$5 million gift from Harlan and Kathy Crow to support SMU Residential Commons

Lori White

$5 million gift from Harlan and Kathy Crow to support SMU Residential Commons

Harlan and Katherine Raymond Crow of Dallas have committed $5 million toward the construction of the Kathy Crow Commons in SMU’s new Residential Commons complex, scheduled to open in fall 2014. Mrs. Crow is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees and an alumna.

“This gift from Harlan and Kathy Crow will support a campus home and gathering place for generations of students,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Students who live in Kathy Crow Commons will be part of an academic and residential community that will become a key part of their SMU experience. We are grateful for the Crows for this generous gift.”

SMU’s new Residential Commons model of campus living, which includes 11 Commons created from new and existing residential buildings, will provide an integrated academic and residential student experience. Live-in faculty members will have offices and teach classes in on-site classrooms. In addition, each Commons will develop traditions and host gatherings and activities to create a sense of community among the residents.

“We have studied numerous institutions with strong residential communities,” said Lori White, vice president for student affairs. “We know the Residential Commons model will strengthen the SMU experience by enhancing student involvement opportunities and creating common bonds and friendships among diverse groups of students.”

Since 1988, Harlan Crow has served as chairman and CEO of Crow Family Holdings, which manages the capital of the Trammell Crow family. The Trammell Crow Company, founded in Dallas in 1948 by Crow’s father, is one of the nation’s oldest and largest commercial real estate developers and investors. Mr. Crow has worked with Crow-affiliated entities for nearly 40 years. He serves on the board of directors of the American Enterprise Institute, the Southwestern Medical Foundation, the Supreme Court Historical Society, the George W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation and the Antiquarian Society. In addition Mr. Crow is the honorary consul of Denmark for the Southwestern region.

Dallas civic leader Kathy Crow earned her M.B.A. from Cox School of Business. In addition to her current position on the SMU Board of Trustees, she has served on the boards of SMU’s Tate Lecture Series and the Women’s Economics and Financial Series at Cox School of Business.

The $5 million gift for the Kathy Crow Commons counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised $844 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. The campaign coincides with SMU’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the University’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915.

Written by Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News


March 24, 2014|News|

Joanne Vogel named SMU Dean of Student Life

Joanne Vogel, Dean of Student LifeJoanne Vogel of Rollins College has been named associate vice president and dean of student life in SMU’s Division of Student Affairs. She will join the University Friday, Jan. 31, 2014.

“We are excited to welcome Joanne Vogel to SMU and look forward to the significant contributions she’ll make toward student success,” said Lori White, vice president for student affairs. “Joanne joins us at an important time as we are engaged in building a livelier, more connected campus community through the residential commons model and guiding our students toward leadership, healthy choices and personal responsibility. Our new dean is uniquely qualified and experienced in working on Greek life, wellness and other important student development initiatives.”

Vogel will be responsible for supervising programs and services ranging from new student orientation; to fraternity and sorority life and Multicultural Student Affairs; to matters of student discipline. Vogel also will serve as the chair of the SMU Crisis Management Team and as a member of the President’s Commission on Substance Abuse Prevention and the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct.

“Becoming a member of the SMU community and working with committed colleagues and engaged students is going to be invigorating,” Vogel said. “I look forward to providing leadership that focuses both on student success and institutional progress to further the strategic goals and mission of SMU.”

Vogel currently serves as director of Wellness and Counseling and Psychological Services at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. In this role she provides leadership for health services; counseling and psychological services; health promotion; victim advocacy; and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug programs. She has served as the psychological risk manager for the college, as well as a member of the Consultation, Assessment, Referral and Evaluation (CARE) Team and the Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment Team.

Vogel is a member of several professional associations including the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, the American College Counseling Association, the American Counseling Association and the Association for Creativity in Counseling.

Vogel attended Duke University, where she received an A.B. in history and political science. She received her M.S. in mental health counseling from Stetson University and a Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from the University of Central Florida.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Student Life online

January 15, 2014|News|

Students and stress: How to help during 2013 holidays, exams

SMU students in Fondren Science BuildingAs SMU enters both the holiday and exam seasons, SMU Provost Paul Ludden is asking that all University community members watch for signs of stress in themselves and in students.

“We ask each of you to be aware of signs of stress in yourself and those around you. In particular, I ask that you be aware of signs of stress among students, especially first-year students as they are experiencing their first set of final exams,” wrote Provost Ludden in an e-mail message dated Friday, Dec. 6, 2012.

He also asked faculty and staff members to “reach out to an individual who is separated from family and friends at this time and invite them to share some of your traditions and goodwill.”

The message included helpful tips and University resources for staying healthy and safe. In addition, Ludden urged faculty and staff members to visit SMU’s Caring Community Connections homepage for information on identifying and helping students who may be in crisis.

Advice and resources for a safer and more stress-free season follow under the cut.


December 10, 2013|News|

$5 million gift will help build new Residential Commons dining center

Anita and Truman Arnold have given $5 million toward construction of the Anita and Truman Arnold Dining Commons in SMU’s new Residential Commons complex.

Now under construction, this facility joins five residence halls and a parking garage, all of which will accommodate 1,250 students and several faculty as members of a shared campus community.

“We are deeply grateful to the Arnolds for their generous support,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This dining facility will be the centerpiece of our new Residential Commons complex and will be an important element of the campus experience for countless present and future students.”

The Arnolds’ gift counts toward the $750 million goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised more than $732 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Colleges Design New Housing to Engage and Retain Students

The new Residential Commons complex is expected to open in Fall 2014 in the southeast quadrant of the campus adjacent to Ford Stadium and Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. The addition of these residential facilities will enable SMU to implement a new requirement that sophomores, as well as first-year students, live on campus.

The complex of new facilities is part of a larger SMU initiative to establish a residential commons living-learning model that will include renovation of six current residence halls that are being retrofitted to become residential commons. On-campus living beyond the first year has been linked to higher student retention rates at universities offering this benefit.

“By including facilities for live-in faculty members, who also will have offices and teach classes in the Residential Commons, this complex will provide students with an integrated academic and living experience,” said Paul Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about SMU’s Residential Commons

“This model supports a strong residential community with a balance between academic and social aspects of campus life,” said Lori S. White, vice president for student affairs. “Each commons will develop activities and traditions that build a sense of community and encourage lasting ties among the student residents.”

All students and faculty living in the five residential units of the complex will share meals in the Anita and Truman Arnold Dining Commons, which also will be open to other students. The 29,658-square-foot dining commons will have a seating capacity of 500.

> Read more from SMU News

September 4, 2013|News|

SMU accepts recommendations of Sexual Misconduct Task Force

SMU President R. Gerald Turner announced May 8 that he has accepted the recommendations of the SMU Task Force on Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures for maintaining and improving programs related to sexual misconduct. The recommendations address areas including sexual misconduct reporting procedures, requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the student conduct process, education programs for students, enhanced training for staff and communications to parents.

Turner established the Task Force in September 2012 to re-examine the University’s procedures and policies related to sexual misconduct to determine what changes are needed. Among the 20 members of the Task Force were external experts, including a representative of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office and the executive director of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Initiative, as well as SMU students, faculty and staff members.

“Sexual misconduct is a serious issue at universities and colleges nationwide, which are required by the federal government to investigate allegations and hold violators accountable through an internal grievance procedure,” Turner said. “Even without such requirements, SMU is committed to policies and procedures that uphold community standards and foster a healthy learning environment based on mutual respect, responsible behavior and fair treatment of all students. I am grateful to the Task Force for its careful deliberations and recommendations. SMU is committed to implementing these changes and monitoring our practices.”

The Task Force made 41 recommendations, some of which address policies and procedures in place at SMU that the group felt should be continued but strengthened. Among these are procedures related to student reporting of sexual misconduct and the process for dealing with sexual misconduct allegations under the Student Code of Conduct. New initiatives recommended include new and more extensive education programs for students, as well as student mentoring and bystander intervention programs. Several Task Force recommendations were implemented during the past year, such as expanding information on SMU’s website. The full report is available online.

“Through our research and meetings, we learned that SMU has in place policies and procedures that align with national benchmarks,” said Task Force chair Kelly Compton, SMU trustee and chair of the Board’s committee on Student Affairs. “We also found areas that should be improved or more effectively addressed with new measures, particularly programs promoting education, training and communication. We are united in our commitment to the well-being of students through effective procedures, helpful resources and the support of a caring community.”

During its deliberations, the Task Force took into account adherence to state and federal laws, in particular Title IX of the Education Amendments and its requirements for handling sexual misconduct allegations. Members also examined other universities’ conduct processes, which – like SMU’s conduct process – are separate and independent of the criminal process.

The Task Force report emphasized that students who experience sexual misconduct should continue to be allowed to choose options that best meet their needs and foster personal healing, as is recommended by sexual misconduct experts. At the same time, SMU should continue to urge students to seek medical care and alert law enforcement about sexual misconduct. The Task Force recommended that SMU enhance efforts to educate students about the right to pursue a Title IX complaint under University policy and their options to pursue criminal charges, the SMU conduct review process, or both processes at the same time. Read more about these options here.

Because these options must be considered during a sensitive time, SMU must clearly communicate and explain processes and ensure that staff members are well-informed in providing guidance. According to the Task Force, education efforts also should focus on students’ understanding of consent, the interpersonal communications related to consent and the impact of alcohol use.

The Task Force recommended that SMU continue its use of hearing boards in student conduct cases, including those related to sexual misconduct cases, a practice similar to that of other universities. It also recommended that SMU continue to have a sexual misconduct hearing board and, also consistent with benchmark practices, reaffirmed that students continue to serve on this board, with these changes: They should not be in the majority nor serve as chair. The majority of this board would consist of faculty and staff, and all members would receive special training and be bound by strict confidentiality requirements.

Regarding student participation on the sexual misconduct hearing board, the Task Force received feedback from students that their understanding of campus social life is critical in aiding conduct deliberations and that SMU has a long history of trusting and valuing student leadership, including appointing a voting student member of the Board of Trustees. Students also described student participation on conduct boards as a way to educate other students about the conduct process. The Task Force agreed with these perspectives.

The Task Force also recommended that student leaders encourage the student body to develop, adopt and disseminate a new SMU Values Statement, such as the following: “I, as a citizen of the SMU Community, commit myself to upholding the values of intellectual integrity, academic honesty, personal responsibility and sincere regard and respect for all SMU students, faculty, and staff.”

The Task Force said SMU should develop a bystander intervention program similar to those at Duke and Yale universities. Those programs provide students the skills to intervene when they perceive peers to be in high-risk situations. In addition, students who may hesitate to report sexual misconduct because of their alcohol or drug use could be granted immunity for those transgressions in order to encourage reporting of sexual misconduct first and foremost, though they also would be referred for counseling to SMU’s Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention.

During meetings with the Task Force, several visiting experts shared information and perspectives, including law enforcement and health officials. The Task Force invited feedback from the campus community, including from students involved in sexual misconduct cases through SMU’s conduct process. During their 12 meetings and additional small-group meetings, the Task Force reviewed more than 45 benchmarking reports, including student conduct codes and task force reports from other universities and government agencies.

“The Task Force valued all of the input provided, and especially appreciated hearing from students and members of our North Texas community,” Compton said. “Sexual misconduct is a community issue that requires community partnerships, including with local service and health care providers and law enforcement officials. We recommend that SMU continue building these relationships.”

SMU’s vice president for student affairs, Lori White, will oversee implementation of the Task Force recommendations in coordination with campus offices including Counseling and Psychiatric Services, the Health Center, Dean of Student Life Office, Title IX Coordinator, SMU Police, the Women’s Center for Pride and Gender Initiatives, Chaplain’s Office and Residence Life and Student Housing. As recommended by the Task Force, Student Affairs and other University representatives will maintain regular meetings on sexual misconduct issues with local law enforcement and resource agencies.

“The University thanks the Task Force and the many experts and campus and community members who have provided their perspectives,” Turner said. “SMU regularly reviews its policies and procedures, and no issue is more important than our students’ well-being. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of all our policies and procedures on sexual misconduct.”

May 8, 2013|News|
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