Save the date: Celebration of Lights on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014

A scene from SMU's 2010 Celebration of Lights

SMU kicks off the 2014 holiday season with the post-Thanksgiving observance of one of the University’s most beloved annual traditions. Celebration of Lights 2014 is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 1, on the Main Quad.

The celebration features than 100,000 decorative lights, luminarias lining the sidewalks, musicians performing songs of the season, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner reading the Christmas story from the New Testament. Refreshments will be served.

Watch the SMU Forum during the first week of December for a full schedule of upcoming University holiday events.

Check out slideshows and video of past Celebration of Lights ceremonies, courtesy of SMU News. Photos

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SMU announces two new gifts for endowed faculty positions

Two new gifts to SMU totaling $3.5 million will create two new endowed faculty positions in two schools.

A gift of $2.5 million, made through the Texas Methodist Foundation, will establish the Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology in Perkins School of Theology. A gift of $1 million from two SMU alumni will establish the Janet and Craig Duchossois Endowed Professorship in Management and Organizations in Cox School of Business.

The new gifts were announced Friday, Nov. 14. 2014 at a campus event honoring donors of endowed faculty positions.

“Increasing the number of endowed faculty positions at SMU is a major goal of our Second Century Campaign,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “These two new gifts for faculty positions in the theology and business schools move us closer to our goal of achieving 110 endowed faculty positions by the end of the campaign in December 2015. We are grateful to all of the donors who have helped us add to the strength of the SMU faculty by supporting this goal.”

Perkins Chapel at Southern Methodist UniversityThe Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology honors the woman referred to as “the mother of Methodism.” Her sons, John and Charles Wesley, led a revival within the 18th-century Anglican Church that sparked the emergence of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the American colonies. Historians point to her “practical theology” as a source of inspiration for her sons.

The Texas Methodist Foundation, which conveyed the gift, provides grant and stewardship services that advance The United Methodist Church and Christian ministries.

The chair’s “Centennial” designation represents a gift that includes operational funds to provide immediate impact while the endowment matures. The Wesley Chair commitment includes endowment funding of $2 million and annual operating support of $100,000 for the first five years. These operating funds will make it possible to fill the chair in the next academic year.

“The discipline of practical theology helps students reflect on and formulate conclusions about the various fields of theological inquiry as they relate to one’s practice of ministry,” said Perkins School Dean William Lawrence. “Perkins School of Theology graduates are facing an ever-changing world of ministry opportunities. Helping students think theologically in ministry settings is essential for successful pastors and Christian workers.”

SMU Cox School of BusinessThe Janet and Craig Duchossois Endowed Professorship in Management and Organizations is designed to strengthen the Cox School of Business in an area of increasing importance to corporations and other types of institutions.

“The Department of Management and Organizations in the Cox School offers students tools to succeed in a globally competitive environment,” said Cox Dean Al Niemi. “The increased faculty strength provided by this new professorship will enable more students to develop skills that help prepare them for future leadership in the business world.”

Janet and Craig Duchossois earned B.B.A. degrees from SMU’s business school in 1966 and 1967, respectively. Craig also earned an M.B.A. degree from SMU in 1968. he is CEO of The Duchossois Group, Inc., which deals in commercial and residential access control. Mr. Duchossois was honored in 2002 with the Cox School’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Janet previously owned an interior design and home furnishings business..

The Wesley Centennial Chair and the Duchossois Endowed Professorship bring the total to 40 endowed faculty positions established during SMU’s Second Century Campaign. SMU now has 102 fully endowed faculty positions toward its goal of 110, which includes positions previously endowed throughout the University’s history.

> Read the full story from SMU News

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OE2C: Travel Initiative seeks faculty-staff input on travel management companies

Stock illustration of commercial airlinerAs part of Project SMU: Organizational Excellence for the 2nd Century, the Travel initiative is examining savings and efficiency measures in the travel booking process.

The University’s new travel software solution, Concur, requires integration with a travel management company (TMC). According to the OE2C website, the TMC will be responsible for issuing tickets on behalf of airlines, hotels and rental car companies booked through Concur; providing live assistance for travel booking;  and assisting with changes to itineraries.

The Travel committee plans to recommend a TMC to the OE2C Executive Committee before the winter break. Committee members have examined information from a variety of companies and have selected four finalists for campus presentations from 1-5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2 in Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center:

· Colwick Travel
· Corporate Travel Planners
· Christopherson Business Travel
· Corporate Travel Management

Please plan to attend these presentations and bring your questions. Attendees will be asked to provide feedback after demonstrations are complete.

> Read more about the Travel Initiative from the OE2C website

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Calendar Highlights: Nov. 19, 2014

Lee Cullum, Moderator & Senior Fellow of Tower Center Forum

Lee Cullum, Moderator & Senior Fellow of Tower Center Forum

Tower Center Forum Event: As part of the Tower Center Forum, SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences presents Ambassadors Unplugged: Antonio Garza and Mark Langdale. Moderated by Tower Center Senior Fellow Lee Cullum, the forum discussion will take place Wednesday, Nov. 19, 5:30 p.m., in the Jones Great Hall. SMU students, faculty and staff are encouraged to RSVP via email to the Tower Center.

The Dialogue: Film Screening and Panel Discussion: As part of International Education Week, SMU’s International Student and Scholar Services hosts a free film screening of The Dialogue, a movie about U.S. and Chinese students traveling to China. Following the screening, Chinese international students and American students who have studied abroad will come together to discuss their experiences around intercultural communication. The event will take place Thursday, Nov. 20, 4:30-6:30 p.m., in the Hughes-Trigg Theater. For more information, contact SMU International Student and Scholar Services via email or on Facebook.

Dos Prados: SMU Meadows School of the Arts presents “Dos Prados: Larry Palmer’s Favorite Music for the Pascoal Caetano Oldovini Organ.” The concert features SMU Professor of Harpsichord and Organ Larry Palmer performing his favorite Iberian Baroque music surrounded by the masterworks in the Meadows Museum’s permanent collection. This performance will take place Thursday, Nov. 20, 5:30 p.m., in the Virginia Meadows Galleries. For more information, call 214-768-4677.

Meadows Jazz Orchestra Fall Concert: Directed by Dylan Smith, the Meadows Jazz Orchestra launches its 2014-15 season with the Meadows Jazz Orchestra Fall Concert. Featuring an evening of traditional big band music, the concert will take place on Thursday, Nov. 20, 8 p.m., in the Bob Hope Theatre. For more information, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

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SMU Men’s Basketball team & head coach Larry Brown

SMU Men’s Basketball: Marking the beginning of seven consecutive home games, SMU Men’s Basketball will return to Moody Coliseum to play Eastern Washington on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m.

Faculty Artist and Distinguished Alumni Recital Series: As part of the Faculty Artist and Distinguished Alumni Recital Series, Meadows School of the Arts presents Stefan Engels as he performs classic French works. After serving as professor of organ at the prestigious University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholody” in Germany, Engels joined SMU in fall 2014 as the new Leah Young Fullinwider Endowed Centennial Chair in Music Performance. Engels debut recital will take Saturday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m., in the Caruth Auditorium. Tickets are $7 for students, faculty and staff, and can be purchased online. For more information, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

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Thanksgiving treats from SMU Catering: Order by Nov. 21, 2014

Thanksgiving cornucopiaToo rushed for holiday baking? SMU Catering has a selection of pies, cakes, cookies and breads to make your Thanksgiving feast easier to prepare.

Treats for 2014 include pumpkin, pecan and buttermilk pies. Also available are Mexican chocolate cake, white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake, almond citrus cake, Pumpkin Decadence (gingerbread cake topped with pumpkin mousse and pumpkin ale sauce) and pumpkin dip with gingersnaps.

The Thanksgiving menu also includes Mustang bread, in both original and jalapeño cheese varieties.

For pricing information and to place your Thanksgiving order, call SMU Catering at 214-768-2368, or fax your order to 214-768-2366; include your phone number if you plan to pay with a credit card. Visa, MasterCard and checks (payable to SMU Catering) are accepted.

All orders and payments must be turned into SMU Dining Services in 101 Umphrey Lee Center by 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21. All prices include tax.

Thanksgiving baked goods are for pick-up only. Orders will be available Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 24-25 until 3 p.m. at the bakery in RFoC, Umphrey Lee Center.

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How to help students with stress during 2014 holidays, exams

SMU students in Fondren Science BuildingAs SMU enters both the holiday and exam seasons, SMU Provost Paul Ludden is asking that all University community members watch for signs of stress in themselves and in students.

Ludden asked that each faculty and staff member “be aware of signs of stress in yourself and those around you” in an e-mail message dated Monday, Nov. 17, 2014.

“In particular, I ask that you be aware of signs of stress among students, especially first-year students as they are experiencing their first set of final exams,” he added.

In addition, Ludden urged faculty and staff members to visit SMU’s Caring Community Connections homepage for information on identifying and helping students who may be in crisis. The confidential system “will allow us to identify students about whom we are concerned so that we are able to provide them with appropriate information, support, and advice,” he wrote.

He encouraged all to become familiar with SMU’s Guide for Faculty and Staff for Recognizing and Responding to Students in Distress, which is available online at this link.

Ludden also asked faculty and staff members to “reach out to an individual who is separated from family and friends at this time and invite them to share some of your traditions and goodwill.”

Many SMU resources are available to help University community members stay healthy and safe during the holiday and exam season, including these:

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OE2C: Procurement Initiative begins cost-saving work

Project SMU: Operational Excellence for the Second Century (OE2C) has assembled a Procurement Initiative team tasked with saving the University millions of dollars each year.

The team, chaired by Cox Dean Al Niemi and Vice President of Student Affairs Lori White, began work on Nov. 6, 2014. The initiative’s goal is to help the University realize $11-15 million in annual savings through both quick savings in a few specific spending categories and a redesigned purchasing organization.

Terry Conner, director of Purchasing and Accounts Payable, will serve as project manager and will collaborate with a committee comprised of these SMU contributors:

  • Catherine Collins (Cox School of Business)
  • Donna Cotter (Central University Libraries)
  • Patrick Cullen (Campus Services)
  • Windy Epperson (Accounts Payable)
  • Ellen Frost (Bridwell Library)
  • Cathy Heckman (Purchasing)
  • Mary Hollerich (Central University Libraries)
  • Abby Kinney (Office of Information Technology)
  • Dawn Norris (Student Life)
  • Anel Reyna (Office of Information Technology)
  • Justin Trombold (Simmons School of Education and Human Development)
  • Carmela Wells (Grant and Contract Accounting)

> More information at the SMU OE2C blog

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SMU ISSS hosts International Education Week Nov. 18-20, 2014

international-ed-week-135x100ratioPromoting cross-cultural understanding and furthering international education, SMU International Student and Scholar Services hosts International Education Week, Nov. 18-20.

International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.  For SMU students, faculty and staff, the week-long event includes a number of festivities provoking thought and discussion through fun activities, food and prizes.

According to Anna Lippard, SMU International Services specialist, “International Education Week is an opportunity for all SMU students to learn more about other cultures, meet international students, and to celebrate the diversity on SMU’s campus.”

Listed below includes details regarding various events and activities scheduled for SMU’s International Education Week:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 18 – SMU Summer 2015 Programs Fair: Hosted by SMU Abroad, the SMU Summer 2015 Programs Fair features over a dozen international programs. The event will take place 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Hughes-Trigg Commons.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19 – International Day Celebration: A celebration lunch for international students to wear their traditional clothes, enjoy free food, dancing, entertainment and prizes. The event will take place 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom.
  • Thursday, Nov. 20 – The Dialogue: Film Screening and Panel Discussion: A free movie screening of The Dialogue, a film about U.S. and Chinese students traveling to China. Following the screening, Chinese international students and American students who have studied abroad will come together to discuss their experiences around intercultural communication. The event will take place 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater.

For more information, contact SMU International Student and Scholar Services via email or on Facebook.

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Tune In: SMU takes the ‘It’s On Us’ pledge

The SMU community shows its support for It’s On Us, a nationwide campaign to end sexual assault and violence, in the latest video from Myles Taylor of SMU News.

Learn more from President R. Gerald Turner, basketball coaches Larry Brown and Rhonda Rompola, Student Body President Ramon Trespalacios and many more students, faculty, staff members and administrators – click the YouTube screen, or open this link to watch the SMU It’s On Us video in a new windowvideo

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Online training for SMU faculty and staff on recognizing, reporting and preventing discrimination, sexual violence

SMU has arranged for all faculty and staff members to participate in two online tutorials on recognizing and reporting discrimination and sexual violence.

The two self-paced courses, offered through training vendor LawRoom, take about one hour to complete. All faculty and staff members will receive an e-mail from LawRoom within the next several days with instructions on how to access the tutorials.

The University has set a Jan. 31, 2015 deadline for completion of the courses.

The training initiative was announced in the following e-mail message from SMU President R. Gerald Turner dated Monday, Nov. 17, 2014:

Dear SMU faculty and staff:

SMU is committed to maintaining an inclusive work and academic environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and discriminatory harassment, as outlined in the University’s Statement of Nondiscrimination (see below).

It is important that all employees understand their rights and responsibilities under the law and SMU’s nondiscrimination policies. Therefore, the University has arranged for every employee to participate in two new online educational tutorials that focus on these issues.

The first tutorial outlines the law on discrimination against groups protected by federal statutes, including Title IX of the Education Amendments, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Equal Pay Act. The tutorial explains the University’s policies and procedures for addressing and reporting such discrimination.

The second tutorial will help employees learn more about recognizing, reporting and preventing sexual violence. Topics covered include the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, assisting victims and survivors, and bystander intervention strategies.

Within several days, you will receive an email from SMU’s training vendor, LawRoom, with instructions on how to access the tutorials online. The self-paced modules are approximately one hour long and may be paused and restarted until completion. I found this feature to be particularly helpful when I took the training. The deadline for completing the training is January 31, 2015. However, I encourage you to review the tutorials as soon as possible to benefit from this important information.

Questions about accessing the tutorials may be directed to the Department of Human Resources at DevelopU@smu.edu.

If you have questions about SMU’s nondiscrimination policies and procedures, please contact the Office of Institutional Access and Equity (IAE) at 214-768-3601 or accessequity@smu.edu, or visit IAE online at smu.edu/IAE. You can find more information about sexual misconduct policies, resources and prevention on SMU’s Live Responsibly website, smu.edu/LiveResponsibly.

Thank you for your participation in this training. By being informed about these important issues, all of us can contribute to our community’s safety and well-being, and promote a respectful and welcoming environment for all community members.

Sincerely,

President R. Gerald Turner

SMU Statement of Nondiscrimination

SMU will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity and Title IX coordinator has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies.

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