Orange County Declares November 2 Dean Mike Smith Day


At the November 1 meeting of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, the board declared November 2, 2022, “Dean Mike Smith Day” in the county. The declaration was made by a proclamation acknowledging Black-smith and his dedication to improving North Carolina communities.

This unique honor comes as Smith prepares to resign of the deanship after a formidable 30-year career at the head of the UNC School of Government. He is one of the oldest deans in modern Carolina history. Under his leadership, the school became the largest and most comprehensive local government academic training, consulting, and research organization in the United States.

The proclamation recognizes Smith as leaving behind “a legacy as one of the University’s greatest champions of public service.”

Read the full text of the proclamation below:



WHEREAS Michael R. “Mike” Smith became a faculty member of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute of Government in 1978 and became its director in 1992; and

WHEREAS, when the Institute of Government became known as the School of Government in 2001, Mike Smith was appointed Dean and has held that position continuously since then, becoming one of the longest serving Deans in the University history; and

WHEREAS, Dean Mike Smith facilitated the successful transition of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program to the school in 1997 and helped launch the fully online MPA degree in 2013, quadrupling the number of students served; and

WHEREAS, through Dean Smith’s leadership in raising legislative and private funds, the Knapp-Sanders Building, home of the School of Government, was renovated and expanded in 2004; and

WHEREAS, Dean Smith has expanded the School’s capacity to serve by offering programs in public technology, public leadership and governance, environmental finance, development finance, data-driven policy, and criminal justice; and

WHEREAS, under the leadership of Dean Smith, the School of Government has become the largest and most comprehensive academic local government training, consulting, and research organization in the United States; and

WHEREAS, in 2006, Dean Smith was named Vice Chancellor for Public Service and Engagement, leading the response to UNC Tomorrow, an initiative to make the University of North Carolina system more responsive to the needs of the state; and

WHEREAS, during his tenure, Dean Smith was a force behind some of the University’s most significant public outreach efforts within the state, including the Carolina Center for Public Service, the Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars Program, the Carolina Engagement Council and the Tar Heel Bus Tour; and

WHEREAS, Dean Smith exemplifies the School of Government’s values ​​of neutrality, nonrepresentation, and responsiveness in its mission to improve state and local government for all North Carolina residents; and

WHEREAS, by stepping down as Dean at the end of 2022, Dean Smith leaves a legacy as one of the University’s greatest champions of public service;

NOW THEREFORE, the Orange County Board of Commissioners, on behalf of the people of Orange County, do hereby proclaim Wednesday, November 2, 2022 as


in recognition of his years of exemplary service as Dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government, and in recognition of his commitment to improving North Carolina communities through his professionalism and leadership in government.

This on November 1, 2022.

Renee Price, President
Orange County Board of Commissioners


About Author

Comments are closed.