dean search

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

Elizabeth Killingsworth named interim dean and director of SMU’s Central University Libraries

Elizabeth KillingsworthElizabeth Killingsworth, director of SMU’s Fondren Library Center and head of Research Services, has been named interim dean and director of Central University Libraries (CUL). Killingsworth, an expert on teaching with technology and a longtime advocate for information literacy, will begin her new duties effective July 1, 2017, as the University begins a national search for a permanent dean.

“The breadth and depth of Elizabeth Killingsworth’s experience equips her to be the ideal leader for Central University Libraries during the next academic year,” said Steven C. Currall, University provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She has the respect of SMU’s faculty and staff, and, importantly, librarians from across the SMU campus. She has both wisdom about operational matters regarding delivery of library services and ambition to ensure that CUL is progressive and innovative in its evolution to become a library system for the 21st century. I have every confidence in Elizabeth’s leadership during the interim period as we search for a permanent dean and director of CUL. I am grateful to her for assuming this important campus leadership role.”

Killingsworth joined SMU in 2013 as head of Research Services in Fondren Library. She became Fondren Library director and head of Research Services in January 2015. In those roles, Killingsworth oversees all public services at SMU’s largest library — with a general collection of nearly two million volumes covering the humanities, social sciences, business, education, science and engineering, as well as a selective depository of government documents and an extensive map collection. She guides the Information Literacy Program, Access Services (circulation, interlibrary loan/document delivery, and stacks management), the Marketing Team, the User Experience Team, the Initiative for Spatial Literacy, and the library’s web presence.

She also led Fondren Library public services through a major 16-month building renovation. Killingsworth kept all library services running throughout a project that culminated in the opening of the Starbucks Café and Collaborative Commons, as well as the renovated Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room, Hillcrest Foundation Exhibit Hall, Gillian M. McCombs Special Collections Reading Room, and more than a dozen renovated classrooms, conference rooms and offices.

As interim dean, Killingsworth, who will not be a candidate for the permanent deanship, will oversee three libraries on the main campus – Fondren Library Center, including the Norwick Center for Digital Services; DeGolyer Library, SMU’s principal repository for special collections in the humanities, the history of business, and the history of science and technology; and the Hamon Arts Library in Meadows School of the Arts. In addition, she will lead the Fort Burgwin Library at SMU-in-Taos and the SMU-in-Plano Library Resource Room.

Killingsworth has more than 27 years of experience as a professional librarian. She began her career as a medical librarian at the University of Texas Medical Branch and Hartford Hospital, before joining the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando as Health Sciences Librarian. She co-authored UCF’s successful Quality Enhancement Plan proposal on information fluency and became the first head of Information Literacy and Outreach at the university’s John C. Hitt Library.

While at UCF, she co-led a team to create 14 online Information Literacy Modules, built within an authenticated system with assessment components for each module. In addition, she was appointed Senior Faculty Fellow to the UCF provost and worked on the university’s strategic planning team.

Killingsworth’s research and scholarly activities focus on information literacy and the impact and interplay of online components to increase student learning, as well as analysis of legislation that impacts reading in early childhood. Her current work centers on textual analysis and comparison of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and NCLB (No Child Left Behind).

She has written and presented extensively on research techniques and evaluation, teaching with technology, and the acquisition and support of information fluency. Her work has been published in Childhood Education, the Journal of Academic Librarianship and the Journal of Educational Media and Library Sciences, among others.

Among her professional honors, Killingsworth received the Dean’s Eureka Award and the CUL Team Award in 2016, as well as UCF’s Excellence in Librarianship Award in 2005. She was elected Vice President and President of the Florida Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries and was elected Region 3 Director of the Florida Library Association Executive Board.

Killingsworth graduated with a B.S. degree in political science from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1987. She earned her master’s degree in library and information science from the University of North Texas in 1989.

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

 

Al Niemi announces plans to step down as dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business after 2016-17 academic year

Albert W. 'Al' Niemi Jr., dean, SMU Cox School of BusinessAlbert W. Niemi, Jr., the dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business during a time of great growth and increasing national stature for the school, has announced his intention to step down from his administrative post at the end of the 2016-17 academic year.

He will continue to serve as dean during the University’s search, which will begin immediately.

Dean Niemi, who currently holds the Cox School’s Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership, will remain on the faculty as the William J. O’Neil Chair in Global Markets and Freedom after he completes his administrative duties.

“We just finished SMU’s first century and the Second Century Campaign, so now is a time to look ahead,” Niemi said. “We need someone with a vision to lead the Cox School to success in its next era. By stepping down as dean, but remaining to teach, I have the opportunity to support the next dean if he or she wants my advice, and I can be with my students, work with my faculty and staff colleagues, and continue to be part of this great campus. It will be a privilege to end my career the way I began it – in the classroom, doing what I love best.”

Since arriving at the Cox School in June 1997, Niemi has increased the school’s national and international visibility. Cox’s B.B.A., full-time M.B.A., Professional M.B.A. and Executive M.B.A. programs are ranked among the best in the world by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Economist, Financial Times, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. Niemi is the eighth dean – and, as he begins his 20th year at SMU, the longest-serving dean – in the Cox School’s history.

Niemi also has been an effective fund-raiser who has dramatically increased the school’s endowment from $78 million to more than $200 million. The new endowment funds have created 10 new endowed faculty positions, eight new endowed centers and institutes, and 60 new endowed scholarships. In addition, he helped raise $19 million to support the construction of the James M. Collins Executive Education Center.

During his tenure, donors have honored his service by establishing the Albert W. Niemi Center for American Capitalism at SMU Cox and the Maria and Albert Niemi Endowed Centennial B.B.A. Scholars Fund. The Niemi Center is a partnership with the George W. Bush Institute that puts the tenets of Niemi’s teaching and research into action through research fellowships, academic programs and community outreach. The Niemi Endowed Centennial B.B.A. Scholars Fund provides scholarships to support B.B.A. students in the Cox School.

“My professional relationship with Al Niemi pre-dates my own arrival at SMU as president,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He had already earned a reputation as an outstanding educator and business school administrator at the University of Georgia, so when the opportunity arose to recruit him to serve as the dean of the Cox School, it was an easy choice and one that has greatly benefited both Cox and the University. Under his leadership, the Cox School has strengthened its connection to the Dallas and North Texas community of which SMU is a part and has also become a globally prominent business school.”

Before coming to SMU, Niemi served as dean of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia from 1982-1996. An expert in economic growth, economic forecasting, and the history of capitalism in America, he has taught more than 15,000 students and consistently has been recognized for distinguished teaching. He also has written six books and more than 200 articles for leading academic journals and business periodicals.

“As an academician, administrator, and university citizen, Al Niemi is second to none,” SMU Provost Steven Currall said. “The business school faculty he leads enjoys a stellar global reputation. Both the undergraduate and graduate programs rank highly. The Cox BBA Scholars program, which allows first-year students with outstanding academic qualifications to be admitted directly into the Cox School, continues to attract the nation’s best and brightest undergraduates. In turn, the BBA Scholars program has helped enhance SMU’s student academic profile campus-wide.”

Niemi has served on and led search committees that have brought new leaders, including the current provost, to SMU. He has worked extensively in business school and university accreditation. In addition, he has chaired or served as a member on accreditation review teams to more than 20 universities, including Emory, Washington University, DePaul, Vanderbilt, Claremont, William and Mary, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Syracuse, Monterrey Tech (Mexico), INCAE (Costa Rica), University of Monterrey (Mexico), the Autonomous Technological University of Mexico, and IESA (Venezuela).

The dean also served three-year terms on the Board of Governors of the American Association of University Administrators and Beta Gamma Sigma, and he served a six-year term on the Board of Trustees of Stonehill College, his alma mater, in Easton, Massachusetts.

Active in the business community, Niemi speaks to numerous civic and business groups across the nation. He is currently a member of the advisory board of the Bank of Texas and the Advisory Council of The Catholic Foundation.

Originally from Massachusetts, Niemi is the grandson of Finnish and Irish immigrants. He earned a scholarship to Stonehill College, from which he graduated cum laude with an A.B. degree in economics, and went on to earn his M.A and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Connecticut.

The dean and his wife, Maria, have two grown children, Albert III and Edward Charles, and three grandchildren.

Duke theologian, researcher and administrator Craig C. Hill named dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology

Craig C. Hill, dean of Perkins School of Theology, SMUCraig C. Hill, a Duke University leader in theological education with strengths in practice, research and church relations, has been appointed the new dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, effective July 1, 2016.

Current Perkins Dean William B. Lawrence announced in September 2015 that he will retire from the position on May 16 and take a leave of absence during the 2016-17 academic year, possibly returning to SMU as professor of American church history after that time.

Since 2010, Dr. Hill has served as executive director of the Doctor of Ministry and Master of Christian Practice programs at Duke, as well as research professor of theological pedagogy.

He previously served the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where he held several positions: professor of New Testament, executive director of academic outreach, director of the Wesley Ministry Network, co-director of the dual degree program with The American University and director of the Master of Theological Studies degree program.

> Learn more about the SMU Perkins decanal search committee

“Dr. Hill’s broad achievements as a scholar and pastoral leader make him well-equipped to guide and strengthen the next century of theological higher education at SMU,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Theology was one of the first subjects taught when SMU opened in 1915, and today Perkins School of Theology remains central to the mission and character of the University. Dr. Hill will further cement the close relationship between Perkins and The United Methodist Church, as well as with other faith-based organizations in the region, nationally, and around the world. We are delighted that Dr. Hill will join the academic leadership of SMU as dean of the Perkins School of Theology.”

“Perkins School of Theology has from the beginning sought, in the words of Charles Wesley, to ‘unite…knowledge and vital piety,’ to pursue the highest standard of theological scholarship, not simply for its own sake, but for the benefit of the Church,” said Dr. Hill. “I was delighted to discover one of the school’s earliest mottos: ‘Take the School of Theology to the Church.’ My own career has been defined by that same goal, so I feel incredibly privileged to join the Perkins community as it seeks faithfully to fulfill its mission in its second century of service to the Church.”

From his experience at theology schools of other distinguished universities, Dr. Hill brings a broad overview of best practices and evolving challenges in different regions of the nation and world. These positions include those at seminaries in Moscow, Russia; Seoul, Korea; and the University of Cambridge, England. In the United States, he has been a visiting professor at Howard University Divinity School and at Indiana University and was a Henry Luce Fellow at Yale Divinity School. Based on his experience at Duke University, Dr. Hill will bring insights into how theological education aligns with other academic programs in a global research university with a liberal arts tradition, such as SMU.

“Trends in theology education, the growing need for outreach to underserved communities and the importance of preparing ministers for new challenges and opportunities – all demand the balance of theological practice and reflection that Dr. Hill will bring to his leadership of Perkins,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

Among Dr. Hill’s church positions, he served as director of Christian Education at First United Methodist Church, Meriden, Connecticut; as chaplain at Christ Church College, University of Oxford; as associate pastor at First United Methodist Church, Peoria, Illinois; and as associate pastor at Woodside United Methodist Church, Springfield, Illinois.

“In a very competitive field, Dr. Craig Hill stood out for a number of reasons,” said Samuel S. Holland, chair of the search committee and dean of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. “He has served in various executive positions at Duke Divinity School and Wesley Theological Seminary, in other words both in a theological school embedded in a research university and at an independent institution. He brings an international perspective to SMU. In all, he will provide ecumenical breadth and theological depth that Perkins School of Theology will need going forward.”

Dr. Hill is the author of numerous scholarly articles and the forthcoming book, The Greatest Among You: Reclaiming a New Testament Perspective on Status and Ambition. His previous books include In God’s Time: The Bible and the Future and Hellenists and Hebrews: Reappraising Division within the Earliest Church.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Illinois Wesleyan University, a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford (Christ Church College).

Review Craig C. Hill’s curriculum vitae

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