Saluki Pride: Richard Smith plays a pivotal role within Information Technology

Whether in person, virtually, or behind-the-scenes, Richard Smith plays an important role in keeping the university community safe from cyber threats. Smith’s extensive knowledge and commitment to delivering outstanding service makes him integral to the office’s mission, said Scott Bridges, who recently retired as director of Office of Information Technology.

Smith has been the “go-to person for OIT’s Enterprise Systems to help solve technical problems and is consistently consulted with by members of the SIU community,” Bridges noted. Smith recently transitioned to OIT’s security section and in 2021, led the effort to move to Microsoft’s email security platform and was instrumental in the campus rollout of Multi-Factor Authentication.


Name: Richard Smith

Years at SIU Carbondale: 10 years

Department/title: Office of Information Technology / information technology manager/administrative coordinator

Give us the elevator speech for your job on campus

It is my job to design and implement technology which minimizes the risk of negative actions being successful against the SIU community. In addition, I work alongside other information technology experts on campus or partner organizations to ensure they and the campus community have the appropriate tools to securely advance the mission at SIU. Quickly responding to events is also a crucial role in my job to ensure that any malicious actions are appropriately acted upon.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The people.  Being able to assist the SIU community with their technology needs has been a prime goal during my career at SIU, whether that interaction is in person, virtually or behind the scenes leading infrastructure teams and information security. Being able to learn and implement technology advancements and “geek out” has been awesome as well.

Why did you choose to work at SIU?

This is one of the best places to work in the area, so it was a no brainer for me to apply for as many jobs here as I could when making the decision to stay in this beautiful area after graduation.  Helps to feel like I am giving back to my alma mater as well.  Working in academia is also great to feed my thirst for knowledge, whether that is technology or geology and geophysics which I was fortunate to study and receive a degree in at SIU.

What do you do in your free time?

Spending time with family, friends, and being active in my church (First Christian in Murphysboro). Sporting events when I can and playing vintage base ball with the Murphysboro Clarkes. Board games, role-playing games (D&D, Pathfinder, etc.) is also a weekly activity. Being outdoors, something I don’t do as much as I should, is also enjoyable. When not doing these, you will typically find me on a computer learning something new, mostly in areas of technology, space, and geophysics or playing video games.

What are your goals for the future?

My ultimate goal is to try and continue to be a good example as a Christian, husband, and father. I’d like to continue being physically active, something recently started again, and pick up a new hobby to assist that endeavor such as fishing or golf. Career wise I intend to keep doing as I have been which is trying to ensure I keep up with and implement technology advances wherever I can be of most benefit and helping others do the same.

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