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5/10/06...Contact: Director of Media Relations Jack Jeffery at 740-597-1793 or, or Media Relations Coordinator Jessica Stark at 740-597-2938 or UNIVERSITY NAMES KENT SMITH.VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS...ATHENS, Ohio ? Kent J. Smith, Jr., Ph.D., has been named vice president for student affairs at Ohio University, effective July 24. He will serve as a consultant prior to his official starting date. ..Smith is currently dean of students and chief student affairs officer at Auburn University (Ala.), a position he has held since January 2004. ..?I am very pleased that Dr. Kent Smith is joining Ohio University in this very important position,? Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis said. ?Kent has outstanding professional and personal qualities. He is well regarded as an energetic individual who connects with students and is a very strong leader. I look forward to having him as part of the Ohio University community and helping to enhance the exceptional educational experience for our students that is a hallmark of our university.? ..The mission of Ohio University's Division of Student Affairs is to prepare students to be responsible and contributing members of a diverse, global society by providing learning-centered environments, meaningful out-of-class opportunities, and professional support services that help them learn through their experiences and achieve academic success.  The vice president for student affairs oversees 13 departments, including Baker University Center, Judiciaries and Campus Life...?I am excited to join the group of student affairs leaders in building partnerships across campus to support an outstanding learning environment for students,? Smith said. ?I am honored to be named to this position and look forward to working with the students of Ohio University, who contribute to the life of the university.?..-MORE-.Smith has had a progressive career in student affairs. He was previously director of