Dinesh Rajan named Cecil and Ida Green Endowed Professor of Engineering in SMU’s Lyle School

endowed professors

Dinesh Rajan named Cecil and Ida Green Endowed Professor of Engineering in SMU’s Lyle School

Dinesh Rajan, Cecil and Ida Green Endowed Professor of Engineering, SMU

Dinesh Rajan, Department of Electrical Engineering, has been named the Cecil and Ida Green Endowed Professor of Engineering in SMU’s Lyle School.

Dinesh Rajan has been named the Cecil and Ida Green Endowed Professor of Engineering in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. He is the first faculty member to be named to the recently established professorship, made possible by the growth of an endowment provided by Cecil and Ida Green in 1979.

Rajan came to SMU in 2002 with experience in both academia and industry, having held positions at both Rice University and Nokia. Since arriving at the University, he has served as professor and chair of the Electrical Engineering Department, providing leadership to the faculty while pursuing greater departmental productivity in research.

“Dinesh is an award-winning teacher and innovative researcher. He has made definitive contributions to his research field and continues to build upon that reputation,” said Lyle Dean Marc Christensen. “Outside the classroom, Dinesh utilizes his intellect and energy to motivate young engineers through undergraduate research and senior design. He is consistently striving to stretch his boundaries, and I look forward to what he will achieve in the future.”

Rajan has published more than 100 peer-reviewed technical articles in leading journals and at conferences. He also has co-edited two books. He has been awarded research grants totaling more than $7 million supported by federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and companies including Toyota and Nokia. He was technical program chair for the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference in 2009 and has served on other conference executive and technical committees.

Rajan’s broad research interests are focused on the sensing/extraction, transmission and dissemination of information. His work is interdisciplinary in nature and spans the traditional areas of information theory, wireless communications, signal processing and operations research. Most recently, he has focused on improving wireless data rates and reducing battery consumption. Another ongoing project develops cognitive methods to overcome challenge of scarce wireless spectrum and improve wireless connectivity and data rates.

His honors for teaching and research include the NSF CAREER Award in 2006 for his work on applying information theory to the design of mobile networks, a Ford Research Fellowship in 2012, SMU’s Golden Mustang Award in 2008, IEEE Outstanding Young Engineer in 2009, and multiple outstanding EE faculty teaching awards.

Rajan earned his B.Tech degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. He also was awarded M.S and Ph.D degrees from Rice University in Houston, both in the areas of electrical and computer engineering.

Cecil and Ida Green provided endowments for two faculty chairs in what is now the Lyle School of Engineering, both of which multiplied over time to provide funds for an additional professorship. Their gift of approximately $1.5 million in 1979 established the Cecil and Ida Green Chair currently held by Milton Gosney, and has grown over time to provide funding for the professorship held by Rajan. Their gift of $891,558 in 1969 endowed the Cecil H. Green Chair of Engineering held by Stephen Szygenda and now also supports Sila Cetinkaya as the Cecil H. Green Professor of Engineering. The couple’s gift of approximately $500,000 in 1979 also endowed the Cecil and Ida Green Fund for Excellence in Engineering and Applied Science Education to strengthen and enrich programs in the school.

Ida Green ’46 was a member of the SMU Board of Trustees, and was honored by the University in 1977 as a distinguished alumna. She died in 1986. Cecil Green, a British-born, naturalized American geophysicist and alumnus of MIT, was one of the four co-founders of Texas Instruments. He was made an honorary alumnus of SMU in 1962 and received an honorary doctor of science degree from the University in 1967. Cecil Green died in 2003 at the age of 102.

November 13, 2014|For the Record, News, Year of the Faculty|

$1.5 million gift establishes SMU endowed chair in the legal rights and protection of children

Jack D. Knox

Jack D. Knox ’60, ’63

A $1.5 million gift from North Texas business leader Jack D. Knox ’60 ’63 will establish a new endowed professorship in SMU’s Dedman School of Law.

The Jack Knox Chair in the Rights and Protection of Children will support teaching, research and publishing on legal issues related to protecting the welfare and legal rights of children.

“Jack Knox’s gift will enable the law school to further its teaching and scholarship on children’s rights,” said SMU Judge James Noel Dean and Professor of Law Jennifer M. Collins. Dean Collins joined the Law School in July 2014 as an academic leader and nationally recognized scholar on the intersection of family and criminal law. “Endowment gifts like this provide critical support for our commitment to excellence in the classroom and continued cutting-edge, impactful work by our faculty.”

“We are deeply grateful to Mr. Knox for his gift, which not only will make a difference in the lives of children but also will advance the academic offerings of one of the nation’s top law schools,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Our law graduates will be more aware of the important social and personal issues affecting children and will be trained in protecting their legal rights.”

Knox, a native of Weatherford, Texas, received a B.A. degree in English from SMU in 1960 and a J.D. degree from what is now Dedman School of Law in 1963. In 2011, Knox was honored with the Robert G. Storey Award for Distinguished Achievement, the highest honor bestowed by the Law School. He is general partner of Six Flags Over Texas Fund Ltd., a private limited investment group overseeing real estate assets of Six Flags Over Texas. He also is owner of Café Pacific Restaurants Inc., parent company of the popular restaurant, which has been based in Dallas’ Highland Park Village for 34 years.

“It’s an honor to help my alma mater empower the next generation of legal professionals by providing them with a strong understanding of what the issues are and the knowledge and drive to develop better laws and policies to protect children’s welfare and rights,” Knox said.

The Jack Knox Chair counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, and advances the campaign’s goal to reach 110 endowed faculty positions. To date the campaign has raised more than $902 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story from SMU News

 

October 24, 2014|News|

SMU’s National Center for Arts Research issues first report

SMU Meadows School of the ArtsSMU’s National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) has released its inaugural report assessing the health of the nonprofit arts industry.

The report, available online at smu.edu/artsresearch, is built on the most comprehensive set of arts organization data ever compiled, integrating organizational  and market-level data, and assesses the industry from multiple perspectives, including sector/art form, geography, and size of the organization.

The NCAR report is the first of its kind for the arts, creating a data-driven assessment of organizations’ performances industry-wide and identifying drivers of performance.

NCAR is led by faculty at the University’s Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business in collaboration with the Cultural Data Project (CDP) and other national partners. The vision of NCAR, the first of its kind in the nation, is to act as a catalyst for the transformation and sustainability of the national arts and cultural community. In its first study, researchers were able to determine the extent to which managerial and artistic experience and decision-making impact an organization’s performance.

“NCAR is the first organization in the country to examine the performance of the arts industry from a statistical, data-driven perspective,” said Meadows Dean José Bowen. “Not only have we assembled the most comprehensive database and conducted the most in-depth analysis of the industry ever undertaken, but we are sharing these findings freely with the entire industry and providing tools for individual organizations to understand themselves and make changes to improve their performance. This is what makes the project unique – we are not just producing another index of how arts organizations are doing. The ultimate goal of NCAR is to improve the health of both individual organizations and the entire arts and culture ecosystem in the United States.”

To create the inaugural report, NCAR researchers integrated and analyzed data from the CDP and other national and government sources such as the Theatre Communications Group, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Census Bureau, and the National Center for Charitable Statistics. In doing so they created a spatial model of the arts and culture ecosystem of the United States.  The report measures performance on 8 different indices: contributed revenue, earned revenue, expenses, marketing impact, bottom line, balance sheet, community engagement, and program activity.

For each index, overall averages were calculated, as well as averages by sector, by organizational size, and by geographic area. These were broken down into 9 different market clusters, including 5 cities identified as stand-alone markets (New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago).

SMU Meadows School of the ArtsBeyond simply reporting on performance, the NCAR study evaluated specific drivers of performance and then, controlling for these drivers, NCAR was able to create a level playing field for all organizations in order to compare performance across organizations. From this, NCAR estimated how much of the remaining performance variation is attributable to intangible, difficult-to-observe-and-measure characteristics such as good decision-making and managerial or artistic expertise and how much is simply random variation.

NCAR draws on the academic expertise of Meadows and Cox faculty in the fields of arts management, marketing, and statistics. Zannie Voss, chair and professor of arts management and arts entrepreneurship in the Meadows and Cox schools, serves as NCAR’s director and Glenn Voss, the Marilyn R. and Leo F. Corrigan, Jr. Endowed Professor of Marketing at Cox, serves as research director.

“In this first report we took a deep dive into eight of the areas of performance identified, and by studying these averages, tried to answer the question ‘all else being equal, what makes one arts organization more successful than another?’ Some of the findings were as one would expect, but we did find some surprises,” said Zannie Voss. “Perhaps more than any other industry, arts organizations are driven by managerial and artistic expertise. Being able to estimate the value of this expertise in an organization’s performance is the single most valuable result of our first study.”

In 2014, NCAR will launch an interactive dashboard, created in partnership with IBM, which will be accessible to arts organizations nationwide. Arts leaders will be able to enter information about their organizations and see how they compare to the highest performance standards in each of the eight indices for similar organizations. The website will also foster public discussion of best practices and solutions and offer a dedicated YouTube channel for video responses, as well as an online resource library with helpful tools and templates.

Written by Victoria Winkelman

> Read more, including report highlights, at SMU News

December 12, 2013|News, Research|

Tune In: Tower Center’s Joshua Rovner on ‘Think’ Oct. 30, 2013

Joshua RovnerJoshua Rovner, director of studies in SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, will discuss how U.S. strategy in national security and defense is affected by budget restrictions on KERA 90.1 FM Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. Rovner will appear on “Think with Krys Boyd” during the noon-1 p.m. hour.

> Tune in at kera.org/listen

Rovner’s “Think” appearance ties in with the Tower Center’s 6th annual national security conference Oct. 30-31. The proceedings will emphasize emerging regional threats and national security under conditions of budget austerity.

“The Tower Center National Security Conference brings together a stellar group of senior military officers, policymakers and academic security specialists who can speak to the big picture as well as the nuts and bolts of the defense budget,” says Rovner, who also serves as the University’s John Goodwin Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics and National Security. “We hope to encourage a serious discussion about the future of international security, the range of U.S. strategic responses and the difficult choices that will be necessary under fiscal austerity.”

> Learn more about SMU’s 2013 Tower Center National Security Conference

October 30, 2013|Calendar Highlights, Faculty in the News, Tune In|

SMU Board of Trustees raises campaign goal to $1 billion

Bolstered by the success to date of SMU’s Second Century Campaign, the University’s Board of Trustees has raised the goal from $750 million to $1 billion.

At its quarterly meeting Friday, Sept. 13, the board voted unanimously to accept the new goal recommended by the campaign’s leadership.

The campaign seeks additional funds for scholarships, academic programs, faculty positions and campus improvements and facilities.

SMU already has surpassed its original goal and timetable, raising $780 million for a campaign scheduled to end in 2015, the 100th anniversary of the University’s opening. That date is now set to mark another milestone – the completion of SMU’s first $1 billion campaign.

SMU will join only 12 other private universities currently seeking goals of $1 billion or more. Among them are Columbia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California. SMU is the first comprehensive university in North Texas to seek that amount.

“The generosity of our donors, the strength of our campaign leadership and the hard work of volunteers around the globe have resulted in record-breaking support for SMU,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Even during uncertain economic times, our donors kept the momentum of the campaign going. They did not skip a beat in continuing to fund SMU’s rise in quality and reputation.”

Gerald J. Ford, trustee and convening co-chair of the campaign, said, “The notable investment made in SMU through the campaign demonstrates the University’s positive trajectory and unprecedented momentum. Raising and achieving the campaign goal is the next logical step for SMU as it expands its national and global impact.”

“Adding to SMU’s momentum during its Centennial era, 2011-2015, is the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, Museum and Institute,” Turner said. “This resource has attracted joint programming, concurrent appointments of SMU faculty and Bush fellows, visiting dignitaries, heightened visibility and more than 206,000 visitors to campus thus far. The support attracted by this resource has already been a tremendous benefit to the campus, city and nation.”

The funding campaign for the Bush Center, conducted by the Bush Foundation, proceeded separately from SMU’s Second Century Campaign, although at the same time. The Bush funding campaign raised more than $500 million for construction, programming and endowment for the Bush Center. “The campaigns have been synergistic, achieving mutual success,” Turner said.

Read about the $1 billion campaign goal in The Dallas Morning News.

Important SMU Priorities

Raising the campaign goal to $1 billion will provide gifts to fund additional scholarships, endowed faculty positions, academic programs and campus life enhancements, including new facilities.

Faculty and academic leadership positions targeted for endowments include those in areas such as entrepreneurship, biostatistics, science and technology law, the impact of the arts on communities, art history, theological studies and library support.

Academic programs earmarked for new endowments and operational support represent areas of growing importance to the region and nation, among them programs in energy management, public policy, interdisciplinary studies, cyber security, arts research and K-12 school leadership.

Increased scholarship funding is being sought to support top undergraduate and graduate students throughout the University. These resources will ensure that SMU can educate the next generation of leaders in areas such as the arts, sciences, business and engineering, disciplines that, with others, are critical to the future of Dallas.

Capital projects for academics include the renovation of Fondren Library Center in Central University Libraries and Bridwell Library in Perkins School of Theology. In addition, funding is being sought for new campus facilities, such as the Residential Commons complex and the Mustang Band Hall, now under construction. The campaign also seeks to complete funding for renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum and construction of new complexes for tennis, golf and other sports, along with operational support for athletics.

SMU Board of Trustees chair and campaign co-chair Caren Prothro emphasized the case for going forward with a new goal: “The campaign has achieved remarkable results that can be seen in our impressive gains throughout the University, but its momentum tells us that much more can be accomplished. On behalf of the students we seek to serve and the faculty who help to shape their futures, we need additional resources for scholarships to attract the best among them and continue to increase our diversity. We need to recruit and retain faculty devoted to teaching, research and creativity with an impact on their disciplines and society. We want to establish and support new academic programs that will prepare students for leadership in their professions and communities. And we must provide the best facilities for these endeavors in a living-learning environment that is second to none.”

To Mike Boone, chair-elect of the SMU Board of Trustees, the University stands at a crossroads of opportunity and is ready to take a bold step forward. “At critical times in Dallas’ history, the city has been transformed by decisions that resulted in world-class assets for our community. Among these are an airport that serves as a global hub, a thriving arts district, a distinguished medical school producing Nobel laureates and a vibrant business community. Our new campaign goal signals the unequivocal commitment to join the list of milestones that have changed our community and its impact on the world.”

Results and Impact

To date, the campaign has raised funds for 472 new scholarships; 24 academic programs such as new schools, institutes and centers; 34 endowed faculty positions, bringing SMU’s total to 96 out of a goal of 100; and 26 capital projects, including new or expanded facilities for libraries, academic programs and athletics.

Many of the new academic programs SMU has created have direct impact on the Dallas region, such as new centers for legal services and financial studies. Schools recently endowed are the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, which focuses on school reform and programs for community impact. Other programs contribute to research and dialogue on important national and international issues, such as the Scholars Program of the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, focusing on public policy and service, and the Embrey Human Rights Program. Still other resources, among them expanded acquisitions for the Meadows Museum and a new National Center for Arts Research, broaden the city’s reputation in the arts internationally.

In another measure of impact and rising quality, the average SAT score of entering students has risen from 1144 in 1999 to 1302 in 2013, thanks to increasing resources for scholarships.

“These resources bring outstanding students to Dallas and help to keep our bright local students in our region, all of which enriches the talent pool here,” said Carl Sewell, trustee and campaign co-chair. “Funding for new academic positions has enabled us to attract and retain scholars from throughout the world. Professors named to endowed chairs are distinguished scholars at the top of their careers and reputations,” he added. “They bring important research projects and work not only with graduate students, but also with undergraduates, mentoring them and involving them in their research.”

Ray L. Hunt, trustee and campaign co-chair, notes that increased academic resources “enable SMU to be nimble in creating new programs in emerging fields.” Examples include centers in alternative asset management, engineering leadership, and global markets and freedom. “Access to these programs will help our graduates to compete and lead in key areas where new expertise and perspectives are needed and will increase their contributions to critical areas for our nation and the world.”

As SMU changes with the impact of the campaign, “the community will be better served and Dallas will have the distinguished university it deserves,” said Mike Boone. “Regional leaders know that as SMU rises as a center of ideas, knowledge and service, our region will be strengthened as a global center of commerce and culture. Campaign resources have strengthened not only the University, but also the economic vitality of the region,” he said. “SMU is both an indicator and a predictor of success for Dallas and our region. We will continue to prosper together.”

Campaign Participation and Leadership

Thus far 58,159 donors have made one or more gifts to the campaign. This includes 279 who have given $100,000 or more, and 123 who have committed $1 million or more, an all-time high for SMU.

SMU’s campaign goals also include giving levels among alumni. The campaign seeks gifts from 25 percent of alumni each year and from 50 percent over the course of the campaign. Thus far more than 50 percent of SMU alumni have made one or more gifts during the campaign. A record 24 percent of alumni provided gifts in the fiscal year ending May 31, 2013, representing the highest number of alumni ever to give to SMU in a single year.

“The concept of a billion dollars may seem overwhelming, but the fact is that it will take gifts of all sizes for us to meet our new goal,” said Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler, a trustee and campaign co-chair. “So we’re asking our alumni to take part at any level they can afford. It all counts, and it all makes a difference. Together, we are living up to the theme of our campaign, SMU Unbridled.”

The Second Century Campaign is led by five co-chairs: Convening co-chair Gerald J. Ford, with Ruth Altshuler, Ray L. Hunt, Caren H. Prothro and Carl Sewell. They lead a 15-member Campaign Executive Council and nearly 40 Steering Committee co-chairs spearheading various fundraising efforts, such as those for each school, the libraries, athletics and student life. Regional campaigns range from New York to Los Angeles and from Mexico City to Hong Kong. Campaign committee members total more than 350 worldwide, and hundreds of others are providing volunteer support.

September 13, 2013|News|
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