administrative appointments

Larenda Mielke named SMU Associate Provost for Continuing Education

Larenda Mielke, an international leader in professional, online, and executive education, has been named SMU’s first associate provost for continuing education. She will begin her new duties Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017.

University President R. Gerald Turner and Provost Steven C. Currall created the position to support one of the major objectives in SMU’s strategic plan, to engage the community for lifelong learning through professional training and continuing education, and in response to a report provided by the Task Force on Continuing Education.

SMU has offered continuing education to the community in different ways since the early 1920s. Currently, SMU’s Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE) and Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) programs report directly to the Provost’s Office. CAPE includes noncredit courses, and SMU’s seven academic schools offer for-credit and degree programs as well. Existing continuing education programs in SMU’s academic units report through their respective dean to the provost.

SMU Forum: Provost appoints search committee for Associate Provost for Continuing Education

“The vision for SMU’s continuing education is to further strengthen our commitment to academic excellence by broadening accessibility to the outstanding instruction offered by SMU’s faculty members,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Ms. Mielke’s background in domestic and international programs, as well as her breadth of experience in intercultural communication, research writing, English language programs in a medical school, and leadership, equips her to succeed in expanding SMU’s continuing education efforts. We expect that continuing education will generate financial surplus that will be reinvested in the University’s academic mission. Larenda is the ideal leader to propel the growth of SMU’s continuing education.”

Mielke stated, “It is with great excitement that I prepare to join SMU’s continuing and professional education team. Together we will build upon the ongoing vision of student-centered, external-facing educational offerings to enrich lives, foster innovation, and enhance productivity. Using the latest technological advances in teaching and learning, and harnessing the synergies of a University-wide effort, together we will join with the other exemplary initiatives of SMU to provide an unbridled residential student experience to include those attending SMU online and at a distance, doing our part to galvanize the University upward and outward while contributing to cutting-edge excellence and leadership among our peers.”

As senior director of Executive Education at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Mielke is a member of the leadership team of an internationally recognized program ranked No. 2 in the United States by the Financial Times. She has developed and led continuing education programs in top academic, corporate, government, and medical organizations and has experience in expanding initiatives, course offerings and revenues.

From 2004-14, Mielke held steadily advancing roles at Washington University in St. Louis, serving ultimately as associate dean and managing director of an Executive M.B.A. program run jointly by the Olin Business School and Fudan University’s School of Management in Shanghai, China. In that role, she managed a multimillion-dollar international program and brought Olin’s Executive M.B.A. program ranking to No. 5 in the world, as assessed by the Financial Times.

Mielke received a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in biology from Indiana State University. She holds an M.A. degree magna cum laude in cross-cultural education from Wheaton College Graduate School and an Executive M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School.

Reporting to the SMU provost, Mielke will provide University-wide leadership to prioritize, coordinate, support and grow continuing education. She will oversee CAPE and the MSDS programs, as well as help create an institution-wide strategy to build on notable efforts that some of SMU’s academic units have already developed in continuing education.

In addition, Mielke will work with the new Continuing Education Program Council (CEPC), comprised of the deans of academic units and chaired by the provost. CEPC will provide guidance to the associate provost regarding the overall strategy for SMU’s continuing education and coordinate new proposals as well as revisions to existing programs.

Associate Provost for Student Academic Services Julie P. Forrester chaired the search committee. “We considered a number of outstanding candidates. Larenda, with her combination of experience and enthusiasm for our goals, was clearly the most impressive,” Forrester said. “We’re looking forward to working with her.”

The higher education search firm of Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. assisted the University in the national search.

Michael H. Hites, Ph.D., named SMU Chief Information Officer effective July 17, 2017

Michael H. HitesMichael H. Hites, Ph.D., an executive with 17 years of experience leading large-scale computing operations for university-based research and innovation, has been named SMU’s Chief Information Officer. He will begin his new duties on July 17, 2017.

“We are delighted that Dr. Hites will be joining us as our Chief Information Officer,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.  “His experience and leadership will be invaluable as we dramatically increase the utilization of advanced computing in our research and institutional programs.”

Currently, Hites is senior associate vice president for administrative IT services and CIO with the University of Illinois System. He also serves as an adjunct associate professor of computer science at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He brings to SMU experience with innovation and research, teaching and learning, enterprise infrastructure, fundraising, governance, strategic planning and budgeting, process improvement, new product development, 24/7 operations, and data warehousing and analytics, among other areas.

As SMU CIO, Hites will report directly to President Turner. He will lead the Office of Information Technology, including the Academic Technology, Infrastructure, Applications Support, Project Management, Customer Service, and Information Security teams.

In addition, Hites will oversee the University’s high-performance computing initiatives, including the ManeFrame II supercomputer: SMU’s fourth-generation upgrade, which boasts a six-fold increase in computing power with a theoretical peak performance of more than 600 teraflops.  When installation is competed this summer, ManeFrame II will rank among the top academic supercomputers in the nation.

As the UI System’s senior associate VP for administrative IT services and CIO since 2012, Hites is responsible for a $28 million recurring budget and 220 employees. He also leads an executive team in planning, strategy, analysis, and operations of enterprise IT services for approximately 81,000 students and 25,000 employees across UI’s Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Chicago (UIC) and Springfield (UIS) campuses.

His accomplishments in this role include the development of faculty-focused IT governance structures that balance membership between academic and administrative leadership, as well as the implementation of an annual enterprise resource planning (ERP) upgrade process that saves the system millions of dollars compared to peer organizations.

He has collaborated on the planning and installation of a new shared research-computing cluster at UIC and helped implement a single-username and -password system in a highly-distributed environment with multiple password directories. In addition, his department created a researcher-focused financial and compliance portal to streamline processes for innovators, as well as developed strategies for administrative IT services that favor saving time for students and faculty and providing faster services and data for stakeholders.

“I am looking forward to helping achieve SMU’s 2016-2025 strategic plan, ‘Launching SMU’s Second Century: Shaping Leaders for a Changing World,’” Hites said.  “Being the CIO at SMU gives me the opportunity to work side-by-side with students, faculty and staff to foster research, improve interdisciplinary education, and partner with the city of Dallas.”

Hites began his career at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago in 1996, where he served as assistant to the dean for computing (1996-97), assistant dean for computing and research assistant professor (1997-98), and director, Computing and Network Services (1998-2000). He also served as chief technology officer from 2000-03.

He continued his career at New Mexico State University (NMSU) from 2003-08, starting as vice provost for information and technology services and CIO (2003-06). As vice president for planning and IT and CIO from 2006-08, he worked with deans, directors, students, faculty, executive leadership, and the Board of Regents to plan, implement and measure IT programs and services across NMSU’s five-campus system, as well as assisting other governmental and educational entities in New Mexico.

His 10-year career with the University of Illinois System included service as executive CIO (2011-12) and associate vice president for administrative IT services (2008-12).

Hites received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona in 1989. He earned an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1992 and his Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1997.

Dr. Hites was selected after a nationwide search coordinated by a campus committee chaired by James E. Quick, associate vice president for research and dean of graduate studies. He replaces Joe Gargiulo, SMU’s first CIO, who will retire this summer.

“A 21st-century university depends on information technology,” Quick said. “Dr. Hites’ background, which includes both outstanding IT and faculty experience, position him to lead the engagement of IT in SMU’s efforts to enhance its academic quality and stature.”

Kenechukwu (K.C.) Mmeje named SMU Vice President for Student Affairs

Kenechukwu K.C. MmejeKenechukwu (K.C.) Mmeje, assistant vice president and dean of students at Loyola University Chicago, has been named Vice President for Student Affairs at SMU effective Monday, July 17, 2017.

“Strength of character and a commitment to students shines through in interactions with Dr. Mmeje,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His experience at urban, private universities in Chicago and Los Angeles also set him apart as a candidate for this important position at SMU. We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Mmeje to the Hilltop in Dallas.”

In his new duties, Mmeje (pronounced MAY-jay) will oversee areas including the Office of the Dean of Student Life; Residence Life; women’s, LGBT, multicultural, volunteer and leadership programs; student activities; student conduct; the Hegi Family Career Development Center; campus ministries; health and wellness programs, including the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center; the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

As assistant vice president and dean of students at Loyola University Chicago since September 2014, Mmeje has been responsible for several functional areas that support Loyola’s academic mission and promote a vibrant campus life, including the Office of the Dean of Students, Off-Campus Student Life, Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution, Student Activities & Greek Affairs, Leadership Development and Second Year Experience, Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs, and the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC). He has almost 15 years of progressively responsible student affairs experience in judicial affairs, crisis management, retention and academic support services, and student advocacy and support.

In addition, he oversees Loyola’s Behavioral Concerns Team and co-chairs the Threat Assessment Team. He also co-chairs the Loyola Experience Implementation Committee, which is responsible for ensuring alignment of the institution’s academic and co-curricular programs through ongoing collaborations that include New Student Convocation, Welcome Week, and Student Support and Retention Initiatives, among others.

“I am excited to join the SMU community,” Mmeje said. “Throughout the search process, I was struck by the passion and enthusiasm with which everyone I met described their love and tremendous pride for SMU. I look forward to partnering with the outstanding professionals in the Division of Student Affairs, faculty and academic leaders to offer a seamlessly integrated curricular and co-curricular experience that supports the holistic development of each student. I am eager to meet the SMU student community and to begin working on their behalf.”

Mmeje began his career in student life and development at the University of Vermont in Burlington, where he served as assistant director of the Office of Judicial Affairs from 2003-04. He served the University of Southern California (USC) as assistant director of student judicial affairs and community standards (2004-05), and as student affairs advisor and special projects coordinator for the vice president of student affairs (2005-06).

From 2006-10, Mmeje was director of the USC Scholars Program, a funded outreach and retention initiative serving local underrepresented, first-generation, and low- to moderate-income transfer students. In this role, he collaborated with faculty to develop, implement and assess programs that facilitated the academic and social success of these students at USC. In addition, he provided regular training for academic advisors on how to better serve the university’s transfer population, as well as admissions and financial aid counseling for students and their parents and guardians.

His eight-year career with Loyola University Chicago included service as associate dean of student life (2010-13) before his promotion to assistant vice president, Student Life, in July 2013. Concurrently with his other duties, he also served as interim director of the Department of Residence Life from 2015-16.

Mmeje received his B.A. degree in sociology and Black studies from the University of California-Santa Barbara. He earned a Master of Education degree in higher education student affairs administration from the University of Vermont and his Ed.D. in educational leadership from USC. In addition, he holds a Certificate in Management and Leadership in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

His wife, Natasha, is a health educator and currently serves as assistant director of Loyola’s Wellness Center for Health Promotion. She also is a trained medical advocate for survivors of sexual assault in the State of Illinois. They have two daughters, Ayana and Savannah.

Mmeje was selected after a nationwide search coordinated by a campus committee chaired by Harold W. Stanley, vice president for executive affairs. He replaces the late Pamela D. Anthony, who died Jan. 17, 2017, after a battle with cancer. Joanne Vogel, SMU associate vice president and dean of student life, currently serves as vice president ad interim.

Provost appoints search committee for new position of associate provost for Continuing Education

SMU Provost Steve Currall has appointed the search committee for the newly created position of associate provost for Continuing Education. In support of one of the major objectives in SMU’s strategic plan, “Engage the community for lifelong learning through professional training and continuing education,” and in response to the report provided by the Task Force on Continuing Education, SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Provost Currall have created this position.

“Although SMU currently engages in wide-ranging efforts in continuing education, we see great potential for the new associate provost to help prioritize continuing education by providing leadership and coordination across the university,” said Currall. “He or she will ensure that continuing education advances SMU’s academic mission and is in close alignment with the University’s academic values and its visibility in the eyes of SMU stakeholders.”

Reporting to the provost, the inaugural associate provost for Continuing Education will provide University-wide leadership to prioritize, coordinate, support and grow continuing education. An institution-wide strategy will build on the notable efforts that some academic units have already developed in continuing education. The associate provost will oversee Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE) and the Master of Science in Data Science program. He or she also will work with the new Continuing Education Program Council (CEPC), comprised of the deans of academic units and chaired by the provost. CEPC will provide input to the associate provost regarding the overall strategy for SMU’s continuing education and review new proposals as well as revisions to existing programs.

“President Turner and I seek a candidate for this position who has a clear and compelling vision for the development and implementation of continuing education at SMU,” Currall added. “The ideal person will have a strong record of administrative leadership and management skills with a demonstrated record of success in a large and multifaceted organization. They need the transformational leadership capacity to shepherd continuing education at SMU during a time of significant pedagogical innovation in higher education.”

SMU has offered continuing education to the community in different ways since the early 1920s. Currently, continuing education programs in the academic units report through their respective dean to the provost. CAPE and the M.S. in Data Science program report directly to the Provost’s Office.

Continuing Education at SMU includes noncredit courses such as those offered by CAPE and by Executive Education in Cox. The seven academic schools offer for-credit and degree programs as well.

Associate Provost for Student Academic Services Julie P. Forrester will chair the search committee. Its members include:

  • Hal Barkley, professor and chair, Dispute Resolution and Counseling, Simmons School of Education and Human Development
  • Ernie Barry, associate vice president for Budget and Finance
  • Bill Dillon, senior associate dean of academic affairs, and the Herman W. Lay Professor of Marketing, Cox School of Business
  • Michael Harris, director, Center for Teaching Excellence and associate professor of education policy and leadership, Simmons School of Education and Human Development
  • Kevin Hofeditz, senior associate dean and professor of theatre, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Robert Howell, professor of philosophy, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Renee McDonald, associate dean for research and academic affairs, and professor of psychology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Volkan Otugen, senior associate dean and professor of mechanical engineering, Lyle School of Engineering
  • Priscilla Pope-Levinson, associate dean for external programs and professor of ministerial studies, Perkins School of Theology
  • Harold W. Stanley, vice president for executive affairs, and the Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Beth Thornburg, senior associate dean and the Richard R. Lee Endowed Professor of Law, Dedman School of Law
  • Kimberly Rutigliano, director of Continuing and Professional Education
  • Valerie Parker, Human Resources business partner

Rutigliano and Parker will assist the committee in a non-voting, ex officio capacity. The committee welcomes input from the SMU community regarding possible candidates for the position. The higher education search firm of Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. will assist the University in the national search.

Inquiries, nominations and applications should be sent in strict confidence to:

Jan Greenwood or Betty Turner Asher
Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc.
42 Business Centre Drive, Suite 206
Miramar Beach, Florida 32550
Phone: 850-650-2277 / Fax: 850-650-2272
Email: jangreenwood@greenwoodsearch.com
Email: bettyasher@greenwoodsearch.com

 

SMU names Stephanie L. Knight dean of Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Stephanie L. KnightStephanie L. Knight, a nationally recognized education leader, researcher and professor, has been named dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. The current associate dean and professor of education in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University will assume her new duties at SMU on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017.

“Stephanie Knight’s impressive background of scholarly excellence and outreach to the education community will enable her to deliver visionary leadership to propel the Simmons School toward even greater visibility and impact,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Stephanie will continue to amplify the school’s commitment to evidence-based scholarship, external research funding and the preparation of exemplary professionals in education and human development. Her history of partnerships with urban and suburban schools equips her to further elevate the school’s contributions to K-12 education in the North Texas region and beyond. Furthermore, Stephanie is deeply committed to collaborations with other academic units on the SMU campus to advance interdisciplinary academic programs and initiatives.”

“Dr. Knight is joining a dynamic school, which will continue its trajectory as an innovative leader in education research and practice under her leadership,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “She understands that education is key to change, from lifting individuals from poverty to opening minds to new understanding, and that will strengthen SMU’s impact on individuals, schools and the world.”

Knight began her education career as a classroom teacher of Spanish and French in Texas, Saudi Arabia and Pennsylvania. She received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the University of Houston before beginning a 20-year tenure at Texas A&M University, where she was professor of educational psychology and teaching, learning and culture. In addition, she held the Houston Endowment, Inc. Chair in Urban Education at Texas A&M, received the University Distinguished Teaching Award and was named a University Faculty Fellow. Knight joined Pennsylvania State University in 2009 as professor of educational psychology, where she taught courses in educational psychology and effective learning. In 2013 she became associate dean at Penn State, leading the College of Education’s undergraduate and graduate studies programs.

Her scholarly interests demonstrate a dedication to bringing the results of evidence-based research to the K-12 classroom. Her research into relationships between instructional strategies, classroom processes, learning environments and student outcomes; teacher professional development, and the use of observational techniques to study classroom processes has been published in hundreds of professional journal articles, book chapters and books and presented at numerous professional conferences.

In addition, Knight has directed university and national research centers, including serving as associate director of research into practice for the National Science Foundation Information Technology in Science Center for Teaching and Learning, and director of evaluation and assessment for the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement in Washington, D.C.  She recently concluded five years as co-editor of the Journal of Teacher Education and also served from 2004 to 2006 as co-editor of the Teaching, Learning and Human Development section of the American Educational Research Journal. She currently serves as associate editor of the Review of Educational Research.

“Dr. Stephanie Knight stood out from a large pool of highly qualified candidates due to both her administrative experience and her tenure at tier-one research universities,” said Marc Christensen, chair of the Simmons School dean search committee, and dean and Lyle Professor of Innovation in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. “I look forward to working with her on the Council of Deans to advance the University’s academic and research missions.”

Knight earned her B.A. in romance languages and literature at the University of Kentucky, where she was selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa; her master’s degree and certification in secondary teaching at Lehigh University; and her Ed.D. in educational curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston.

“I am honored, and very excited, to have the opportunity to serve as the next dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development,” she said. “Simmons has already established an impressive foundation in its first decade, and I look forward to working with the very talented and productive faculty, staff and students in the school to further their ongoing mission of excellence in research, teaching and community outreach. SMU provides an ideal context for the success of this mission: Location in a dynamic urban context; commitment to academic excellence; support for interdisciplinary approaches that encourage innovation; and a climate of collaboration across and within units that enhances the process and outcomes of our very important work in education and human development. I look forward to becoming an integral member of the SMU and Simmons community.”

— Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News

Matthew B. Myers named dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business

Matthew B. MyersMatthew B. Myers, a global marketing and strategy expert with special expertise in cross-border business relationships and Latin American economies, has been named dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business. He will assume his new duties on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at which point Albert W. Niemi Jr., who has been dean of the school since 1997, will transition to full-time teaching.

“As the new dean of the Cox School of Business, Matt Myers brings extraordinary energy for outreach to the regional, national, and global business community,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The range of his previous administrative and professorial experiences also equips him to lead the school toward even greater faculty research excellence, as well as innovative educational programs for Cox undergraduates, graduate students and working executives. Furthermore, Matt is deeply committed to collaborations with other academic units on the SMU campus to advance interdisciplinary academic programs and initiatives.”

“The Cox School of Business and its international academic reputation will be in good hands with Matt Myers,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His expertise in global trends, particularly in cross-border and Spanish-language markets, will be invaluable to our faculty and students – especially as programs such as the Cox School’s Latino Leadership Initiative and the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center in Dedman College continue to evolve. In addition, his vision and leadership as a fundraiser will help secure the ongoing health of these centers of excellence, as well as the promise of innovations to come.”

As dean and Mitchell P. Rales Chair of Business Leadership of the Farmer School of Business at Miami University of Ohio, Myers manages an $80 million budget and recently launched the first independent fund-raising campaign for a college at Miami University. The $200 million effort includes a $40 million lead gift, the largest philanthropic gift in Miami history. The Farmer School of Business is a top-10 producer of Fortune 500 CEOs and maintains undergraduate, graduate and executive programs with a student body of approximately 4,300 and more than 250 faculty and staff members.

“I am extremely excited about becoming the next dean of the Cox School of Business at SMU,” Myers said. “I wish to thank President Turner, Provost Currall, and the SMU community for this opportunity, and I look forward to joining a wonderful group of faculty, staff, and students. The Cox School’s dedication to quality programs and research excellence, in addition to its supportive and engaged network of alumni and business partners, make the school an exhilarating place to be for anyone passionate about business education.”

“Matthew Myers is a terrific choice to lead the Cox School of Business into the future,” said longtime Cox School Dean Albert W. Niemi Jr. “Matt is an accomplished teacher and researcher, and he has a keen understanding of the global economy. He will be a wonderful addition to SMU’s leadership team, and Maria and I look forward to welcoming Matt and his family to Dallas and the Cox community.”

> Cheryl Hall, Dallas Morning News: SMU hires global expert as new business school dean

Myers has written extensively on knowledge sharing in cross-border business relationships, international pricing strategies, and comparative marketing systems. His research has been published in leading journals including the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Operations Management, the Journal of International Business Studies, and Sloan Management Review. He also served as co-editor of the Handbook of Global Supply Chain Management (2006, SAGE Publications). His current work focuses on the effects of foreign direct investment in supply-chain functions on developing-economy performance and wealth distribution.

As an educator and consultant, Myers has traveled extensively and worked with organizations in the global distribution, chemical, insurance, education, pharmaceutical, and marketing research industries. He has served as a visiting faculty member at ESSEC Business School-Paris and the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He also has taught at the Vienna University of Economics and Business as well as in Italy, Romania, Taiwan and Uzbekistan. In addition, he has led executive education courses in China, Vietnam, India, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Hungary and Poland.

Prior to his tenure at Miami, Myers served as the Nestlé Professor and associate dean of executive education in the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, where he oversaw a grant from the U.S. Air Force as well as cooperative educational relationships with Oak Ridge National Laboratories. He was recognized three times as the Outstanding Faculty Member for M.B.A. programs and received the University of Tennessee’s Chancellor’s Award for Globalization Initiatives.

A military veteran, Myers served in the U.S. Army Airborne at Ft. Kobbe, Canal Zone, Republic of Panama and at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, from 1979 to 1982. He is a member of the Society of Fellows of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to educational and policy issues.

Myers earned his Ph.D. degree in marketing and international business from Michigan State University in 1997. He received his Master of International Business Studies with a focus on Spanish-language and Latin American economies from the University of South Carolina in 1992. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Louisville’s College of Natural Sciences in 1986.

Provost Currall expressed thanks to Albert W. Niemi Jr. for his 20 years of service as dean of the Cox School. Dean Niemi, who currently holds the Cox School’s Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership, plans to return to full-time teaching during the 2017-18 academic year as the William J. O’Neil Chair in Global Markets and Freedom.

> Read the full story from SMU News

 

Elena D. Hicks begins role as SMU’s new dean of admission Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017

This story was originally published Jan. 30, 2017.

Elena Hicks

After an extensive national search, SMU has appointed Elena D. Hicks, dean of admission at Loyola University Maryland, as the University’s new dean of undergraduate admission. She began her SMU service on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017.

In her new role, Hicks oversees all activities in the SMU Office of Admission, including admission for first-year, transfer and international applicants. She also will work closely with SMU Public Affairs to develop the University’s marketing messages, and with faculty, staff and alumni to recruit high achieving undergraduate students from across the United States and around the world.

“We are pleased to welcome Dean Hicks to the SMU admission team, and back to her home state of Texas,” said Wes Waggoner, associate vice president for enrollment management in the Office of the Provost. “Her experience and knowledge in admission is extensive, and she understands the profession in a way that will complement our current staff and guide SMU through the enrollment opportunities and complexities before us. She is firmly committed to increasing [the University’s] academic stature and ensuring that its student body is talented, diverse and eager to engage with our faculty in the classroom.”

With 27 years of education experience, Hicks has considerable knowledge about student recruitment, selective admission and family involvement. At Loyola, she successfully developed and implemented recruitment strategies that resulted in a significant increase in first-year applications and an increase in the enrollment size of the entering class during her nine-year tenure.

Hicks’ ties to SMU are deeply rooted. Her great-grandfather Robert L. Peace (a Dallas native), began working at SMU as it opened its doors, and he proudly served the institution for 37 years. Other family members, inspired by Robert’s passion for the University, worked at SMU in various capacities over the years.

“I have a passion for education and strongly believe in SMU’s commitment to shape world changers, thus I am extremely honored to be selected as the University’s new dean of undergraduate admission,” said Hicks. “I feel confident that my myriad of experiences will help move the office of admission’s goals and strategies forward, while establishing collaborative partnerships and strengthening relationships with the overall community.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Peter Moore appointed to campuswide curricular and policy role

Dedman Faculty Peter Moore PortraitPeter K. Moore, SMU associate dean for general education and a longtime advocate for liberal studies and scholarship, has been appointed associate provost for curricular innovation and policy effective Oct. 3, 2016.

Moore’s new role is part of a reorganization of the University’s Office of General Education, which will move from Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences to the Office of the Provost. The move was announced jointly by Steven Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Thomas DiPiero, dean of Dedman College, after extensive consultation with the SMU Faculty Senate.

Moore will also continue as co-chair of the Provost’s General Education Review Task Force.

Locating the Office of General Education in the Office of the Provost is expected to provide several benefits for both the University at large and to Dedman College, say Currall and DiPiero:

  • The new arrangement will allow SMU to be more strategically responsive to trends in higher education and in the marketplace.
  • The new structure will enhance flexibility to ensure the University Curriculum works for every undergraduate college and school.
  • The new associate provost will provide coordination across the curriculum.
  • The associate provost will also work to promote innovations in curricular structure and content.
  • University advising, the University Honors Program and the Hilltop Scholars Program will remain in Dedman College.

Moore brings to his new position a wealth of familiarity with SMU’s core curriculum. As head of the Office of General Education, since 2014 he has worked with the University Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Senate’s Academic Policies Committee, as well as faculty across the University, to develop the revised curriculum known as UC 2016 based on data and experience gained from the University Curriculum of 2010.

> Learn more about UC 2016 at the SMU General Education homepage

A professor of mathematics, Moore has also served as senior associate dean and associate dean of academic affairs in Dedman College since July 2010. Dean DiPiero will appoint a new full-time associate dean; plans for that process will be announced at a later date.

“During recent years, Professor Moore’s work has evolved to be more focused on campuswide general education and liberal arts,” said Currall. “This move will create an opportunity for Peter to use his considerable talents in the Provost’s Office and for Dedman College to have a fully dedicated associate dean.”

“Peter Moore is passionate about undergraduate education, and he knows more about how different institutions approach it than anyone I know,” said DiPiero. “I look forward to continuing a close and collaborative working relationship with him as we design new programs and continue to fine-tune our University Curriculum.”

Moore joined the Department of Mathematics in Dedman College in August 2000, after serving 11 years as a faculty member at Tulane University in New Orleans. His teaching interests include calculus, differential equations, numerical analysis and modeling.

He served as department chair from August 2005 to May 2009, and twice as dean ad interim of the College: from June 2009 to July 2010 and from June to August 2014. His SMU service also includes membership on the Provost’s Committee on Tenure and Promotion and the Steering Committee for Project SMU: Operational Excellence for the Second Century (OE2C), now the Office of Operational Excellence.

As a researcher, Moore is an expert in the computational solution of reaction-diffusion equations that occur in a variety of scientific and engineering applications. His projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, among others.

Moore’s work has been published in several major peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Numerical Mathematics, Applied Numerical Mathematics, Mathematics of Computation, Chemical Physics Letters, the Journal of Computational Physics, the Journal of Physical Chemistry, Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, and Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science.

Moore received the “M” Award, SMU’s highest honor for service to the University, in 2012. In 2010, during his first appointment as Dedman College acting dean, he became the first administrator to be elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa by the SMU (Gamma of Texas) chapter. His professional service includes an appointment to the editorial board of Applied Numerical Mathematics from January 2004 to December 2009.

Moore received his B.S. degree in mathematics from Michigan Technological University in 1981. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1983 and 1988.

SMU names Rakesh Dahiya treasurer and chief investment officer

Updated Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016


Rakesh Dahiya, SMU Treasurer and Chief Investment OfficerRakesh Dahiya
, CFA, an experienced investment manager with a strong background in higher education, has been named SMU treasurer and chief investment officer, effective Sept. 12, 2016.

The University will welcome Dahiya with a reception on Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 4-5 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. Faculty and staff members may RSVP online.

Dahiya will be responsible for oversight of the University’s $1.5 billion endowment, mineral interests and planned giving assets. He will work with the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees, setting agendas, developing policies, formulating investment strategies, as well as recommending specific investment managers and vehicles for carrying out the investment program.

“Rakesh Dahiya’s experience in higher education investment management, particularly with sophisticated institutional portfolios much like SMU’s, as well as his achievements in corporate finance, makes him an excellent fit as SMU’s chief investment officer,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As we move forward in the University’s second century, Rakesh’s leadership and understanding of changing markets will ensure that SMU invests wisely with a close eye on the goals established by our Board of Trustees.”

“Current markets are complex and fast-moving. It was important that we find the best individual to monitor national and global markets and identify strategic opportunities that position the University for growth,” said Fred Hegi, chair of the Investment Committee of the SMU Board of Trustees. “I am pleased to say that we found that individual in Rakesh Dahiya.”

Since 2011, Dahiya served as Director of Marketable Strategies at the University of Florida Investment Corporation (UFICO), an independent investment management company with total assets over $2.7 billion. Prior to UFICO, he spent nine years at Washington University in St. Louis and six years at Ralston Purina.

Dahiya’s experience over the last 20 years includes working with investments of more than $3 billion in global equities and fixed-income markets. As Director of Marketable Strategies at the University of Florida, he was responsible for all hedge fund, traditional equity and fixed income strategies. At Washington University in St. Louis, a university with endowment assets over $5 billion, Dahiya oversaw the investment of $2.6 billion in global equities, fixed income and public real assets.

As a senior officer of SMU, Dahiya will serve on the President’s Executive Council and work with leadership on matters related to endowment spending and the communication of endowment strategy and performance. He will oversee investment research and analysis, implementation, risk management, accounting, performance measurement and reporting associated with the investment process, and with the management of real estate and mineral interests.

Dahiya graduated from Iowa State University with a B.B.A. degree in finance in 1994. He earned his M.B.A. from the University of Illinois in 1996.

> Read the full story from SMU News

Provost names Maria Dixon Hall to lead new campus-wide initiative on cultural intelligence

Maria Dixon HallSMU Provost Steve Currall has named Associate Professor of Organizational Communication and Director of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Maria Dixon Hall as Provost’s Senior Advisor for Campus Cultural Intelligence Initiatives effective Monday, Aug. 1, 2016.

Professor Dixon Hall will have strategic oversight of an emerging initiative “designed to ensure that we are cultivating a campus culture involving faculty, staff and students that ensures our students are ready to effectively engage the complex world into which they will graduate,” said Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“The question that guides me in this unique appointment is: Whether in Detroit or Dubai, South Wales or South Dallas, do our classrooms equip our students to effectively communicate and negotiate human difference?” Currall added. “I believe the faculty has an especially vital role in fostering contexts that teach our students how to successfully and respectfully work, collaborate and create solutions regardless of who their partners may be. Professor Dixon Hall is uniquely qualified to lead this exciting initiative.”

“Last year, I promised the SMU community that we would be bold in our efforts to ensure that our campus was welcoming, inclusive and thoughtful about matters of difference. Maria’s appointment allows us to tap into her internationally recognized expertise in cultural intelligence,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “In addition to being an outstanding faculty member in the classroom, she has earned a reputation, through her research and consulting, for moving organizations and institutions beyond the old frameworks of diversity training to intelligent, thoughtful ways of communicating effectively across cultural boundaries. Her work as an organizational scholar and theologian will help us formulate sustainable actions to position SMU as a strategic leader in inclusion and cultural intelligence in higher education by 2025.”

Recognized throughout her SMU career for her teaching and research, Dixon Hall has been honored with the 2005-06 Willis M. Tate award for service to the student body; the 2009 Golden Mustang Award for outstanding teaching and research by junior faculty; the 2010 Rotunda Award for Outstanding Teaching; and the 2011 “M” Award, SMU’s highest award for service to the University. In 2016, she was named an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor by SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence.

“I am deeply honored by this appointment,” Dixon Hall said. “The conversations I’ve had with my colleagues during the past year have demonstrated the commitment our faculty has to ensuring that we are shaping world changers in every sense of the term. The opportunity to lead those conversations in service of a University I love is deeply gratifying. Provost Currall’s innovative structuring of this appointment can only encourage others like myself, who love the classroom, to occasionally step out of it and engage in these types of transformative opportunities on behalf of the University.”

Dixon Hall will return to research and teaching once the initiative is complete, at which time the University leadership will unveil a long-term plan to sustain the cultural intelligence programs she will develop.

Professor Dixon Hall joined the SMU faculty in 2004. As Director of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, she oversees curriculum and assessment for the Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication program.

She also serves as the director of Mustang Consulting, an in-house firm staffed by top communication students, whose global client list includes Southwest Airlines (Dallas), The Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Kampala/Dallas), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso), and Lifeworks (Austin). The firm’s research has been featured in The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, The Franchise Times, and Restaurant Nation.

Dixon Hall’s research and professional consulting is focused on the implications of identity, power and organizational culture on the strategic communication of religious and non-profit organizations. Dixon Hall serves on the editorial boards and as a reviewer for both her field’s national and international publication outlets, as well as their academic conferences. Her work appears in the discipline’s top journals, including Management Communication Quarterly, The Journal of Communication and Religion, Business Communication Quarterly and Southern Journal of Communication.

Dixon Hall maintains an active speaking schedule and is a frequent contributor to national media outlets such as TIME Magazine and CNN on issues of race and education. Her examination of the University of Oklahoma’s failures in dealing with race, “Transformation 101,” became one of 2015’s most viral blog posts. A probationary deacon in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, she is also a frequent contributor to the United Methodist Reporter and The Religious News Service.

A graduate of the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama, Dixon Hall earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology of Emory University. She received her Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2004.

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