Michael McLendon named Centennial Chair in Simmons

Michael McLendon

Michael McLendon named Centennial Chair in Simmons

Michael McLendon, SMU's Annette and Harold Simmons Centennial ChairMichael McLendon, associate dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, has been named the Annette and Harold Simmons Centennial Chair. McLendon, a noted higher education policy and leadership scholar, is the Simmons School’s first Centennial Chair – one of three academic positions made possible as part of a $25 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. Simmons in February 2013.

Two endowed positions to be filled in 2014 are the Patsy and Ray Caldwell Centennial Chair, initially to be directed in the Simmons School’s Department of Teaching and Learning, and the Glenn Simmons Endowed Professorship, to be based first in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness.

The recipient of numerous teaching and mentoring awards, McLendon teaches graduate courses on public policy and education, university governance and finance, leadership and American public policy.

In 2013 McLendon received national recognition for his research contributing to public debates about K-12 and higher education. He has been a principal investigator or lead consultant on national studies funded by the Lumina Foundation, National Science Foundation and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

McLendon’s widely published research centers primarily on factors influencing policy change at both the state and campus levels, with a particular focus on how political behavior shapes states’ policy choices. He also has studied the effects of campus and state policies on college student success.

“Through his superb scholarship and dedication to the higher education field, Michael will integrate research-based solutions with practice and policy, and make a mark on the way colleges and universities evolve,” said David Chard, Leon Simmons dean of Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. “The Simmons School is enormously privileged to have him fill the school’s first Centennial chair. His caliber of scholarship and teaching immediately elevates us in important state and national policy conversations.”

“I’m deeply honored to hold the Simmons School’s first endowed Centennial Chair,” McLendon said. “My aim is to help position the Simmons School and SMU as research leaders around matters of education policy and policy reform and as conveners of important conversations nationally on the future of higher education.”

McLendon joined SMU in 2012 after serving as a professor of public policy and higher education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, where he was executive associate dean and chief of staff from 2008 to 2011. He holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Michigan, an M.S. in higher education from Florida State University and a B.A. in political science from Baylor University. Before his doctoral studies, the Texas native served as a policy analyst in the Florida House of Representatives and as a staff member in the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the creation of these three academic positions, the Simmons’ recent financial commitment also will fund a new building for the expanding programs of the school. The new facility will be named Harold Clark Simmons Hall, in honor of Mr. Simmons, at the request of Mrs. Simmons, a 1957 SMU alumna.

> Read the full story from SMU News

January 13, 2014|News|

Calendar Highlights: Oct. 3, 2013

Higher Education Colloquium: The Department of Education Policy and Leadership presents a panel on the impact of changes in national and state policy on college student success and financial aid. The panel includes Don Heller, Professor and Dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University, Michael McLendon, Professor and Associate Dean of the Simmons School of Education at Southern Methodist University, Laura Perna, Professor at University of Pennsylvania, and Scott Thomas, Professor and Dean of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University. Michael Harris, Associate Professor of the Simmons School of Education at Southern Methodist University, will moderate the panel. The event is on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 5:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium; registration is required.

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Family Weekend 2013: SMU families will arrive at the Hilltop for Family Weekend 2103, Oct. 4-6. The theme is SMU: Where Dreams Come True, and the weekend is full of activities from the Annual Taste of Dallas Dinner on Friday to the football game against Rutgers on Saturday. Read all the details here. Pony up!

MVP: The Meadows Virtuosi Players was formed in 2012 to showcase outstanding meadows students performing side by side with their faculty colleagues. Faculty artists Andrés Díaz and Matt Albert started the program and will perform alongside Ekaterina Gumenyuk and Hando Nahkur Saturday, Oct. 5. Gumenyuk and Nahkur were the first two pianists accepted into the Meadows Artist Diploma Program. The concert is at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

October 3, 2013|Calendar Highlights|

For the Record: Feb. 26, 2013

Jodi Cooley, Physics, Dedman College, was named by the American Physical Society’s Committee on the Status of Women Physicists as its December 2012 CSWP Woman Physicist of the Month. She was nominated by students as “a physicist who has had an impact on [their] life or career, both past and present.” The award is open to students, teachers or any woman doing physics-related work.

Donna Dover, Office of the Provost, received a 2012 Award of Merit in a competition sponsored by the North Texas Lone Star Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. She was honored for her work on the print edition of SMU’s 2012-13 General Information Undergraduate Catalog. 

Louis Jacobs, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College, received the 2012 Skoog Cup from the Science Teachers Association of Texas for his “significant contributions to advancing quality science education.” The teacher association presents the Skoog Cup annually to a deserving faculty or staff member at a Texas college or university for a sustained record of leadership in science education, advocacy for quality K-12 science education for all students, contributions to science, and development of effective programs for pre-service and in-service teachers of science. Jacobs received the award at the Annual Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching, which took place in Corpus Christi in November.

K. Shelette Stewart, Executive Education, Cox School of Business, has received the 2012 Christian Literary Award in the Christian Living category for her book, Revelations in Business: Connecting Your Business Plan with God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life (Tate Publishing and Enterprises). The award was presented in a ceremony that took place in November.

Michael McLendon, Higher Education Policy and Leadership, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, delivered a keynote address to the 2012 College of Education Dean’s Symposium at Florida State University in Tallahassee in October. The symposium’s theme, “Shared Dreams, Separate Interests: Higher Education Finance & Accountability,” focused on higher education performance, accountability and finance in an era of intense scrutiny of higher education in the United States and internationally.

Azfar Moin, History, Dedman College, presented a paper at the 2012 South Asia Research and Information Institute (SARII) conference at SMU in September. The SARII conference brings together leading historians of South Asia and specialists of Indo-Muslim cultures. Its 2012 theme of “Cities, Courts, and Saints” gathered new research on the way Islam spread across and became part of the Indian subcontinent.

Wes Abel and Jon Haghayeghi, Master’s degree candidates in the Department of Economics, Dedman College, were among three U.S. students chosen to participate in the ISEO Institute’s “Learn Economics from Nobel Prize Laureates” summer program June 23-30, 2012 in Iseo, Italy. Among the Summer 2012 participating Nobel laureates were Peter Diamond and Michael Spence.

February 26, 2013|For the Record|
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