Monica M. Smith, DSW, IDI, ICS

Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

University of Wisconsin System

Monica M. Smith, DSW was appointed associate vice president for equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging at Universities of Wisconsin (system administration) in June 2023. She provides strategic leadership across the UWs constellation of thirteen universities.  Previous to this role Dr. Smith was the inaugural vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at Augustana College (IL). Her leadership led the institution to receive four Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Awards, recognition for innovations in STEM and commitment to a diverse workforce. The college also received Diverse Organization Impact and Transformation (DOIT) certification (2021) for cultivating a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus climate.

Dr. Smith’s experience includes broad-based leadership across multiple industries including higher education, k-12, healthcare, non-profit, government, and professional organizations. She has more than 20 years in higher education. Roles have included administration for faculty and student affairs, faculty teaching social work, social welfare and justice. She has extensive experience in assessment, strategic planning, policy analysis, budget and resource management, program development, recruitment, retention, talent management, curricular and co-curricular initiatives, assessment, accreditation, and compliance.

A clinically trained social worker, Smith is an advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, accessibility and justice. She owns Smith Consulting firm. She has presented to and worked with a variety of institutions including National Association of Social Workers, Council of Independent Colleges, Duke University, Temple University, Institute for Behavior Change, Genesis Health, and Boys and Girls Club.

She is a recipient of the 2021 Women of Influence Award presented at the 2021 ATHENA Leadership Awards from Women Lead Change, and the Sister Leader Award in the area of Diversity, Equity and Belonging (2022) by Sister Leaders. Dr. Smith enjoys community service and lends her talent to a variety of local and regional boards, state committees and national organizations. She is a member of American Association of University Women, The Links, Incorporated, Quad Cities (IL) Chapter, and a lifetime member of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She is the author of several publications, including a chapter in Called Beyond Ourselves (Oxford University Press, 2024).

Smith earned a doctorate in clinical social work and masters in social work from University of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate from Eastern University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in social work. She is a proud mother of three adult children and four grandchildren.