Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
JOSEPH R. SMILEY
Joseph R. Smiley, retired president of The University of Texas at Austin, died on May 25, 1990. He was 80.
President Smiley was born on March 16, 1910, in Dallas, Texas. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from Southern Methodist University in 1931 and 1932, respectively. He earned a doctoral degree in French from Columbia University in 1947. He was a Henry Alfred Todd scholar while at Columbia.
Dr. Smiley taught at Southern State College, the University of North Texas, Columbia University, and the University of Illinois. He was dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois. He twice served as president at The University of Texas at El Paso, from 1958 to 1960 and from 1969 to 1972, when he retired.
Dr. Smiley was named vice president and provost of UT Austin in 1960 and became president the following year. He was president until 1963, when he accepted the presidency of the University of Colorado, a position he held from 1963 to 1969.
President Smiley was involved in numerous professional and civic activities, including the Advisory Committee for Institutional Relations of the National Science Foundation, the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, and the Regional Health Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In addition, he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the 14th general conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In 1950 President Smiley published Diderot's Relations With Grimm. In 1951 he was a contributor to A Critical Bibliography of French Literature (Vol. 4, the 18th Century).
His honors included a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor (1967) and honorary degrees from Southern Methodist University (1964) and the University of Denver (1966).
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
Biographical sketch prepared by Teresa Palomo Acosta and posted on the Faculty Council web site on January 18, 2001. Additional biographical sources can be found in the Barker Texas History Center and the UT Office of Public Affairs.