Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, Ph.D.
Dr. Alicia B. Harvey-Smith has dedicated more than 25 years to higher education in a variety of leadership and administrative roles. Committed to leadership excellence, institutional performance and student success, she is a scholar-practitioner, whose experience in higher education is both diverse and expansive.
Appointed the fourth President/CEO of Pittsburgh Technical College (PTC), a private, non-profit, regionally accredited college with more than 30 degree and certificate programs on a beautiful 180-acre campus in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, in April 2019, Dr. Harvey-Smith is the first African-American to hold this post.
She made an immediate impact on PTC through partnerships with higher education organizations and associations within the Pittsburgh region and the state. Based on her transformational accomplishments at PTC, Dr. Harvey-Smith has been recognized with many regional awards and recognitions. In 2021, the Pittsburgh Technology Council named Dr. Harvey-Smith the Tech 50 CEO of the Year and honored PTC as the Tech 50 Innovator of the Year. Dr. Harvey-Smith also was named as one of ‘Pittsburgh’s Smart 50’ award recipients in 2021, an honor reserved for top executives of the 50 smartest companies in the Greater Pittsburgh Region for their ability to effectively build and lead successful organizations. She was named a 2019 Woman of Influence by the Pittsburgh Business Times, Woman of Excellence from the New Pittsburgh Courier, Woman of Achievement by Cribs for Kids and the Black History Achievement Award from the Pastors’ Wives Auxiliary.
A prolific author, Dr. Harvey-Smith has published numerous scholarly articles, and has authored several books, the most recent being Higher Education on the Brink: Reimagining Strategic Enrollment Management in Colleges and Universities, published in 2022 by Rowman & Littlefield. She frequently serves as an expert panelist for in-person and virtual higher education conferences and recently hosted her own webinar focused on re-imagining the future of higher education, particularly in a post-pandemic environment.
Dr. Harvey-Smith was instrumental in leading PTC through a pandemic, requiring campus closure and a thoughtful and purposeful repopulation focused on the health and wellbeing of the campus community as well as the students’ educational needs. She further added stability to the college by working with the Office of Institutional Advancement to garner more than $1 million in grants in less than one year.
Other initiatives Dr. Harvey-Smith has spearheaded for PTC include piloting the college’s 75th anniversary celebrations, creating the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and establishing the Pittsburgh Technical College Corporate College, which provides standard and customized workforce development training solutions for individuals and businesses in diverse industries and populations. She also was instrumental in the formation of a student health and wellness center with a special focus on mental health awareness, the examination of converting from a quarter to a semester academic system and increasing access to education to underserved and underrepresented populations.
Believing in the transformational power of education, systems thinking and the importance of intentionality, Dr. Harvey-Smith strives to connect educational systems in this pursuit. As a thought-leader in both the learning college and student success movements, Dr. Harvey-Smith originated The Seventh Learning College Principle, a model of transformational change that directs attention to the creation and nurturance of cultures that are both open and responsive to change and learning.
Her expertise in executive leadership development, teaching and learning excellence, corporate training and development, strategic planning and public/private partnership development enables her to comprehensively position organizations for extraordinary success. In 2021, Dr. Harvey-Smith hosted the inaugural President’s Executive Advisory Council with more than 50 influential regional leaders and executives throughout business and government to address workforce development changes. She also signed the college’s first MBA Fast Track partnership with West Liberty University to expand post-graduate opportunities for PTC students. She is developing a re-imagined Strategic Enrollment Management Model that includes diversifying alternative revenue generation for improved institutional sustainability and growth. Dr. Harvey-Smith has staked a claim on the future with excellence, innovation and transformational partnerships with business and industry and a myriad of organizations and institutions.
Early in her tenure at PTC, Dr. Harvey-Smith established three key priorities and six strategic directions as a guide for strategic planning and decision making. Working with an inclusive team of college employees, she developed a five-year plan incorporating these strategies to lead the college in its growth and development. Her focus is on positioning PTC as a college of first choice for technical and trades education and jobs of the future, becoming a pipeline to middle skills careers and fueling economic development.
During her career, Dr. Harvey-Smith has served in a variety of senior-level positions in higher education, including president, vice president, dean and executive director. Prior to assuming the helm of Pittsburgh Technical College, she served as the Executive Vice Chancellor of Lone Star College in Houston, TX, one of the largest college systems in the country, serving 99,000 students annually. Previously, she served as the President and CEO of River Valley Community College in Claremont, NH, where she was, again, the first African-American to hold the post. Dr. Harvey-Smith holds a B.S. from Morgan State University where she was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, a MS.ED. from The Johns Hopkins University, a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland School of Education as well as a certificate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
*Showcases graduates from 2019 classes. Data includes those who were available for work and were offered and/or received career search assistance from 1/1/2019-3/30/2020. Includes full-time, part-time, or freelance positions. Visit ptcollege.edu/employmentstats to learn more.