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Alumnus Smith to lead University’s public safety department

June 11, 2015
By cnp
Posted in Alumni

Cyrus Smith, a 2006 graduate of University of the Ozarks, has been named the University's new director of public safety.

He replaces Jeannette Willis, who retired from the position in June.

Smith has worked as an investigative specialist with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in San Antonio, Texas, since 2010. He will begin his new duties at Ozarks on July 1.

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Cyrus Smith, a 2006 graduate of U of O, has been named the new director of public safety at the University.

A native of Jackson, Miss., Smith earned a degree in communications and was a member of the soccer team while at Ozarks. He later went on to earn a master’s degree in college student personnel from Arkansas Tech University.

Smith held several positions at Ozarks from 2006 to 2008, including assistant men’s soccer coach, resident director, residence life coordinator and coordinator of multicultural programs.

"This is a homecoming for me," said Smith. "I have family in Kansas City and Jackson, so I wanted to be closer to them, but the main reason is I wanted to come back home to Ozarks. This is a special place for me and I consider it home. Some of the faces have changed since I was here, but the atmosphere is still the same. I love this campus and what it did for me and I wanted to be a part of it again."

Smith, who also served as residence life coordinator at West Virginia Wesleyan College from 2008-2009, said working on a college campus again was exciting.

"My master’s degree is in college personnel, so this where I feel like I belong," he said. "I’m looking forward to building relationships and assisting in the development of college students. The faculty and staff at Ozarks helped me tremendously during my time here and I want to be that same kind of influence on today’s college students."

As the University’s chief law enforcement officer, Smith will oversee all security operations as well as serve as the risk manager and safety and hazardous manager. He will also administer the University’s emergency preparedness plan.

Smith said his goal is to build a "strong, positive and professional" department of public safety at Ozarks.

"We want the entire campus community to feel safe, but we also want them to feel like they can come and talk to us before there’s an issue," Smith said. "I want to have an open door policy where students feel comfortable coming in and talking to me about anything.