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The Prepared College

Purposeful risk engagement
at liberal arts colleges

About Paula Vene Smith

Paula Vene SmithPaula Vene Smith is a writer and college professor who has taught full-time for 18 years alternating with administrative terms of four and five years, all at Grinnell College. She also has experience of teaching and writing for a year in London.

After her recent term as chief academic officer (Vice President for Academic Affairs), she now directs the Purposeful Risk Engagement Project, a national effort to help college and university leaders identify, evaluate, and address the primary risks on their campus. The book Engaging Risk: A Guide for College Leaders grows out of this project.

Raised in a U.S. foreign service family, she lived in six countries and knew from an early age that she wanted to write. She has published poems, short fiction, a novel (foreign rights), and many essays about academic risk. In her book on risk governance, she brings all her experience as a faculty member, academic leader, and writer to produce a helpful guide for anyone who holds a position of responsibility at a university or college.