New SMU safety policy restricts items allowed into Ford Stadium

Clear handbag

An example of the type of bag that will be allowed in SMU’s Ford Stadium under new safety rules starting in fall 2015.

As faculty, staff members and students prepare for the 2015 Mustang football season, SMU is sharing information about a new safety policy that will restrict items that may be carried into Ford Stadium.

The only bags permitted will be those made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC which do not exceed 12-by-6-by-12 inches, one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc or similar), or small clutch bags (about the size of a hand) with or without a strap. The clutch does not have to be clear and may be carried separately or within an approved plastic bag.

SMU’s gameday policy is modeled after that pioneered by the National Football League and in place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington and all other NFL stadiums. Other universities, such as Penn State and Rutgers, have made similar changes to their policies to embrace what the U.S. Department of Homeland Security considers a “best practice.”

> Parking, relocation information for SMU 2015 home football games

The policy acknowledges the reality of contemporary public safety issues and allows for improved protection against items being smuggled into the stadium, as well as faster passage through security screening at stadium entrances.

Signs explaining the new Ford Stadium policy will be posted in and around SMU parking facilities to alert fans. Separate screening will be available at all gates for items that are medically necessary and do not fit the clear bag policy.

> DART Gameday Rider Alert: Changes in service for Mustang Express (768) and Museum Express (743) shuttles effective Friday, Sept. 4, 2015

Things that fans normally carry in pockets can still come into the stadium in pockets – such as keys and cell phones.

Clear bag chart, SMU Ford Stadium

The following items are prohibited from entering Ford Stadium:

  • Purses
  • Coolers
  • Briefcases
  • Backpacks
  • Computer and camera bags
  • Cinch bags
  • Diaper bags
  • Fanny packs
  • Luggage of any kind
  • Seat cushions with zippers, pockets or compartments
  • Outside food or drink (one sealed bottle of water permitted)
  • Laser pointers
  • Noisemakers
  • Footballs or throwing objects
  • Radios (except pocket size with headsets)
  • Animals (except those assisting disabled guests)
  • Firearms, weapons, or knives of any kind

Questions or comments should be directed by e-mail to SMU Athletics.

> Find a complete list of SMU Ford Stadium gameday policies

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SMU faculty to help lead immigration history conference at Dallas’ Old Red Museum Sept. 19, 2015

Immigrants going through San Angelo, Texas - early photograph, Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photography Collection

A photo by M.C. Ragsdale ca. 1885-90 of immigrants passing through San Angelo, Texas. From the Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photography Collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU.

The challenging task of teaching a controversial subject to middle- and high-school students will be the focus of an upcoming immigration conference featuring several University faculty members.

SMU and the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture are partnering with Humanities Texas and the Texas Historical Commission to present a conference on the history of U.S. immigration from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 at the museum.

“Issues surrounding immigration are at the forefront of public discourse these days,” said Zac Harmon, executive director of the Old Red Museum. “Statistics and beliefs are strongly held but are often mistaken for facts. This conference will provide documented, factual information for teachers, politicians and other citizens who really want to understand the issue. We are grateful to the Philip R. Jonsson Foundation for sponsoring this first of what we hope will become an annual conference.”

Conference participants can choose to hear two of six speakers scheduled during the morning session. Lunch and a keynote address by Margaret Spellings, president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and former secretary of education (2005-09), will follow.

Afternoon breakout sessions will provide teachers with lesson plans, materials and strategies to help them make history come alive for students of all grade levels. Teachers attending both sessions can earn six Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.

Topics and speakers include:

  • “D/FW Becoming an Immigrant Gateway” – Caroline Brettell, University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Ruth Collins Altshuler Director of SMU’s Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute
  • “Gone To Texas: Immigration to the Lone Star State in the 19th Century” – Gregg Cantrell, Emma and Ralph Lowe Chair of Texas History, TCU
  • “Immigration and the Changing Face of America” – Neil Foley, Robert and Nancy Dedman Chair in History, Dedman College
  • “Visualizing the Changing Landscape of U.S. Immigration” – Kyle Walker, assistant professor of population and urban geography, TCU
  • “Managing Migration in an Era of Globalization” – James F. Hollifield, Ora Nixon Arnold Professor of International Political Economy and director of SMU’s Tower Center for Political Studies
  • “Immigration and the Changing Demography of Liberal Democracies” – Gary Freeman, professor of government, University of Texas-Austin

Registration, which includes a continental breakfast, lunch, parking, materials and access to the exhibit area, is $25 and can be completed online at www.oldred.org. For information, contact Shannon Page at the Old Red Museum, 214-757-1927.

Written by Kenny Ryan

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Perkins dean search committee named; open faculty-staff forums scheduled for Sept. 14, 2015

SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs ad interim Harold W. Stanley has named the members of the search committee for the next dean of Perkins School of Theology.

Dean William B. Lawrence has announced that he will retire from the position on May 16, 2016 and take a leave of absence during the 2016-17 academic year, possibly returning to SMU as professor of American church history after that time.

Samuel S. Holland, dean of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, chairs the Perkins Dean Search Committee. The committee members include:

  • Rev. Richie Butler ’93, senior pastor, St. Paul United Methodist Church, Dallas
  • Dodee Frost Crockett ’75, ’03, managing director, Crockett, McBride & Associates, member of the Perkins Executive Board
  • Bishop Michael McKee, SMU trustee, Resident Bishop of the North Texas Annual Conference
  • Rev. Paul Rasmussen ’04, senior pastor, Highland Park United Methodist Church
  • Kay Prothro Yeager, community volunteer and civic leader, member of the Perkins Executive Board
  • Chris Anderson, Sacred Music, Perkins School of Theology
  • William Jennings Bryan III, associate dean for student affairs, Perkins School of Theology
  • Carlos Cardoza-Orlandi, World Christianities and Mission Studies, Perkins School of Theology
  • Kate Carté Engel, History, Dedman College
  • Steven Lindquist, Religious Studies, Dedman College
  • Natalia Mirandiuc, Christian Theology, Perkins School of Theology
  • Peter Moore, professor of mathematics, senior associate dean and associate dean for general education, Dedman College
  • Evelyn Parker, Susanna Wesley Chair of Practical Theology, associate dean for academic affairs, Perkins School of Theology
  • Rev. Dr. Stephen Rankin, SMU chaplain
  • Abraham Smith, New Testament, Perkins School of Theology
  • Pavielle Chriss, Master’s degree candidate, Perkins School of Theology
  • Geoffrey Moore, doctoral candidate, Religious Students, Dedman College

Dr. Ann Die Hasselmo, senior consultant of Academic Search, Inc., will serve as consultant to the Search Committee. She has worked with SMU on several previous academic searches, including the most recent dean searches for Dedman College and Meadows School of the Arts as well as the current searches for the provost and the vice president for student affairs.

Dean Holland has invited all Perkins faculty and staff members to meet with members of the Search Committee and Dr. Hasselmo. Two open forums have been scheduled for Monday, Sept. 14, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in 121 Prothro Hall in the Theology Quad.

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2015 Common Reading author Emily St. John Mandel to speak at SMU Wednesday, Sept. 9

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, North American coverEmily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, the 2015 SMU Common Reading selection, will present a free lecture at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at McFarlin Auditorium. The entire community is invited to attend.

Station Eleven is set 20 years after a virus has killed almost all humanity. The main characters are a traveling troupe of actors and musicians who bring performances of Shakespeare to the small and struggling human settlements that remain. The novel tells the story of the global disaster in real time and of its survivors 20 years later.

Community members, alumni, book lovers and book clubs are invited to join SMU Reads, a program that encourages reading and supports literacy in the Dallas community. SMU Reads participants can take part in other events planned by the University’s SMU Reads partner, the Dallas Public Library.

By registering to take part in SMU Reads, you will receive regular e-mails informing you about special events and gatherings. In addition, you also will qualify to purchase Station Eleven at a 10 percent discount through the SMU Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Upcoming events include survivalist training at REI, urban emergency preparedness from Dallas County health leaders at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library and a pop-up performance of King Lear performed by Shakespeare Dallas.

Partners in SMU Reads include Big D Reads, Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Dallas Public Library, Dallas Social Venture Partners, Deep Vellum, Friends of the SMU Libraries, Highland Hotel, Highland Park Library, Highland Park Literary Festival, Richardson Public Library, Shakespeare Dallas, SMU Alumni Relations, the SMU Barnes and Noble Bookstore, University Park Public Library, Well Read Women of Dallas, and Wild Detectives.

For more details about events and to preregister for Mandel’s lecture visit smu.edu/smureads.

Written by Nancy George

> Visit the SMU Common Reading website

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SMU shares parking, relocation info for 2015 football home games

In anticipation of a capacity crowd for SMU Football’s home opener against Baylor, the University is asking students, faculty, and staff members to temporarily give up their parking spaces near Ford Stadium to accommodate visitors on game day and the evening before.

Several departments worked together on logistics for hosting the Friday-night football game, scheduled for Sept. 4, 2015. “Our goal is to minimize the impact of game day activities on our instructional activities while also showing a national audience the spirit and energy that surrounds the SMU community,” read an all-campus e-mail from SMU Information dated Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015.

The message also included a parking relocation map for 2015 home football games, included below.

2015 SMU Football gameday parking map

Detailed SMU parking instructions for Sept. 3-4, 2015

On Thursday, Sept. 3:

  • Students with Student or Resident parking permits may begin relocating their vehicles on Thursday at noon to the Airline and Law Parking Centers.
  • Beginning at 5 p.m., all resident students will need to relocate their vehicles to the Heroy Lot, Airline Parking Center or Law Parking Center.
  • Resident student vehicles must be removed from the areas indicated in red stripes on the map below by 11 p.m.
  • Resident student vehicles left in the areas indicated in red stripes below after 11 p.m. on Thursday, September 3 will be towed to Airline Garage and an $80 relocation fee assessed.

On Friday, Sept. 4:

  • Please plan for extra time to find parking on Friday morning and early afternoon. We also suggest that you arrive early to the campus for best availability. The last time a similar event took place, the Heroy Lot and Airline and Law Parking Centers filled very early in the morning. (Please note that the Airline Parking Center is the destination for towed student cars not moved by the Thursday night 11:00 p.m. deadline.)
  • Faculty, staff and commuter students with a valid SMU parking permit needing to remain until 5 p.m. may park in the Mustang (A) or Moody (B) Parking Centers as well as lots L, M, R, U and V. Entry to these locations will be suspended at 3 p.m. – exit only after this time. If you wish to stay for the game and you are parked in one of these lots, please pay to park beyond 5 p.m.
  • Faculty, staff and commuter students with a valid SMU parking permit and able to leave by 3 p.m. may park in the Binkley (C) or Meadows (F) Parking Centers as well as lots D, E and G. Entry to these locations will be suspended at noon – exit only after this time. If you wish to stay for the game and you parked in one of these lots, please relocate your vehicle to lot A, B, L, M, R, U or V and pay to park for the game.
  • Note that these same parking lots and garages will also be available for visitors seeking gameday parking.
  • Limited free parking is available on East Campus; make sure you park in the designated areas for SMU faculty and staff. You can also park for free at the Mockingbird DART station.
  • Bishop Boulevard will be closed to traffic at 4 p.m. Anyone arriving to or leaving from campus after 12 p.m. will be directed to areas north and east of campus.
  • Please be aware that on-street parking around SMU is now governed by a resident permit system. Park Cities authorities may ticket or even tow vehicles illegally parked.
  • Additional Game Day parking info and map can be found online at SMUMustangs.com.
  • Questions and concerns about game day parking should be directed to the Athletics Department, 214-768-2106.

Vehicles may be returned to their normal parking areas following the end of the football game on Friday night. They must be removed from their temporary locations no later than 7 a.m. on Tuesday to avoid receiving a citation. If your vehicle has been towed, you may retrieve it from the rooftop of Airline garage before 7 a.m. Tuesday. Vehicles left there after 7 a.m. Tuesday are subject to a citation.

Students, faculty and staff are reminded that the communities of Highland Park and University Park have established resident-only parking areas near the SMU campus. Cars without resident parking or guest permits may be cited or towed by the Park Cities police departments.

All parking on campus is managed by the SMU Athletics Department during home football games. Please contact the SMU Athletics Department directly at 214-768-2866 or AthleticsGameDay@smu.edu for additional game day parking information or assistance. Please visit http://www.smumustangs.com/parking/ for more information about parking on games days.

About GuestAssist: Getting to the Game and Getting Around Ford Stadium

The GuestAssist app enables SMU football game attendees to start a text message conversation with Ford Stadium staff directly. Navigating the smart phone application – available in both iPhone and Android format – can help you stay up to date on parking information, give you directions to your gate, or assist you in finding the closest location of a concession stand.

Download the free GuestAssist App:

Send your text question or observation to: 214-516-7010

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SMU earns an “A” for financial health in 2015 Forbes ranking

Dallas Hall at Southern Methodist UniversitySMU has received an “A” for financial stability in the latest Forbes ranking of America’s Top Colleges issued Wednesday, July 29, 2015.

The magazine issued its 2015 Forbes Financial Grades to more than 900 institutions as a measure of their fiscal health. The analysis averages data from the three most recent fiscal years available from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDs) database — 2013, 2012 and 2011. Only private not-for-profit colleges were examined.

The grade measures financial fitness as determined by nine components broken into three broad categories: balance sheet strength, operational soundness, and certain other factors indicative of a college’s financial health, including admission yield.

Read the Forbes story and see the full list of ranked colleges

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Changes in SMU employee parking rates take effect for payroll-deduction plans beginning in August 2015

SMU faculty and staff members enrolled in the University’s Pre-tax Parking Deduction Plan will see an increase in their payroll deductions for parking after their permits are renewed in August 2015.

Payroll deductions for employees paid biweekly will increase from $12 to $14 each pay period beginning with the August 14, 2015 pay date. Payroll deductions for employees paid monthly will increase from $26 to $28 monthly beginning with the August 31, 2015 pay date. The payroll deduction amount will change automatically; no action on your part is required.

Parking rates for SMU employees changed effective June 1, 2015. However, annual employee parking permits expire on August 1 of each year, and the existing rates have carried over for the past two months.

You may change your election to participate in the SMU Pre-tax Parking Plan at any time. Complete and submit a SMU Pre-tax Parking Deduction Election Authorization form to the Parking and ID Card Services Office and return your current parking permit. The change will become effective on the first of the month following your change in election, subject to processing timelines established by the SMU Payroll Office.

Find a Pre-tax Parking Deduction Election Authorization on the SMU Parking and ID Card Services website: smu.edu/parking.

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SMU to join Park Cities Independence Day celebrations July 4, 2015

SMU in the Park Cities July 4th Parade 2014SMU will join in the Independence Day celebration and parade hosted by the Rotary Club of Park Cities Saturday, July 4, 2015.

The parade begins at 9 a.m., ending at Goar Park in University Park. The SMU float will feature members of the Mustang Band, members of the Military Veterans of SMU, and several of the University’s student athletes. Patriotic Peruna will also be on hand.

An SMU booth will also provide family activities in Goar Park at 9:30 a.m. The festivities will include a free patriotic family festival with music, food, and entertainment for all ages.

If you would like to be a member of SMU’s volunteer team, contact Suzanne Massey.

> Find more, including a map and full schedule, at smu.edu/community

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Wes Waggoner named interim SMU AVP for enrollment management effective July 1, 2015

Wes K. Waggoner

SMU Dean of Undergraduate Admission Wes Waggoner has been named the University’s interim associate vice president for enrollment management.

SMU Dean of Undergraduate Admission Wes Waggoner has been named the University’s interim associate vice president for enrollment management in the Office of the Provost, effective July 1, 2015.

“Wes has provided leadership in the SMU Admission Office during a time of an unprecedented increase in the number and quality of applicants to the University,” says Harold W. Stanley, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He has brought expertise and passion to his role as an executive director of the Division of Enrollment Services by overseeing improvements to recruitment strategies and increased efficiency in admission operations. He will maintain the division’s focus on serving prospective and current students, while supporting SMU’s ongoing commitment to increasing quality and diversity.”

As interim associate vice president, Waggoner will oversee the Division of Enrollment Services, which includes the Office of Undergraduate Admission, Office of Financial Aid, Office of the Registrar and Bursar’s Office.  He also will provide guidance for summer school enrollment.

Waggoner was named dean of undergraduate admission and executive director of enrollment services at SMU in 2011. He previously held admission roles at TCU, the University of Tulsa, Tulane University, Fort Worth Country Day School and The Episcopal School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Tulane University and an MBA with a concentration in not-for-profit management from the University of Dallas.

Waggoner is a nationally known leader in the admission profession, having served as chair of the Professional Development Committee for the National Association for College Admission Counseling, chair of the Admissions Practices Committee for the Texas Association for College Admission Counseling (TACAC), chair of the Higher Education Curriculum Committee for the Admission and College Counseling Institute, and as a member of The College Board’s SAT Advisory Committee and the SAT Score Choice Task Force.

SMU will conduct a national search to replace Associate Provost Stephanie Dupaul, who has been appointed vice president for enrollment management at the University of Richmond.

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Pres. Turner confirms SMU will opt out of Texas campus-carry law

As the state of Texas prepares to enact its “campus carry” law, SMU President R. Gerald Turner has confirmed that the University will remain a weapons-free campus by policy.

Senate Bill 11 was signed by Governor Greg Abbott on Saturday, June 13. The new law allows students age 21 and older with concealed-handgun licenses to openly carry the weapons on public college and university campuses in hip or shoulder holsters. The final version of the bill allows public schools to establish rules on where handguns can be carried and how they will be stored.

Turner confirmed the decision to opt out, as the law allows private colleges and universities to do, in a statement dated Friday, June 5, 2015:

At the end of their recent legislative session, Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 11, which is known as “campus carry.”

The final version of the legislation allows private Texas colleges and universities to opt out of its requirement and to continue to ban weapons, in consultation with their campus communities.

SMU has been a weapons-free campus by policy since at least 1994. University Policy 10.5, which prohibits the possession of any dangerous weapon on SMU property, remains in full force and is not affected by this legislation. You can read the policy online in the University Policy Manual.

If the campus carry bill is signed into law, SMU will follow the process it outlines to consult with faculty, staff and students about opting out. I appreciate the questions and concerns many of you have raised on this issue and look forward to continuing this conversation in the months ahead.

Thanks to each of you for the important role you play in maintaining a safe and welcoming campus for all.

> Read the statement at SMU News

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