS Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow

January 26, 2023

By Stephanie Rizzo ’09

Professor Eric Smaw
Photo by Scott Cook.

The appointment will enable philosophy professor Eric Smaw to serve as Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), where he will oversee ongoing diversity initiatives for the College.

Philosophy professor Eric Smaw has been selected by the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) as an ACS Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow. This embedded, two-year fellowship recognizes outstanding humanities faculty who are transforming academic administration demographics while centering the humanities. The program, supported by a $1.5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, seeks to provide additional leadership experience to the cohort of selected faculty fellows with the aim of creating more diversity, equity, and inclusion opportunities at ACS colleges and beyond.

“The ACS Mellon Leadership Fellowship combines leadership training, mentoring, and hands-on leadership experiences with special projects that are unique to the institution where the fellow works,” explains Smaw. “I’m proud to be the ACS Mellon Leadership Fellow at Rollins. Among other things, I will have the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of the DEI competency in the general education curriculum.”

For the next two years, Smaw will serve as Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) as they begin implementation of DEIB strategic priorities. Working closely with Rollins’ strategic planning core group, strategic planning stewardship group, academic administrative leaders, and faculty across campus, Smaw will be a key facilitator of the College’s mission to become a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive community where everyone experiences a sense of belonging.

Smaw brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, having chaired the Faculty Affairs Committee and recently having led a strategic planning effort to create a faculty-approved compensation philosophy. He also serves as the chair of the Faculty Research and Development Committee as well as the Department of Philosophy and has been crucial to the development of critical-race-theory courses at Rollins. He also serves as the director for Rollins’ pre-law program and is the long-standing faculty advisor for the College’s award-winning debate team.

“Professor Smaw will provide daily attention to supporting implementation and tracking our progress on the academic elements of our blueprint to become a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive community where everyone experiences a sense of belonging,” says Susan Singer, vice president for academic affairs and provost. “The constellation of Professor Smaw’s background and our strategic DEIB work will allow the College to advance further and faster.”


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