SMU Provost Paul Ludden opened the 2011 Spring Faculty Meeting by presenting awards to four outstanding faculty members.
Assistant Professor of Art History Amy Buono and Assistant Professor of Sociology Sheri Kunovich received 2009-10 Golden Mustang Faculty Awards. The Golden Mustang honors junior faculty members who sustain high achievement as both teachers and scholars.
The 2009-10 President’s Associates Outstanding Faculty Awards were presented to Associate Professor of Philosophy Robert Howell and Associate Professor of Art History Pamela Patton. The awards honor tenured faculty who have sustained high achievement as both teachers and scholars in their professions.
Ludden announced SMU’s latest Carnegie Foundation research classification and unveiled the University’s new Quality Enhancement Plan at the Jan. 19 meeting. He also provided updates on the 10-year accreditation review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), next year’s budget standings and a proposed new structure for undergraduate admissions.
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“Good news,” Ludden said regarding SMU’s recent 10-year review by SACS. The process has gone well with only 13 items left unresolved out of more than 125 items submitted to the Atlanta-based organization to consider in the offsite portion of the review. Ludden said many of the outstanding items were minor, and would be addressed in a response due back to SACS by the end of February.
An onsite review will take place April 5-7, when SACS representatives will visit campus. Among the items to be discussed at that time is SMU’s new Quality Enhancement Program, unveiled by Ludden as Unbridled Learning: Engaged Learning Beyond the Classroom. Unbridled Learning seeks to give students opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-life experiences. Through Unbridled Learning, “SMU faculty and students may work with community organizations, or even other universities, to identify issues and solutions, and evaluate and communicate the success and impact of their projects,” Ludden said.
Ludden reported that in this second year of SMU’s three-year plan to help its endowment recover from the economic downturn, there will be a three-percent merit pool for faculty and staff in the next fiscal year, and promotion increases will be fully funded. However, school and department budget trimming is still required to cover the decrease in the endowment payout.
In addition, he described a new structure for undergraduate admissions, including an active search for a new position of Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management. This position will serve as an enrollment manager and oversee the Registrar, Director of Financial Aid, Dean of Admissions and Bursar. The new AVP will also manage the private contractor hired to increase applications. Under this arrangement, all admissions will enter through the Dean of Admissions, including first-year admissions, international students and transfers. Athletic admissions also will go through the Dean of Admissions, who will receive advice when necessary from the Athletic Admissions Subcommittee with input from the Athletic Director and coaches. The central recruiting team will coordinate with the school and college recruiters.
There were 12,368 applications to SMU as of noon Tuesday, Jan. 18, up from more than 8,000 a year ago.
In January, SMU moved up in the research classification of the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching. The University is now classified at the “high research activity” level – the same level as schools such as Wake Forest, Syracuse, George Washington University and Boston College. Previously, SMU was classified as a doctoral/research university.