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Columbia International University president resigns over health concerns

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Mark A. Smith, the president of Columbia International University, has resigned  due to prolonged health issues.

The university’s board of trustees accepted the Feb. 9 resignation letter from Smith, according to a news release.

Rick Christman, who was named CIU’s acting president in December, will continue in that role. He now has the title of interim president, according to the release.

Christman (Photo/Provided)

The board of trustees is meeting in late April and is in the process of forming a search committee for CIU’s next president.

During Smith’s five years in leadership, CIU experienced record enrollment and now has 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students, many of them taking part in growing online programs, according to the release. Academic offerings also increased during his tenure, including the addition of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and an online RN to BSN program.

Smith also was responsible for improvements to CIU facilities, overseeing the construction of the William H. Jones Center that houses the nursing program and the Cook School of Business. He also developed the university’s office of spiritual formation.

Prior to being named Interim President, Christman spent three years as executive vice president at CIU. He came to Columbia from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn., where he served as an academic dean and associate vice president for the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. 




Reach Christina Lee Knauss at 803-753-4327.

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