Dr. Mark Smith is the President of Columbia International University, a growing university in South Carolina. He previously served as President of Ohio Christian University for 12 years, where he led a team of experts in growing the University from 380 to more than 4,700 students and helped fund $30 million in facilities. He has served on the ABHE Board, Columbus 2020, and currently serves on the ELEOS Corporate Board.

Dr. Smith was appointed by former Governor Kasich to the Ohio State Board of Education and is currently serving on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, appointed by Governor McMaster.

He has a B.A. from Hobe Sound Bible College, a M.S. from Northeastern State University, and graduated from West Virginia University with a Doctorate in Education Administration. Dr. Smith completed Harvard University’s Institute of Educational Management for Executive Management. He and his wife Debbie have two children.

“Simplicity is key in leadership.”

In this week’s interview, Dr. Smith discusses his emphasis on Christian faith in education, outlines key skills every student should receive in school, and talks about how an individual can influence the education system through good leadership practices.

“Simplicity is key in leadership,” Dr. Smith shares. He believes that often, schools focus on too many special interest programs rather than putting primary effort into basics like reading, math, critical thinking, creativity, and technology.

In his many roles in education leadership nationwide, he’s also seeing a trend of more and more families flocking to private and Christian education.

Finally, he touches on ways parents and other passionate citizens can develop their leadership qualities if they want a say in today’s education system. He recommends a habit of daily reading, as well as annually investing in even just one or two seminars, conferences, workshops, or other learning opportunities. Not only does continual learning help prepare people for leadership, but many group settings can provide networking opportunities to work together with others to further education goals.

Click here to watch the whole interview playlist with Dr. Mark Smith, or select one of the short clips below to jump to a specific topic:

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Note from the Editor: We thank all our contributors for their insights and expertise. However, the views of guest authors or interviewees are not necessarily those of Noah Webster Educational Foundation.

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