A 30-year veteran of the Kansas City Star joins the School of Journalism as the first Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism. Randy Smith will hold the position made possible by a $2 million gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named.
Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it has committed more than $92 million to its National Journalism Initiative in the United States.
Smith's appointment allows for the expansion of business journalism classes for undergraduate and master's students, including the school's online master's program. Smith also will work closely with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, a world-class center for the research and testing of new models of journalism.
"We can no longer be content to simply cover business. We must be active in inventing the business models of the future," Smith said. "My goal is to put students at the forefront of strengthening the financial fundamentals of journalism. And to do that, you've got to understand business, particularly your own."
Smith earned his bachelor's of journalism degree from the University of Missouri in 1974. He began his career at the Kansas City Star in 1979 and has worked on both the news and business sides. Smith started as a copy editor, rising to the positions of business editor and deputy managing editor, and most recently, to director of strategic development.
"We are delighted to have Randy Smith as the first Reynolds Chair," said Dean Mills, dean of the School of Journalism. "He brings not only decades of experience in journalism but also invaluable hands-on experience in the business of journalism. That experience will enrich immeasurably the teaching and training programs he develops at Missouri."
Smith has served in various professional journalism organizations, including the Society of American Business Writers and Editors. He has also been a member of several award-winning newsrooms. Additionally, Smith received the Faculty-Alumni Award in 2005, the Mizzou Alumni Association's highest award.
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