Phillip H. SmithAFT Vice President
Phillip H. Smith of Manlius, N.Y., has been president of the 34,000-member United University Professions (UUP) since February 2008 and a member of the AFT Higher Education program and policy council since July 2008. UUP is the largest public higher education union in the nation, representing academic and professional faculty at the State University of New York's 29 state-operated campuses.
A professor of cell and developmental biology at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, Smith has been active in the union for 30 years. Prior to his election as president, he served in numerous UUP leadership positions, including vice president for academics and chief negotiator for the union's 2003-2007 contract. He also has served as president and vice president of UUP's upstate chapter.
Smith is one of five founding core directors of the nation's first Diabetes Research and Education Center at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has served as principal investigator on numerous grants for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Veterans Administration. He has authored articles in more than 80 publications, including peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and the mainstream press.
Smith was presented the UUP's Nina Mitchell Distinguished Service Award in 2005, the local's highest honor. In 2006, the New York State United Teachers recognized Smith as its Higher Education Member of the Year.