Randall Smith is the first Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism. He joined the Missouri School of Journalism in August 2009. His 30-year career at The Kansas City Star began in 1979, and he has worked on both the news and business sides. Smith started as a copy editor, rising to the positions of business editor and deputy managing editor, and most recently, to director of strategic development.
Smith is a former president of the Society of American Business Writers and Editors and a recipient of the organization’s Distinguished Achievement Award. He played a major role in conceiving the idea and raising the money for the School’s SABEW endowed chair.
He is the vice chair and first non-family member of the board of the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships. The author of the book “A Kenyan Journey,” Smith has lectured to classes in China, Africa and the U.S. Throughout his career Smith has been involved with helping promote young minority journalists, and he played a key role in getting Knight Ridder to adopt the Rotating Internship Program, which placed more than 250 journalists into newspapers during a 20-year run.
As an editor Smith has worked with award-winning newsroom teams that have earned the profession’s top awards and honors. One won a Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for coverage of the Kansas City Hyatt skywalks disaster in July 1981. Other staff recognitions include a Sigma Delta Chi award, an Eppy award, a Philip Meyer Award, 12 Missouri Press Association Gold Cups and a Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award.
Smith received the Mizzou Alumni Association’s highest recognition, the Faculty-Alumni Award, in 2005.