A message from President Turner regarding campus carry

SMU President R. Gerald Turner released the following statement to the campus community on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015:

As many of you know, Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 11 in the last legislative session, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law in June. The law, also known as the “campus carry” law, provides that license holders may carry a concealed handgun throughout university campuses starting August 1, 2016. It allows private Texas colleges and universities to opt out of its requirement and ban guns, in consultation with their campus communities.

Earlier this month, representatives from the SMU Offices of Legal Affairs, Student Affairs, Business and Finance and Police met with the SMU Faculty Senate, SMU Student Senate and SMU Staff Advocacy Council. The feedback from these meetings was valuable.

I am now seeking input from the broader SMU student, faculty and staff community. Please submit your comments about the “campus carry” law and about SMU’s policy as a weapons-free campus by clicking here. To read more about Senate Bill 11, see below. You also can read our long-standing weapons-free campus policy below.

While the final “opt out” decision rests with me, your feedback is important. Thanks to each of you for the role you play in maintaining a safe and welcoming campus for all.

> Submit your campus-carry comments on Inside.SMU

> Find more informational resources at SMU News: smu.edu/campuscarry

Posted in News | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on A message from President Turner regarding campus carry

Tom Barry announces his retirement as SMU vice president for executive affairs

Thomas E. Barry, SMUThomas E. Barry, who has served as SMU’s vice president for executive affairs since 1995, has announced his retirement from that position effective Dec. 31, 2015. He also has been a member of the marketing faculty in SMU’s Cox School of Business since 1970.

Soon after becoming SMU’s president in 1995, R. Gerald Turner created the vice presidency for executive affairs and appointed Barry to fill it, adding the position to his President’s Executive Council.

“When I came to SMU, I knew that much of my focus would be on preparing SMU and our constituencies for major gift campaigns because we had a critical need for academic resources and campus enhancements,” Turner said. “I wanted a strong administrative leader and experienced academic who knew the University well, who would dig into any project that needed attention, and would bring together teams of colleagues for new initiatives. One of these was to move our strategic planning process forward as the basis for resource development.”

Barry led development of the Master Plan of 1997-2015 to provide direction and cohesion to the physical evolution of the campus, including its expansion east of Central Expressway, as well as improvements to SMU-in-Taos, the University’s New Mexico campus. He worked with SMU architects, facilities staff and oversight committees to help coordinate the addition or renovation of more than 32 campus facilities funded by recent campaigns.

Working with SMU’s other vice presidents and deans, he shepherded development of SMU’s last three strategic plans, including Launching SMU’s Second Century (2016-2025), the new strategic plan to be voted on by SMU’s Board of Trustees at its December 2015 meeting. The strategic plans guided priorities for SMU’s two recent major gift campaigns, The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead (1997-2002) and SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign (2008-2015). Together the campaigns raised more than $1.5 billion for scholarships, faculty and academic programs, facilities and the campus experience.

One of the most visible projects benefitting from Barry’s leadership was SMU’s quest to be the home of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. In December 2000, after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the election results, President Turner gave Barry his next major assignment: “You are going to become an expert on presidential libraries,” he said. Barry researched the 12 existing presidential libraries under the National Archives and Records Administration to learn how they are funded, structured and operated, including what relationships they have with universities. The information helped guide the content of SMU’s successful proposal. As a marketing expert, he was co-leader of the University’s recent branding research and message development.

“In these years of major gift campaigns, heightened outreach and centennial activities, SMU has been very fortunate to have Tom Barry’s quiet, persistent and substantive leadership,” President Turner said. “He labored primarily behind the scenes, but the results of his talents can be seen throughout campus. As a longtime professor of marketing in Cox School of Business, he brought a faculty perspective to administrative decision-making. Through his teaching and research, he has mentored literally thousands of students. I am personally very grateful for his steadfast service and will miss the integrity and candor of his counsel.”

Barry came to SMU in 1970 as visiting assistant professor of marketing and the next year was appointed to the tenure-track position of assistant professor of marketing. Within three years he was promoted to associate professor of marketing with tenure, and in 1979 rose to full professor. He served for two terms as chair of the Marketing Department and three times as associate dean for academic affairs in the Cox School. He has received numerous teaching awards in the Cox School and served on more than 100 University committees.

Throughout his service as an academic administrator, Barry has remained a prolific researcher, producing three books and more than 80 scholarly articles. He has been one of the most frequent contributors to the three leading advertising journals in the nation.

Barry received his Ph.D. in marketing from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in marketing from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where he began his teaching career.

In January 2016 Barry will begin a sabbatical year with the option of returning to the Cox faculty.

Posted in For the Record, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tom Barry announces his retirement as SMU vice president for executive affairs

SMU mathematics professor Alejandro Aceves elected Optical Society Fellow

Alejandro AcevesAlejandro Aceves, professor of mathematics in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has been elected as a fellow of The Optical Society for his pioneering contributions in the areas of optical gap solitons, spatiotemporal localization in optical array systems and UV filamentation.

Before joining SMU in fall 2008, Aceves spent 19 years as a professor of mathematics and statistics at the University of New Mexico, the last four years as department chair. He earned an M.A. from the California Institute of Technology in 1983 and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 1988, both in applied mathematics.

His research interests include nonlinear optics, nonlinear wave propagation, soliton theory, dynamical systems and modeling in epidemiology. Aceves is also the founder of AcevCo Research, a research consulting company.

The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional association in optics and photonics, home to accomplished science, engineering and business leaders from all over the world.

Posted in For the Record, News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on SMU mathematics professor Alejandro Aceves elected Optical Society Fellow

Guildhall administrator, Navy reservist Steven Cole celebrates Veterans Day after returning from deployment in Afghanistan

Capt. Steven Cole, USNRNavy veteran Steven Cole is back at SMU as both a staff member and a student after a one-year deployment with the NATO coalition in Afghanistan.

A deputy director with the SMU Guildhall and an officer in the United States Navy Reserve, Capt. Cole returned to the University in August after serving as director of the NATO-led Multinational Fusion Center, Regional Command North (RC-North) – a United Nations-mandated NATO mission in Mazar-i-Sharif with personnel from 17 different countries.

And in spring 2016, Capt. Cole becomes a master’s degree candidate in SMU’s Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, which shares the SMU-in-Plano campus with the Guildhall. He hopes to complete his postgraduate journey with doctoral studies in behavior sciences.

Capt. Cole’s Navy intelligence service focuses on counterinsurgency, human terrain and strategic analysis. A certified fraud examiner and private investigator with special expertise in forensic accounting, he made good use of his experience in an assignment with the Afghanistan Minister of Interior Affairs and Inspector General, helping to revamp the agency’s training and infrastructure.

“All the money, all the bullets, all the fuel the United States and the coalition are pouring into the government – someone has to account for that,” he says. “You can’t expect an agency to account for things when they don’t even have an accountant on staff.” His audits helped to drive sweeping changes, including the removal of corrupt officials and a revalidation of the ministry’s reporting cycles.

“Now they’re reviewing real numbers,” he says. “And we left a lot of good people in place to continue making progress.” Capt. Cole will retire from Navy Reserve service in an on-campus ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 in the Hillcrest Commons, Collins Executive Education Center.

Capt. Cole began his “dream job” at the Guildhall in April 2014. During his deployment, he carried stacks of Guildhall stickers and business cards and shared them often with fellow service members – most of whom were fellow gamers as well.

“I’d love to see some of these enlisted members come to Lyle or Meadows on their Veterans Administration benefits and join the Guildhall 4+1 program,” he says. “It’s kind of a big deal, and it’s just about the best way to get into a Guildhall program.”

Steven Cole joined the U.S. Naval Reserve in February 1986 and earned his B.B.A. degree in accounting from Abilene Christian University in 1978. His first Navy Reserve assignment was in North Texas: as assistant training officer to Fleet Intelligence Rapid Support Team, Pacific 0470 (FIRSTPAC 0470) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Dallas in Grand Prairie. During his Navy Reserve career he has served as an analyst, intelligence officer and intelligence training instructor with commands throughout California and Texas. His current command is stationed at Carrier Strike Group FOUR, Norfolk, Virginia.

A veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, Capt. Cole served with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) mission of counterintelligence, human intelligence, force protection and counterterrorism assigned to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Capt. Cole was awarded the Information Dominance Warfare Officer (IDWO) pin in October 2010. His personal decorations include the Distinguished Meritorious Service (2), Joint Service Commendation and Navy Commendation medals, as well as two Combat Action ribbons.

Posted in For the Record, News | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Guildhall administrator, Navy reservist Steven Cole celebrates Veterans Day after returning from deployment in Afghanistan

Research: SMU study shows intensive (and immediate) intervention is crucial in helping struggling readers succeed

SMU reading researcher Stephanie Al Otaiba

SMU reading researcher Stephanie Al Otaiba

Instructors who give struggling readers intensive and immediate help will enjoy “significantly” improved learning outcomes over those who adhere to the traditional “fail first” model, according to a new study by SMU researchers.

The study found that reading skills improve very little when schools follow current standard practice of waiting for struggling readers to fail before providing them with additional help. In contrast, a dynamic intervention in which at-risk readers received the most intensive help immediately enabled these students to significantly outperform their peers who had to wait for additional help, says the study’s lead author, SMU’s Stephanie Al Otaiba.

“We studied how well struggling readers respond to generally effective standard protocols of intervention to help them improve. We found that how those interventions are provided within a school — how immediately they are provided — makes an important difference,” says Al Otaiba, professor of teaching and learning in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Proficient reading is critical, and early intervention is imperative, says co-author and academic skills measurement expert Paul Yovanoff, also a professor of teaching and learning in the Simmons School. About 40 percent of U.S. children in fourth grade do not read at a proficient level, Yovanoff adds.

“We’re not talking about a small group of children,” he says. “We’re talking about a large group. And the number is higher in urban areas and higher among minority students. How can these kids grow up and participate in society as moms and dads in the economy unless they’re literate? Reading is a bottleneck for their success in school and in life.”

A wait-to-fail system can be the unintended consequence of response to intervention as it’s currently practiced in U.S. schools, the researchers say. “If you have to wait a certain time to demonstrate that you need more help, then it’s a wait-to-fail system,” Yovanoff says. “Good teaching would collect frequent information about the student’s performance and adjust help appropriately.”

The study, initiated in 2011, followed 522 first-grade public school students for three years through third grade. At the start of the study, the children were young beginning readers with the poorest initial reading skills, who were struggling and at risk for developing reading disabilities.

“We contrasted the multi-tier model with what we call a dynamic model, where we gave kids with the weakest initial skills the strongest intervention right away,” Al Otaiba says. “The kids in the dynamic system outperformed the kids who got help later.”

The researchers followed up on the students in third grade, and found that those that had received the immediate intensive intervention continued to outperform the children who had to wait, Al Otaiba says.

The research was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. The study’s co-author is Jeanne Wanzek of the Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University.

The researchers reported the findings in their article “Response to Intervention” in the European Scientific Journal.

— Margaret Allen

> Read the full story at the SMU Research website

Posted in Faculty in the News, News, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Research: SMU study shows intensive (and immediate) intervention is crucial in helping struggling readers succeed

OE2C: Faculty, staff suggestions for continuous improvement needed to sustain savings, efficiencies

SMU has begun the next phase in its Operational Excellence for the Second Century (OE2C) project. A new post on the OE2C website describes its mission:

As it charts its own course for the future, SMU will continue to implement initiatives begun over the past year, and will soon establish “continuous improvement” teams to examine other ways – suggested by staff, faculty and students – to improve administrative functions and reallocate funds to the academic mission.

The article also reaffirms that OE2C is still seeking questions, comments and suggestions from faculty and staff members:

Julie Wiksten, associate vice president for Operational Excellence and director of the OE2C Office, said the SMU community should expect even more improvements in the years ahead as her office continues sifting through suggestions/ideas for operational improvements and implementing those that work.

More than 50 ideas submitted by staff, faculty and students are up for consideration, she said, adding that some already have been implemented.

“We have made great progress toward our overall goal of reallocating $25-$35 million from administrative expense to our academic mission,” Wiksten said. “But we still have a long way to go. The OE2C Office exists in part to help keep our focus on making SMU a leader among academic institutions. We welcome the participation and ideas of staff, faculty and students to help make that happen.”

Faculty and staff members can send their input to OE2C through this website form.

> Read the full story at SMU’s Operational Excellence for the Second Century website

Posted in News, OE2C | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on OE2C: Faculty, staff suggestions for continuous improvement needed to sustain savings, efficiencies

Maguire Center, Residence Life honor military vets with ‘Red, White and Blues’ Nov. 11, 2015

SMU Veterans Day 2015 graphicSMU honors military vets everywhere – especially those who are part of the University community – with music, food and festivities on Veterans Day 2015, Wednesday, Nov. 11.

The Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility and Residence Life and Student Housing have joined forces to present a “Red, White and Blues” barbecue luncheon, featuring musical entertainment by Dallas blues band Miss Marcy and Her Texas SugarDaddys. The party takes place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

All SMU faculty, staff and student military veterans will receive an SMU Veteran lapel pin to recognize their service. Also scheduled are a free raffle, Veterans Day trivia, and a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots drop-off table.

> Find more information at the Maguire Center website: smu.edu/ethics

Posted in Calendar Highlights, News | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Maguire Center, Residence Life honor military vets with ‘Red, White and Blues’ Nov. 11, 2015

A world premiere, a masterwork and a revival at the 2015 Fall Dance Concert Nov. 11-15

deepa 300w

Deepa Liegal dancing “There is a Time” Photograph by Paul Phillips

The 2015 Fall Dance Concert will feature a world premiere, a masterwork and a revival.

Opening the program is the premiere of Wild and Precious, a contemporary ballet by Robert Dekkers. Created especially for the SMU Dance Ensemble, Wild and Precious is a celebration of both youthful energy and the evanescence of life. Performing choreography that is supremely physical and challenging, the dancers embody the dynamic spirit of “the body electric.”

The program continues with There Is a Time, a masterpiece of modern dance created in 1956 by José Limón and composer Norman Dello Joio, who earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for the score. The work alludes to a chapter of Ecclesiastes and each movement of the work is titled with a biblical verse and embodies the human experience.

The New York’s Joyce Theater invited the SMU dancers to perform There Is a Time at the 70th anniversary celebration of the Limón Dance Company, which honors José Limón’s legacy, in October. The Meadows School of the Arts is one of only nine university dance programs internationally selected to perform.

Concluding the Fall Dance Concert is a restaging of the jazz work Swing Concerto by jazz dance artist and SMU faculty member Danny Buraczeski. The work synthesizes the grounded qualities of folk dance with the exuberance of the swing-era movement.

Fall Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for SMU students, faculty and staff. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 214-768-2787 or visit the Meadows website.

Posted in Calendar Highlights, For the Record, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A world premiere, a masterwork and a revival at the 2015 Fall Dance Concert Nov. 11-15

Here’s what’s cooking: Order Thanksgiving baked goods from SMU Catering by Friday, Nov. 20, 2015

Thanksgiving cornucopiaSMU Catering can help with your holiday feast, offering a selection of pies, cakes, cookies and breads at favorable prices to make your Thanksgiving easier to enjoy.

Treats for 2015 include pumpkin, buttermilk and Jack Daniels pecan pies. Also available are Mexican chocolate cake, white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake, almond citrus cake, pear tart (featuring champagne-poached pears with frangipane filling) and pumpkin dip with gingersnaps.

The baked-goods 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 and include your contact phone number. Visa, MasterCard and checks (payable to SMU Catering) are accepted.

Thanksgiving dessert order forms are also available in several on-campus food outlets.

All orders and payments must be turned into SMU Dining Services in 101 Umphrey Lee Center by 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20. All prices include tax.

Thanksgiving baked goods are for pick-up only. Orders will be available Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 23-24 until 3 p.m. in the SMU Catering office, 101 Umphrey Lee Center.

Posted in News, Save the Date | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Here’s what’s cooking: Order Thanksgiving baked goods from SMU Catering by Friday, Nov. 20, 2015

Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for Nov. 6, 2015

Free Will & Moral Responsibility with Local Philosophers: On Friday, Nov. 6, Dedman College is hosting a workshop on the topic of free will and moral responsibility and whether free will and responsibility are mere illusions given the truth of causal determinism. The workshop is free and open to the public and will be held in Florence Hall, room 121. First, Charles Hermes of UT Arlington will discuss Truthmakers & Free Will from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Secondly, Eric Barnes of SMU will discuss Character Control and Moral Responsibility from 1 – 3 p.m. Lastly, Kelly McCormick of TCU will discuss A Dilemma for Morally Responsible Time Travellers from 3:30 – 5 p.m.

A Tate Lecture with Shankar Vedantam: Shankar Vendantam, NPR science correspondent reporting on human behavior and social sciences, author of The Hidden Brain and former reporter and columnist for The Washington Post, will be the featured speaker at The Jones Day Lecture of the 2015-16 Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The lecture program begins at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. All students, faculty and staff are invited to attend an informal question and answer session at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater.

>Read more about Shankar Vedantam and the Tate Lecture Series

Red, WhRed White and Bluesite and Blues: 2015 Veterans Day Luncheon: All SMU students, faculty and staff are invited to join the Maguire Ethics Center this Wednesday Nov. 11 from 11:30 – 1 p.m. at the SMU Flagpole to celebrate Veterans Day. Dallas blues band Miss Marcy and her Texas Sugardaddys will provide live entertainment for luncheon attendees. There will be delicious food, a free raffle, and the opportunity to thank the members of our SMU Veteran community. For more information click here.

A World Premier, a Masterwork and a Revival at the 2015 Fall Dance Concert: Wednesday, Nov. 11 marks the kick-off of the 2015 Fall Dance Concert. This year’s concert will feature the premier of contemporary ballet Wild and Precious, a revival of the jazz work Swing Concert to and a masterpiece of modern dance There is a Time. Performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for SMU students, faculty and staff. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 214-768-2787 or visit here.

Swing Concerto in the 2015 Fall Dance Concert

Swing Concerto, Photo by Paul Phillips


Ronald Reagan – A Remarkable Life: One Day University, an organization that presents live talks starring the nation’s greatest professors, is bring University of Texas professor H.W. Brands to McFarlin Auditorium this Thursday, Nov. 12. Professor Brands will give a speech from 6 – 8:30 p.m. on how the confident force of Reagan’s personality and the unwavering nature of his beliefs enabled him to engineer a conservative revolution in American politics and play a crucial role in ending communism in the Soviet Union. Tickets are $49.

>Learn more about H.W. Brands and One Day University

Posted in Calendar Highlights | Comments Off on Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for Nov. 6, 2015