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Kathryn Smith begins tenure as College of the Redwoods president

Kathryn Smith began as the new president/superintendent of College of the Redwoods on May 14, 2012 after being offered the position by CR's Board of Trustees in March 2012.

College of the Redwoods is a 7,000-student California community college in the far northwest corner of California. CR's service area encompasses all or parts of four rural California counties. The main campus is located in Eureka, Calif.

Prior to coming to CR, Smith served at Mendocino College in Ukiah, Calif., from 2003 to May 2012. There she was the vice president of academic affairs for two years and served as the president/superintendent of the college from 2005 to May 2012.

CR Board of Trustees President Colleen Mullery said, "The Board is confident that Kathy will provide strong leadership and direction for the CR District during a critical time in its history. Kathy's successful tenure as president of a rural college for seven years gives her deep experience and a rich perspective that should prove invaluable as the college envisions its future during these rapidly changing times for higher education."

Smith said, "I am truly honored to be selected as CR's president. Having worked for the last nine years in a district adjacent to CR, I am well aware of the stellar reputation of CR's faculty and staff."

For nine years she has been involved with the North State Rural Community College Association, of which CR is also a member. As the longest-sitting president of this northern California group, Lehner is currently serving as its chair. She also represents the northern colleges on the statewide Chief Executive Officers of California Community Colleges, the group representing all California community college presidents and chancellors.

Smith has established a positive relationship with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). She successfully led Mendocino College through a comprehensive accreditation self-study. She has served as a team leader for three ACCJC college accreditation visits.

Smith earned a bachelor's degree in accounting at the University of Kansas and a master of business administration (MBA) at the University of New Mexico.

Prior to coming to Mendocino College, Ms. Smith worked for 11 years at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colo. At Pikes Peak she worked in a variety of positions, including associate vice president for educational services, dean of the division of business education and military programs, and as an accounting faculty member for two years.

Smith has worked as certified public accountant from 1978 to the present and worked in the private sector as a CPA for more than 10 years.