Prof. Steven Smith retires after 20+ years of scholarship at WashU

Steven Smith, the Kate M. Gregg Distinguished Professor of Social Science, retires after 20+ years of scholarship at WashU.

Steven Smith, the Kate M. Gregg Distinguished Professor of Social Science, is wrapping up a 22-year career at WashU, an impressive run that included two decades as the director of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy. “My own work has been enriched in more ways than I can count by the support of the Center and the often intense scholarly environment of my department,” he said. 

While at WashU, Smith conducted studies that generated four books, seven editions of his textbook “The American Congress,” and numerous journal articles. He has also built meaningful friendships and collaborations with colleagues and graduate students. Even as he prepares for retirement, Smith said he continues to find himself “stumbling upon intriguing puzzles about how we govern ourselves.”  

Smith’s influence on WashU’s culture and scholarship is significant. Andrew Reeves, Professor of Political Science and present Director of the Weidenbaum Center, spoke on Smith’s 20-year leadership of the Center. “It is hard to overstate how influential his leadership of the Center was in building the reputations and boosting the research profiles of the Departments of Political Science, Economics, and Sociology,” Reeves stated. “His creation of the small grants program has funded hundreds of pieces of scholarship over the years. [He] led transformational efforts around building a platform for survey research at WashU.” 

While he intends to continue his academic research and writing — he notes that he has several ongoing research projects in the works — Smith plans to spend much of his retirement traveling and enjoying time with family.  

Smith would like to thank Chancellor Emeritus Mark S. Wrighton, Provost Emeritus Edward Macias, and colleagues Murray Weidenbaum, Steve Fazzari, Randall Calvert, Jack Knight, Lee Epstein, and many others for the support they have provided throughout his time at WashU. 

A reception honoring Professor Smith’s retirement will be held Thursday, June 8th from 5:00pm - 6:45pm in the Charles F. Knight Executive Education & Conference Center in the Main Dining Hall on the third floor. (RSVPs have closed at the time of publication.)