New Levels of Success

IDSA Member Bret Smith Rises to New Roles

Sep 15 2016 - 8:49am

Former IDSA Board Member Bret Smith, IDSA—interim associate dean of academic affairs and international programs in Auburn University's College of Architecture, Design and Construction (CADC)—has been named the director of interdisciplinary studies and associate director of the University College.

"I'm honored and excited to be appointed to this position," says Smith. "I see Auburn continuing to distinguish itself by strengthening its collective intellectual DNA, and the interdisciplinary studies program represents one avenue to do so. I am looking forward to working with faculty, students and staff to achieve new levels of success."

Smith will provide leadership, vision and administrative oversight for all aspects of the bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary university studies. "Bret Smith's experience as a designer, educator and administrator will give him a unique perspective that will allow the University College to seize opportunities to best serve the students of Auburn University," says Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Director of University College Constance Relihan.

As interim associate dean of CADC, Smith played an important role in the establishment of its first, formal recruitment office; elevated and streamlined student services; facilitated the development of the college-wide career placement office; and oversaw more than a dozen international partnerships.

Smith has served on Auburn faculty for more than 30 years. In 2009, he was named the first recipient of the Bauhaus Endowed Chair in Industrial Design. He's a tenured professor of industrial design in CADC who served from 2008-13 as the chair of the industrial design program in the School of Industrial + Graphic Design. Smith was selected as an SEC Leadership Fellow in 2014-15.

He's been a member of IDSA since 1985. Smith served as a District VP on IDSA's Board of Directors in the mid-1990s. He was honored for "extreme volunteerism" by IDSA for creating an industrial design history website, and serving as chair of IDSA's Design History Special Interest Section. Most recently, he was a member of the committee that announced IDSA's 50 Notable Members in INNOVATION magazine.   

From Purdue University, Smith earned a BS in industrial education and industrial technology (magna cum laude); a master of arts in English; and a master of arts in industrial design.