President Clif Smart
Clifton M. “Clif” Smart III is beginning his third year as the leader of Missouri State University. He was named interim president on June 27, 2011, and served in that role until he was named the 11th president of Missouri State University on Oct. 16, 2012, after a nationwide search. He served as the University’s general counsel from December 2007 until being named interim president.
As general counsel from 2007-11, Smart provided legal counsel to the Board, president, faculty, staff and administrators. He also was involved in many campus-wide initiatives, including leading the university response to the state auditor’s report on Missouri State; serving on the JQH Arena Task Force; developing a comprehensive on-line policy library for the university; and chairing or serving on a variety of searches: vice president for diversity and inclusion, chief financial officer (twice), director of admissions, director of human resources and men’s basketball coach.
Smart joined The Strong Law Firm in 1992. He was a shareholder in the firm from 1995-2007 and vice president since 1998. In his 15 years with the firm, his practice consisted primarily of representing individuals and entities in catastrophic injury, medical malpractice and commercial cases.
Smart was selected to the panel of three applicants submitted to the governor for the vacant Missouri Supreme Court positions in 2002 and 2004. In February 2009, he was elected for a five-year term as one of the two lawyer members of the 31st Circuit Judicial Commission.
Smart was listed in Best Lawyers in America for 2007-08 in the fields of product liability, personal injury and professional negligence.
Prior to joining The Strong Law Firm, Smart worked for two years with the firm of Wright, Lindsey & Jennings in Little Rock, Ark. From 1986-90, he was with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. in Ft. Knox, Ky.
Smart and his wife, Gail, have two sons: Murray, who along with his wife, Amy, both graduated in 2012 from Southwest Baptist University and live in Rogers, Ark., with their daughter, Addy; and Jim, a junior at Hamilton College in New York.
Over the past two years under Smart, Missouri State has made significant progress in a number of areas:
Student learning – new programs have been added, including:
The number of online courses has increased dramatically and the number of remote sites has increased.
Partnerships/collaborations – these have increased and been enhanced with two-year institutions, including:
and other four-year institutions (including the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program with the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which will begin in the fall of 2014).
Facilities – a number of projects have been completed, are in process or are planned: