Posted on August 7, 2023 by Wendy Frost

Pamela C. Smith, associate dean of administration and professor of accounting in the Carlos Alvarez College of Business at UTSA, died on Aug. 2 following a chronic health battle at the age of 52.

Pamela C. SmithVisitation services will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25 at Lewis Funeral Home. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26 at Calvary Baptist Church. 

“A long-time accounting faculty member, Pamela was instrumental in leading the college’s most recent AACSB reaccreditation,” said Jonathon Halbesleben, dean of the Alvarez College of Business. “Many students, faculty and staff were touched in positive ways by her work. I am forever appreciative of her support when I joined the college last year.”

A dedicated administrator, faculty member and colleague, Smith’s 22-year career at UTSA included stints serving as interim dean of the college from 2021-2022; associate dean of administration and faculty from 2019-2023; and associate dean for graduate studies from 2016-2019.

As a leader, she valued innovation and wasn’t afraid of change. She built the foundation for numerous programs within the college, including leading the college’s AACSB reaccreditation efforts; establishing the Dean’s Fellows program for faculty; building the Graduate Business Student Commons; and spearheading the restructuring that created the college’s Students Success Center.

But, more importantly, Smith had a passion for promoting causes that increased diversity within higher education. As a faculty mentor for the Ph.D. Project, an organization that works to encourage diversity in business school faculty, she encouraged the college’s doctoral students to engage with this organization and led the college’s participation. She actively mentored young faculty and administrators within the college and served as a role model as a female African-American administrator. Smith was also a faculty coordinator for the college’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

“Pamela had an exceptional record of service, and her ability to navigate challenging administrative tasks was unprecedented,” said Sharad Asthana, chair of the Department of Accounting. “She was a unique soul who exuded positivity. She will truly be missed in both our accounting department as well as the college and at UTSA.”

Pamela Smith receiving award from Dean Halbesleben

As an academic, she taught federal income tax at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Smith sought to inspire her students and to prepare them for success within the accounting profession. Prior to joining academia, she began her tax career with Arthur Andersen & Co. in Washington, D.C.

A high-performing faculty member, her research focused on how tax policy impacts decision-making within the nonprofit healthcare field, and she published numerous articles in tax and specialized healthcare journals.

In honor of her accomplishments, Smith received the college’s Endowed 1969 Commemorative Faculty Award for Overall Faculty Excellence in 2023 and 2008 as well as the Dean’s Excellence Award in Community Service.

She was also a member of several professional organizations including the American Accounting Association, the American Taxation Association, the National Association of Black Accountants and the Ph.D. Project. Utilizing her talents, she gave back to the San Antonio community as a member of the Scleroderma Foundation and volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club and Seton Home.

Smith earned her Ph.D. and master’s in accounting from Virginia Tech and her bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Virginia.

Memorial contributions can be made to support a doctoral fellowship being established in Smith’s name. To give online, visit Choose “other” in the drop-down menu and enter “In memory of Pamela Smith.”

Gifts can also be sent by mail. Make checks payable to UTSA and on the memo line, write “In memory of Pamela Smith.” Send to: Kim West, UTSA Gift Services, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, Texas 78249-3209.

— Wendy Frost