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Karl Smith named VP of Student Affairs at TCC

Tacoma Community College is pleased to announce that Karl Smith is the new Vice President of Student Affairs. Reporting to the TCC President, Smith will begin his new position July 1, 2020. This position provides the vision and leadership for the college’s enrollment management processes, student recruitment, admission, retention and success, in a collaborative and equitable manner.

“TCC is the center of education in Tacoma,” Smith said. “It serves so many people from all walks of life. All of our goals are connected to the pursuit of education. It’s amazing to be part of it, and I’m looking forward to partnering with the TCC team.”

Smith “stumbled” into higher education after finishing the master’s in teaching program at the University of Washington and deciding to take a year off from teaching. His professional career started in 2001 on the frontlines of admissions recruiting as the African American Outreach Coordinator for the University of Washington Seattle, serving the Tacoma community. A gap year turned into a life-long passion. Through hard work, innovation, a data-informed approach, and a student-centered philosophy, a career on the frontlines turned into 19 years of progressive service in public higher education.

Smith will join TCC after having served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services /Director of Admission at the University of Washington Tacoma (UW Tacoma). Before this position, Smith served in a number of positions at UW Tacoma and UW, including Co-Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Associate Director for Recruitment and Admissions, Director for Outreach and Recruitment and Assistant Director for the Office of Minority of Affairs. Smith has TCC teaching roots as well, as he served as a SAT Preparation Instructor from 2008-2012.

“We are so fortunate to have Karl join our team,” said Ivan L. Harrell, II, Ph.D., President of TCC. “He knows Tacoma, and he knows our students. His vast expertise about the student experience will be a wonderful addition for us. Karl’s collaborative, knowledgeable and self-described ‘patient’ style fits in well with our campus community and will guide us to a positive and successful future.”

Throughout his career, Smith has found success in increasing enrollment. He was effective in increasing underrepresented minority enrollment at UW Seattle and has been equally effective in increasing enrollment at UW Tacoma. He said he looks forward to applying his knowledge at TCC, while learning more about the college’s culture, students and goals.

“At TCC, there is a commitment from leadership all the way to students, staff and faculty to be innovative and creative and not seek cookie-cutter approaches to the problems of our society,” Smith said. “TCC is willing to change and pursue different approaches to not only increase the number of students, but to increase the numbers of students who graduate from TCC.”

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