From the President, re: New Leadership at Southern

March 31, 2023

Dear Southern Community,

As I mentioned recently, the CSCU System Office has been working to identify a candidate for the interim presidency at Southern. I’m very pleased to inform you that Dr. Dwayne Smith, the current Chief Executive Officer of Housatonic Community College, has been appointed to this role, commencing June 1.

I’ve become well acquainted with Dr. Smith during his nearly three years at the helm of Housatonic, and I’m pleased to say that he will bring with him many attributes that will be a perfect fit for Southern. With almost 40 years of leadership at public and private universities, he has a proven track record in enrollment management, curriculum development, strategic planning and external fundraising – all areas of priority at our institution.

As an adherent to the transformative power of higher education, Dr. Smith is dedicated to student access and success. And his professional commitment to equity mirrors our mission of social justice here at Southern.

As Housatonic CEO, he has been extensively engaged in the community, establishing more than 20 institutional partnerships with local organizations and companies. One was a 2022 collaboration that allows Housatonic students to earn a Southern Bachelor of Science Degree in Healthcare Studies without leaving the Bridgeport-based campus.

I’m confident that Dr. Smith’s energy, experience and vision will continue to move Southern forward, coupled with the talent and smarts that are so evident throughout our extended community. I will work closely with him in the coming months to help ensure a smooth transition before I depart for Stockton University July 1.  I look forward to joining you in welcoming Dr. Smith to campus later this semester.


Joe Bertolino