Dedman College student Diana Cates shares her inspirational story

Sophomore Diana Cates delivered a heartfelt speech about her road to SMU and desire to serve. She was featured during SMU’s Campaign Finale and Founders’ Day Weekend Celebration.

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Associate dean for General Education addresses questions about UC-2016

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: April 16, 2016

By: Peter Moore, associate dean, General Education

Let me take a moment to address the issues Noah Bartos raised in his editorial regarding UC-2016.

Noah is rightly concerned about the potential headaches various groups will face regarding two very similar curricula (UC-2012 and UC-2016). We are too. He notes the increase in paperwork. That comes in three forms: 1) course proposals that faculty must write; 2) assessment; and 3) student petitions.

He is right in pointing out that in the near-term faculty will have some additional work to do. A significant portion of that has already been completed this spring and I hope that most of the rest will be finished by December. There is a sense of fatigue, but this is offset to some extent by the improvements he notes in the structure which allow for new opportunities for participation. Regarding assessment, my expectation is that this will actually decrease initially (while eventually returning to the current level).

My biggest concern is with student petitions that will arise through confusion between the two curricula. Noah notes this problem as well regarding the mixture of requirements in the same course. This mixture does not involve Proficiencies and Experiences which are identical in both curricula. We are aware of the problem regarding pillars (UC-2012) and breadth and depth (UC-2016) and will be working to mitigate the headaches that are bound to result.

Noah also raises concerns with the new STEM requirements which he believes have the potential to unduly impact Meadows’ students. With regard to the lab-based portion (PAS under UC-2012) of this requirement the revision in UC-2016 is closer to the original intent of the UC adopted in 2010, that students complete two lab-based courses. The TM requirement, however, should not be an additional burden for most Meadows’ students who will be able to complete it in the major (e.g., Theater Lighting).

Noah notes the advantages from the simplified Second Language requirement which should prove beneficial across all majors. The changes in UC-2016 are designed to lessen the need for double-counting pillar courses by opening up courses in the major.

For example, I expect Cox majors to benefit when ITOM 3306 (a required course for all Cox students) satisfies the TM requirement. In this case the number of UC requirements met in the Cox major will increase from two to three. The modifications introduced in UC-2012 were designed to address high-credit majors and enhance students’ ability to double major. Students should find the same advantages in UC-2016 along with a simplified structure.

Finally he argues that the language of the proposal does not provide an adequate description of content. The descriptions match the information provided in the original UC and are augmented by the Student Learning Outcomes. Together these do provide a good basis for determining what the new breadth and depth requirements are all about.

Nearly two years ago the University Curriculum Council responded to concerns about the original UC and introduced key modifications. Those modifications have helped the class of 2012 to graduate on time. However, the modifications led to some unintended consequences which UC-2016 addresses. We expect that our efforts this time around will be even more beneficial. READ MORE

Cal Jillson, Political Science, talks to KPMG Early Edition about Obama’s “biggest mistake”

Newstalk ZB

Originally Posted: April 13, 2016

Barack Obama believes he and British Prime Minister David Cameron allowed Libya to descend into chaos after the fall of Gaddafi.

The United States President has announced the United States’ lack of planning for the aftermath of Muammar Gaddafi’s ousting in Libya, is the ‘worse mistake’ of his presidency.

Texas Southern Methodist University Professor Cal Jillson agrees told Rachel Smalley the planning before and after, wasn’t executed very well between the two countries. LISTEN

James Hollifield, Political Science, Making Sense of the European Migration Crisis

SMU Political Science Professor James Hollifield, director of the Tower Center for Political Studies and a public policy fellow at the Wilson Center, talks about the migration crisis affecting Europe in the wake of the war in Syria and turmoil in the Middle East.

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Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center Announced

SMU News

Originally Posted: April 12 , 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU will expand its study of the important relationship between Texas and its cross-border neighbor by establishing the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center. The center will be part of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in Dedman College and will work in collaboration with the Cox School of Business.

The center is made possible by a total commitment of $4 million from GRUMA-Mission Foods, a Mexican corporation based in Dallas. The corporation made a commitment of $1 million in September 2015 toward the establishment of the unique initiative, first called “The Texas-Mexico Program,” to begin researching and promoting policy-based discussion on the economic, political and social ties between Mexico and Texas.

An additional $3 million from GRUMA-Mission Foods will support the expanded reach of the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center, whose research programs will focus on such issues as trade, investment, dynamic economic sectors, government and political relations, human capital and security.

The additional gift was announced at an April 7 SMU conference featuring an address by Claudia Ruiz Massieu, Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. She noted that the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center will be pivotal to strengthening the links between industry and the academy, and called the effort a “public-private success story.”

“We share more in common than what divides us,” Ruiz Massieu said. “That’s why this program is so important. America is a beacon of liberty that represents a bridge of understanding, one not built by divisive rhetoric.”

“I’m sure the late Sen. John Tower would be pleased to know that the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center will be rooted in the academic center at SMU that carries his name,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Being able to partner with the Cox School, particularly through its Texas Economic Freedom Project, creates a strategic opportunity for improving relations between Texas and Mexico whose benefits can’t be overstated.”

GRUMA Chairman of the Board and CEO Juan Antonio González Moreno drew sustained applause from conference attendees when, in announcing the financial commitment, he said, “Today we are building bridges, not walls. Working together is the best way to find solutions to common challenges.”

The center will make public policy recommendations based on discussion and research on Mexico-U.S. economic, historic, political, social, and border issues through:

Production of original research, reports, and white papers
Binational, bilingual annual conferences
Academic seminars and public forums
Research conducted through the center will help to shape the growing economic relationship between North Texas and Mexico, between Texas and Mexico, and between the United States and Mexico. The research is expected to stimulate economic dialogue and integration among regions and states in Mexico and the U.S.

The expanded funding will enable SMU to recruit a recognized leader to direct the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center. The executive director will report to the dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, home of the Tower Center, and will travel regularly to Mexico to collaborate with partnering institutions and to present findings from center research projects.

Mexico’s Consul General Octavio Tripp noted the appropriate timing of the announcement, occurring during a presidential election season that includes debate on issues of immigration and border security. “This event is like a dream come true … especially at such a relevant time,” Tripp said. “The Center will allow for understanding in a systematic, holistic way.”

SMU and Dallas are at the geographic crossroads of the increasingly integrated market amplified by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico and Canada. The city also is home to the greatest concentration of Fortune 100 companies in the United States outside of New York City. Texas exported to Mexico goods valued at more than $102 billion in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, and imported from Mexico goods valued at over $90 billion for the same period.

“Clearly, the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center has the potential to significantly improve relations between neighbors who depend on each other,” said

Brad Cheves, SMU vice president for development and external affairs. “We are grateful for the opportunity to make a real difference in international relations.” READ MORE

Joshua Rovner, Tower Center, Warring Tribes Studying War and Peace

War on the Rocks

Originally Posted: April 12, 2016

Forty years ago an intense controversy gripped the intelligence community over estimates of the Soviet strategic threat. Hardliners outside the community had complained that intelligence analysts were routinely underestimating Soviet capabilities and intentions because they relied on social science models that assumed rationality and reduced threat assessment to a bean counting exercise. What they should be doing, said critics, was looking harder at the intangible factors that provided a more comprehensive view of Moscow’s designs. The hardliners demanded that the intelligence community open its doors to outsiders who could form an alternative judgment based on the same classified information. READ MORE

‘Can the U.N. Walk & Chew Gum at the Same Time? Multitasking in Peace Operations’

Contact Denise Gee: or 214-768-7658

Originally Posted: April 7, 2016


Paul Diehl - professor of political science. Courtesy College of LAS
Paul Diehl – professor of political science. Courtesy College of LAS

DALLAS (SMU) – How does a war-torn country begin to re-establish peace after its people are left with damaged landscapes, psyches and international relationships? World-renowned national security expert Paul F. Diehl will examine related issues Tuesday, April 12, at SMU during a discussion titled, “Can the U.N. Walk & Chew Gum at the Same Time? Multitasking in Peace Operations.”

Hosted by SMU’s John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, the 6 to 8 p.m. event in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Great Hall, 5901 Bishop Blvd., will be free and open to the public; RSVP to

“There is a lot more to peace than simply ending a war. Iraq is a painful reminder that defeating an enemy isn’t the same as ensuring long-term peace and stability,” says acting Tower Center Director Joshua Rovner. “These problems will also confront the next administration even if military operations against ISIS are successful.”

“Building stable political institutions after the shooting stops is extremely important – and extraordinarily complex,” Rovner adds. “Paul is a world-renowned expert on these issues, having studied the problems of peacekeeping for decades. We are lucky to have him in the DFW area, which is increasingly a center for the study of national and international security.”

With expertise primarily focused on international conflict and enduring rivalries, U.N. peacekeeping and international law, Diehl serves as UT-Dallas’ associate provost, Teaching-Learning Initiatives director and the Ashbel Smith Professor of Political Science.

He has written or edited 25 books and more than 100 articles and chapters on international security issues. His forthcoming book, The Puzzle of Peace: The Evolution of Peace in the International System (Oxford University Press, 2016), follows The Dynamics of International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Evaluating Peace Operations (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010), Peace Operations (Polity Press, 2008), The Scourge of War (University of Michigan Press, 2004) and War and Peace in International Rivalry(University of Michigan Press, 2000).

Diehl, past president of the international Peace Science Society, has received numerous grants and awards from such organizations as the National Science Foundation, United States Institute of Peace and the Lilly Foundation.

Before joining UT-Dallas in 2015, Diehl served the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the Henning Larsen Professor Emeritus of Political Science and director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. He also is former director of the Correlates of War Project – the largest data collection effort on international conflict in the world – and founding director emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teaching Academy. Earlier, he was a faculty member at the University of Georgia and also at SUNY-Albany.

Diehl holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan, and an undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.

For more details about the Tower Center in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, visit or call 214-768-3954.

About SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies

In the spirit of John Tower’s commitment to educate and inspire a new generation of thoughtful leaders, the Tower Center seeks to bridge the gap between the world of ideas, scholarship and teaching, as well as the practice of politics. The primary mission of the Tower Center is to promote the study of politics and international affairs and to stimulate an interest in ethical public service among undergraduates. The Tower Center is an academic center where all parties and views are heard in a marketplace of ideas, and the Center pursues its mission in a non-partisan manner.

About SMU

Southern Methodist University is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

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Matthew Wilson, Political Science, talks about his travels to Burma as an instructor for the Liberty and Leadership Forum

The George W. Bush Institute

Originally Posted: April 6, 2016

SMU’s Matthew Wilson on Developing Young Burmese Leaders

The critical message that I hope the Young Leaders bring to Burma’s democratic transition is that democracy means more than just having elections. For democracy to thrive and endure, an engaged civil society and political culture committed to democratic values have to be built, and this doesn’t happen overnight.

Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor of Political Science at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He recently traveled to Burma as an instructor for the Bush Institute’s Liberty and Leadership Forum, teaching on federalism, pluralism, and managing diversity in a democracy. The Bush Institute interviewed Professor Wilson about his Burmese experiences.
GWBI: You recently traveled to Burma for the Liberty and Leadership Forum. What were your overall impressions of Burmese society and the changes occurring there?

MW: Burma is a fascinating country of stunning and dramatic contrasts. The legacy of sometimes brutally authoritarian military rule exists alongside a people who are extraordinarily warm, gracious, and welcoming. The endemic poverty visible everywhere rubs elbows with the gilded opulence of Shwedagon Pagoda and of the luxury condominiums and high-end shopping centers springing up in Yangon. The obvious signs of modernity (like the unending traffic jams and the prevalence of smart phones) are accompanied by very visible markers of tradition, like the continued prevalence of the longyi and other forms of distinctive cultural dress and the ubiquity of saffron-robed monks.
Clearly, though, Burmese society is in transition. They are rushing to open themselves more fully to the world, to catch up with the economic and social development that has happened in the rest of East Asia without losing their distinctive cultural soul. Burma will, I think, be a different country ten years from now than it is today. I am cautiously optimistic that the change will be, on the whole, for the good.


Political Science professor Cal Jillson on Cruz and Trump via the Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle

Originally Posted: April 6, 2016

Cruz win keeps GOP race on track toward contested convention

Ted Cruz firmly won the Wisconsin primary, and he’s in the race until its end, but he doesn’t stand a realistic shot of winning the Republican nomination through the primary vote.

Now the question becomes: How much can he narrow the delegate gap between himself and Donald Trump, and how much does it matter? Such questions are subject only to speculation, since no precedent for this scenario exists in recent memory, and because the party’s rules for the process are months from being formed.

But experts agreed: The future of this race lies with the delegate tallies.
Even with a sweeping victory — Cruz won 33 Badger State delegates and Donald Trump won 6 — the Texas senator is not poised to win a majority of delegates before the party convenes to pick a nominee. READ MORE

Dedman College students Aubrey Chapman, Carly Shuttlesworth, and Hannah Dudley discuss early graduation

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: March 28, 2016

Aubrey Chapman, a junior double majoring in psychology and religious studies, is looking forward to graduating in May of 2016, a year earlier than her peers. After graduation, Chapman will immediately move on in her studies and get her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at seminary.

Even though Chapman has heard many say that college is the best four years of your life, she has no qualms about missing out on her senior year. She said she has enjoyed her time at SMU.

“Personally, graduating early is allowing me to step into seminary sooner to receive the education that is in complete alignment with what I want to do in the future,” said Chapman. “I’m excited to be in an atmosphere that will strengthen and encourage me in my specific dreams and goals.”

Chapman is one of many students graduating early. Michael Tumeo, the director of institutional research at SMU, said that of the students who started at SMU in 2009, 67 percent graduated in four years or less. That statistic includes students who graduated “on time,” a semester early, or an entire year early. More specific data on those who have graduated in three years or three and a half years was not available.

Completing college a semester early is much more common across the nation and has even become a growing trend at some universities. According to a 2014 study at Duke University, there was a 30 percent increase in students graduating a semester early since 2010. READ MORE