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News of Mike Howard

May 7, 2019

Dear staff and faculty:

I am writing to share news about Mike Howard, Smith’s executive vice president for finance and administration, who has accepted a new position as executive vice president of Tufts University, effective July 1. In his new role, he will oversee finance and operations for all of Tufts' undergraduate and graduate programs and schools, including the schools of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine. I am comforted somewhat by the fact that Mike will be a leader at my alma mater, where he will offer the same extraordinary service he has given to Smith for the past four and a half years. At the same time, I am sad to lose such a talented and dedicated colleague. My Cabinet and I will miss him greatly.

I am grateful for the myriad ways Mike has strengthened Smith College since arriving in December 2014. Mike has been a strategic leader who has  transformed the way we do business across the college, with transparency, collaboration and good humor as his guiding principles. During his time with us, Mike has led our financial sustainability initiative; co-chaired the Study Group on Climate Change; provided oversight for critical facilities projects, including Neilson Library; led our enterprise risk management strategic plan; and supported VP Samantha Earp with our ongoing, significant IT transformation project. These initiatives and many others position Smith well for the future.

I have appointed David DeSwert, associate vice president for finance, to serve as interim vice president for finance and administration. Since coming to Smith in 2007, David has overseen the college’s annual operating and capital budgets and has played a key role in financial planning. He brings skill and experience in financial analysis, planning and forecasting and has served as an important thought partner to Mike and the other members of my Cabinet.

I will host a reception from 3–4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at the Conference Center, so that we can recognize Mike for his many contributions to our community. In the meantime, please join me in thanking him for all he has done for Smith and wishing him the best in his new role.


Kathleen McCartney