Meet our New Dean: A Student-Focused Professor
Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2010
Longtime IWP Professor Charles R. Smith, who has recently taken on the position of IWP's new Academic Dean, has been entrenched in the academic world for many years. He brings more than 35 years of classroom experience to his position as Dean -- 23 of them spent at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.
His classes on history and politics are known for being particularly engaging for his students, and he has received formal recognition for teaching excellence. At Marymount University, he was a final nominee for the Robert A. Draghi Outstanding Faculty Award for four of the six years that the award was in existence. In addition, he received a Robert A. Draghi Special Commendation for teaching and leadership for his work at a summer program focusing on American founding principles for rising high school seniors.
He was one of the founders of the honors program at Marymount, and helped craft an introductory honors seminar. This seminar, called "Quest," stressed the idea that liberal education is a quest for learning the truth about man and his relation to God and the universe. Prof. Smith was also a leading advocate of instituting a History major at Marymount. After directing three honors history theses at this school, two of his students won the history award in their years of graduation -- 2007 and 2008.
In addition, Prof. Smith has published numerous articles on Cold War political warfare. His article on the Cold War in the International Military and Defense Encyclopedia was used for over ten years for modern European history classes and in introductory international relations classes at the college and university level. He has also written articles on other defense, intelligence, and national security issues, and has two articles in an academic encyclopedia on the battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings. Prof. Smith is the author of numerous defense studies on combat effectiveness and the utilization of military history to increase combat effectiveness for the Historical Evaluation and Research Organization (HERO). Currently, his manuscript on "George Washington: Political Warrior and Statesman" is in progress.
At IWP, Prof. Smith teaches American Founding Principles and Foreign Policy, which is a required course for the Master of Arts in Strategic Intelligence Studies. The study of the American founding is valuable to all students of politics - whether they are American or not. A Platonist, Prof. Smith believes that:
"There is an objective truth about politics, and this truth exists independently of those who may participate in it. Any existing political order is a human attempt to approximate that order and truth. I think that the study of of American founding principles is necessary not just because of America's position in the world today (although that is also a compelling reason), but because the American experiment does a better job aspiring to truth in the realm of politics than any other previous political order."
He finds that, in recent years, there has actually been a renewed interest in the study of the American founding, and that IWP has taken a lead in this work.
While teaching and advising, Prof. Smith also supports student scholarships at IWP through his membership in IWP's 1947 Club. "I joined the 1947 Club because I believe in the raison d'être and educational philosophy of IWP, as well as the way in which this philosophy is being implemented. Financial contributions help bring this outstanding philosophy of graduate education to full fruition. Scholarships at IWP allow students to study the various arts of statecraft and their integration, and at the same time to realize that these principles need to be practiced ethically. The IWP education teaching allows students to approach the study of statecraft, as well as their professions, with an understanding of Judeo-Christian moral philosophy."
Of his new position as Dean, Prof. Smith observes that, "I see this position as Academic Dean as both an honor and a duty. I will do this job to the best of my ability." He will continue to teach while he serves as Academic Dean.
Prof. Smith hopes that his experience as a faculty mentor and student advisor will help him be a better Academic Dean. At Marymount, he guided a junior professor of politics through the process of achieving tenure. He looks forward to a collegial relationship with his fellow faculty members, and to fine-tuning the already excellent faculty structure. He also looks forward to discussing his ideas on shared governance and faculty advising at the first faculty meeting of the school year at the end of September.
Welcome Professor Smith!