An oh so-very familiar face at Neosho County Community College is retiring.
NCCC will host a retirement reception in honor of Ben Smith’s 34 years of service on Thursday, June 27, from 2 to 4 pm in the Student Union commons area. The public is invited to attend.
Smith is retiring from his position of Vice President for Operations at Neosho County Community College, where he has served for the past 34 years in a variety of positions. His current areas of responsibility include safety and security services, planning, capital improvements, facilities, maintenance, technology services, and telecommunications.
Smith started at NCCC as a faculty member and technology coordinator, and later became NCCC’s first Director of Technology Services. He was later promoted to Dean of Planning and Operations and then Vice President for Administration.
Smith co-authored the college’s first Title III grant, which provided NCCC’s first college-wide information system along with the installation of fiber optic linkage throughout the college campus. He created and implemented the College’s first Computer Resource and Internet Usage Policy and was instrumental in the creation of NCCC’s first Strategic Technology Plan, first safety and security policy, Emergency Action Plan and AED Policy and Procedures. He also led the development of NCCC’s first Capital Improvement Plan, Storm Water Management Plan, Landscaping Master Plan, and Facility Master Plan.
Smith is a certified ALICE© (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) active killer protocol instructor and has worked with local law enforcement in Neosho and Allen counties to train thousands of individuals on the life-saving protocol. He coordinated what is believed to be the first live full-scale active shooter exercise in the country on a community college campus in January, 2014 and has been instrumental in NCCC’s deployment of safety-related technology, including being one of only two colleges in the US with emergency texting prior to the Virginia Tech incident. Smith was also instrumental in NCCC being named the first community college in Kansas and only the second in the nation to be named StormReady© by the National Weather Service and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In addition to his other roles at NCCC, Ben has served as project manager for all major facility projects at the college since 1996. These projects include the 1996 renovation of the student union, design and building of the 52,000 square foot Ottawa educational facility, the Rowland Hall renovation, gymnasium restrooms and locker rooms, two energy performance contracts (2005, 2018), renovation of the Center for Academic and Vocational Excellence (CAVE), installation of the baseball field turf, construction of the new softball complex, renovations of the science labs and addition of a cadaver lab, renovation of the Chapman Learning Center, addition of the Arceneaux Family Baseball Complex, replacement of the Bideau Hall roof, resurfacing of the Chanute parking lots, and the renovation of the Ross Lane athletic facility.