A portrait of Erika J. Smith

Erika J. Smith

Dean of the College

Dr. Erika J. Smith has served as Dean of Academic Services at Brandeis University since July 2016. In this capacity, she has led, managed, and grown an integrated and student-centered team of 28 full-time and 8 part-time professional staff, as well as over 100 student workers who support student success by coordinating and providing resources in first-year and pre-major faculty advising, pre-health and academic fellowships advising, peer and staff-provided academic advising, accessibility services; and cohort-based programs for first generation and low-income students at Brandeis. Dr. Smith has led her team in clarifying their mission, in making processes and committees more inclusive of a variety of voices, and in shaping a welcoming physical environment that better supports the office’s functions. She believes that all students have their own expression of success, and that with an effective team, students can be supported in reaching that realization, and driving their lives, aspirations and goals further than they knew to aspire.

Dr. Smith’s tenure at Brandeis, which began in 2000, has also included appointments as a research assistant at the Heller Graduate School's Center for Youth and Communities, a mentor for the Posse program (a merit leadership scholarship program that sends groups of students to top-tier colleges and universities), a research analyst for the Office of Planning and Institutional Research, a lecturer at the Heller Graduate School for Social Policy and Management, and a university ombudswoman. Dr. Smith has also contributed to the campus community through her service on the campus Care Team, the Title IX Task Force, the Committee in Support of Teaching, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and the campus Kindness Day Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, and has previously served on the Boards of Directors for Summer Search and Posse Boston.

Dr. Smith has completed training with the ACE Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Program, the International Ombudsman Association, and Mental Health First Aid. A $25K technology fund supporting students in the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program was established and named in her honor in 2019. Dr. Smith earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University, where she matriculated as a Posse Scholar, a master of education in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a master’s and Ph.D. in Social Policy from Brandeis’ Heller School for Social Policy and Management.