Royce Smith

Royce Smith ’96 is stepping down as Montana State University’s dean of College of Arts and Architecture at the end of the semester to return to the classroom.

Smith, who joined MSU as dean in 2016, plans to return to teaching within the college’s School of Art. 

Prior to joining MSU, Smith was director of art history at Wichita State University, according to a news release. In addition to serving as an associate professor at Wichita State, he has had teaching appointments at the University of South Wales-Sydney and the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

He also served as one of the first U.S. professors to teach at the Instituto Superior de Artes national arts school in Havana, Cuba. His scholarly interests focus on modern and contemporary art history with an emphasis on South America.

At MSU, Smith has strongly advocated for the role of arts and creativity in land-grant universities and making the arts a part of everyday culture at the university. That included shepherding a creative project to incorporate pieces of art into MSU’s parking garage.

As dean, Smith developed international partnerships between MSU and the city of Curitiba, Brazil, including student and faculty participation and curricular activities in the Curitiba Biennial of International Art and the Instituto de Pesquisa e Planejamento Urbano de Curitiba.

“It has been my pleasure to work with Dean Smith and I am encouraged that he will be staying with MSU as a faculty member in the College of Arts and Architecture, where he will continue to help our students succeed in their academic pursuits,” said Robert Mokwa, MSU provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs.

Smith holds a doctorate in art history from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, a master’s degree in English from Purdue University and a bachelor’s from Wabash College. While at Wabash, he doubled majored in humanities and fine arts, and English with specialization in education. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha, The Bachelor, Hispanic Society, Spanish Club, Speakers Bureau, and the Student Senate Activities Committee.