Langston University: Yesterday, Today, Forever

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“Langston University: Yesterday, Today, Forever”


Established in 1897, Langston University is the only historically black institution of higher education in the state of Oklahoma. A four-year, state-supported, land-grant, regional institution, it has an average enrollment of approximately 3,000 students on campuses located in Langston, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City.

Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr. began his tenure as the 16th president of Langston University in 2012 and also serves as professor of education.

Dr. Smith has more than twenty years of progressive administrative experience in higher education. Under his leadership, Langston University has seen record highs in fundraising, admissions applications and freshman enrollment. He is committed to developing quality academic programs focused on retention and completion for all students, particularly those from underserved populations. A visionary and inclusive leader, Dr. Smith is passionate about collaboration with students to shape their learning environment in a holistic way.

Prior to leading Langston University, Dr. Smith served as the vice president for student affairs, chief student affairs officer, and assistant professor of education at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He is a former dean of students at Auburn University in Alabama, director of multicultural affairs at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and was an adjunct professor at Cleveland State University. While an adjunct professor of education at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, he served as assistant director of black student services.

Dr. Smith has been recognized as a leader within the state of Oklahoma and among his peers nationally in higher education. Dr. Smith currently serves as Chair of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Council of 1890 Presidents, representing 19 universities, Chair of the Red River Athletic Conference, Council of Presidents. Locally, Dr. Smith is a member of the Logan County Economic Development Council, and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Campus Safety and Security Task Force.

A Louisiana native, Dr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, a Master of Education in educational administration and supervision from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, and a doctorate in education and human resources studies, with a concentration in educational administration and student affairs, from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Dr. Smith is an FAA instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys flying with family and friends with plans of teaching private flying lessons in the future. As a father of five, he loves spending quality family time and coaching basketball.

Chair of the Day

Mautra Jones joined historic Langston University in 2015 as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs and is the Executive Director of Langston University’s Foundation. Mautra holds a BA in Journalism, as well as an MBA, and is currently pursuing her EdD at Vanderbilt University.

Mautra has served in several appointed positions, a few of which include, the board of directors for the Office of Juvenile Affairs, Commissioner on the Merit Protection Commission and as a member of the Oklahoma Standards Steering Committee, Rotary Club 29 Board, OK County Bar Auxiliary, Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc and the Metro Technology Foundation. She was recently appointed to the Civic Center Foundation Board of Directors by Mayor Holt.

In addition, Mautra has held numerous offices with philanthropic and civic groups, earning multiple accolades. These are too numerous to name, but a couple of them include being recently honored as an outstanding fundraising professional by the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Oklahoma Chapter, Achiever Under 40 by The Journal Record, OKC Biz and Oklahoma Magazine, as well as to the Journal Record Fifty Making a Difference. She is a graduate of Leadership OKC Class XXIX and is a Salt and Light Leadership Fellow.

Mautra is married to U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard M. Jones II and has three children.

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