Leroy Burns Smith, 1908-1914
In 1905, Leroy Burns Smith began his affiliation with Cal Poly as an instructor in English, history and economics. An energetic supporter of the school, he was named vice-director in June 1907 and upon the resignation of Leroy Anderson, became the school's second director in January 1908.
Like his predecessor, Smith was a graduate of Cornell University (1901). He came to Cal Poly with educational and administrative experience in the Young Men's Christian Association at the University of Wisconsin and in San Francisco.
As the director of the California Polytechnic, Smith continued the campus development and the educational plan begun by Anderson. Smith extended the academic program from three years of study to four, and introduced a series of agricultural and domestic extension courses for men and women on the local farms. At his encouragement and under his advisement, student organizations flourished, and Cal Poly’s Student Association, precursor to the ASI, was formed.
Smith resigned the directorship at Cal Poly in May 1914 to accept a position at the University of California.