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 4th President/CEO of Pittsburgh Technical College (PTC), a private, non-profit, regionally accredited college on a beautiful 180-acre campus in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, in April 2019, Dr. Harvey-Smith, the first African-American to hold this post, is proud of the College’s history of student success spanning seventy-five years and its consistency in maintaining one of the nation’s highest in-field placement rates of over 95%*. Opening in 1946 as a single-discipline career training institution, Pittsburgh Technical College has grown to ten academic schools with more than thirty degree and certificate programs, including bachelor’s degrees.
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. 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.
Dr. Harvey-Smith made an immediate impact on PTC through partnerships with higher education organizations and associations within the Pittsburgh region and the state. Her work has been acknowledged through multiple awards and recognitions including a nomination as CEO of the Year from the Pittsburgh Technology Council, 2020 Woman of Excellence and 2019 Woman of Influence from 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 Pastor’s Wives Auxiliary. She has published numerous scholarly articles, served as an expert panelist for several webinars and hosted her own webinar event focused on re-imagining the future of higher education, particularly post-pandemic. Her leadership with the Office of Institutional Advancement has helped the college garner more than $1 million in grants in less than one year.
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 is piloting PTC in its 75th anniversary celebrations, development of its first mascot, creation of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, expansion of Corporate College division, formation of a student health and wellness center with a special focus on mental health awareness, 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 provides her a unique set of skills to comprehensively position organizations for extraordinary success.
In the course of 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.
*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.