R. Gerald Turner

Staff Celebration and Convocation scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017

The SMU Staff Association, in collaboration with the Office of Operational Excellence, has created a new Staff Celebration and Convocation program honoring SMU staff excellence. The ceremony is for all SMU staff members and will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 in McFarlin Auditorium.

President R. Gerald Turner will give his traditional State of SMU address as the keynote during the event. University Registrar John Hall, SMU’s longest-serving staff member, will be the featured speaker.

Staff members who have achieved 25 years of service to SMU will be honored, as well as the 2017 Presidential and Loretta Hawkins Award recipients. The ceremony with also recognize staff members who have continued their SMU service beyond 25 years, and previous Presidential and Loretta Hawkins Award recipients.

A reception with light refreshments will precede the ceremony at 10 a.m. For more information, visit the SMU Staff Association website.

President Turner issues SMU statement on DACA program

SMU President R. Gerald Turner has issued a statement regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, including a number of University resources for students needing support.

The Trump Administration announced its intention to end the DACA program in six months. Congressional action will be required to set a new policy regarding childhood arrivals – undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors by their parents.

President Turner shared this message via e-mail dated Friday, Sept. 8, 2017:

Dear SMU community,

The federal government announced this week that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will end in six months, unless Congress takes action. DACA offers temporary legal protection to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Nearly 200,000 young people in Texas are enrolled in DACA, including valued members of our campus community.

SMU joins universities across the country that are deeply concerned by the uncertainty of this situation. While debate on this issue continues, SMU’s mission remains unchanged. We seek to recruit, retain and graduate academically and creatively gifted students from diverse backgrounds, and we seek to provide these students with the opportunity to become society’s innovators, leaders and informed citizens. We know that all SMU students and graduates have within themselves the ability to be world changers who make significant contributions to our increasingly global society.

SMU will watch closely as Congress considers this issue. We are focused on supporting students and maintaining a welcoming, respectful environment in which all can pursue their academic goals. In addition, SMU will continue to act in accordance with University policies and state and federal laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of students’ records and information.

Any student needing support may contact Student Affairs’ Caring Community Connections program online. Faculty, staff, family members and other students also may submit any concerns about students’ well-being to this program.

Additional SMU resources include:

·         Office of International Student & Scholar Services, 214-768-4475

·         Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, 214-768-4580

·         Confidential counselors at Counseling Services, 214-768-2277, and the Chaplain’s Office, 214-768-4502

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has frequently asked questions about this week’s decision online.

We will continue to carefully monitor this important issue. I ask all campus community members to continue your important work of shaping and becoming world changers in an environment that emphasizes individual dignity and worth.

Sincerely,

R. Gerald Turner
President

By | 2017-09-08T14:26:00+00:00 September 8, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Hurricane Harvey: How to help and where to seek support at SMU

A letter to the SMU community offers a comprehensive list of ways to help, and places to seek support, as Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath unfold on the Texas Gulf Coast.

President R. Gerald Turner shared this message with University faculty, staff and students on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017:

Dear SMU community,

We have watched with alarm and sadness since Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast on Friday, leaving widespread suffering, loss and destruction in its wake.

Our deepest sympathy goes to all who are feeling the impact of this disaster, including those in our SMU community who have loved ones, homes and other connections in the affected regions.

If you need support

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life Joanne Vogel sent a message yesterday regarding campus resources that support students, including confidential counselors at SMU Counseling Services (214-768-2277) and the Chaplain’s Office (214-768-4502). Through SMU’s Caring Community Connections (CCC) program, faculty, staff, students and family members can submit concerns about students’ well-being in order to connect them with help. The CCC form is online.

For faculty and staff members, SMU’s Employee Assistance Program (1-877-704-5696) provides confidential counseling and referral services, including for dependents.

If you would like to help

SMU has reached out to Rice University and the University of Houston to offer assistance. In addition, many in our SMU community are offering prayers, support and donations to those who have been affected. I believe our community will continue to find ways to help as needs evolve in Dallas and across the state.

Among these efforts, the SMU Student Senate is raising funds for disaster relief, with the goal of providing a significant donation to the relief effort from the SMU community. The students’ “Help 4 Houston” effort will last for four days – from August 29 to September 2, 2017. Donations to the SMU Student Disaster Relief Fund may be made at smu.edu/helpforhouston.

In the days and weeks ahead, SMU’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will continue to monitor this unprecedented disaster, as well as state and local relief efforts and needs. If faculty or staff members receive assistance requests from departments or programs at other colleges or universities, we ask that you notify the EOC, which is tracking SMU’s efforts. Please email the Office of Risk Management.

The SMU community stands with our Gulf Coast neighbors, students, alumni, colleagues and loved ones. We will continue to send our prayers and support.

Sincerely,

R. Gerald Turner
President

> Make a gift to the SMU Student Senate’s “Help 4 Houston” disaster-relief effort: smu.edu/helpforhouston

SMU Athletics is offering free tickets and concessions for the Sept. 2 SMU-Stephen F. Austin game to Texans displaced by the hurricane. Find additional details at SMUMustangs.com.

Tune In: Watch SMU’s 103rd Opening Convocation live, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017

President R. Gerald Turner will deliver the opening address, “World Changers Shaped Here,” at SMU’s 103rd Opening Convocation. The ceremony beings at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017 in McFarlin Auditorium.

SMU Board of Trustees Chair Michael M. Boone ’63, ’67 , Faculty Senate President Paul Krueger and Student Body President David Shirzad will also give remarks. The Meadows Convocation Chorus, directed by Pamela Elrod Huffman, will provide music, accompanied by Sarah England.

The entire Convocation will be streamed over the internet via smu.edu/live. Click or tap the screen below to watch. The broadcast begins one hour before the ceremony starts.

> Download a PDF of the 103rd SMU Opening Convocation program

Save the date: SMU Fall 2017 General Faculty Meeting, Wednesday, Aug. 23

SMU President R. Gerald Turner will address the University faculty at the Fall 2017 General Faculty Meeting Wednesday, Aug. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The meeting will begin at 3:45 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater, after a reception beginning at 3 p.m. in Centennial Hall and the Theater foyer.

Newly tenured faculty will receive their regalia during the meeting. In addition, 2017-18 Faculty Senate President Paul Krueger will give the Senate’s report. Provost Steven Currall will also address the meeting and announce the winner of the 2016-17 Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church.

SMU trustee David B. Miller ’72, ’73 to receive Methodist Health System Foundation’s 2017 Folsom Leadership Award

David B. MillerThe Dallas-based Methodist Health System Foundation has named business and community leader and SMU trustee David B. Miller ’72, ’73 as the 2017 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award recipient.

The award will be presented at a dinner on Wednesday, October 25 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Hilton Anatole Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. Established in 2005, the honor recognizes individuals whose demonstrated commitment and excellence in community leadership emulate the achievements of the late Dallas Mayor Robert S. Folsom.

Methodist Health System Foundation President James M. Johnston said, “David Miller clearly exemplifies Bob Folsom’s legacy as a revered community leader, serving Dallas with integrity, humility and respect. Like Mr. Folsom, David’s dedication and involvement with SMU, his dynamic leadership as a successful entrepreneur/business leader, as well as his care, concern and generosity toward others who are less fortunate, have made a lasting impact on Dallas and beyond. This year is particularly poignant because of the passing of Mr. Folsom in January. We hope to make this a special celebration as we pay tribute to Mr. Folsom as well.”

Miller, co-founder and managing partner of EnCap Investments, L.P., said, “I am humbled and honored to receive this significant award as Bob Folsom was a role model for many of us, and he was a true servant leader.”

A two-time SMU graduate, Miller earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Edwin L. Cox School of Business. He has served on the SMU Board of Trustees since 2008 and also serves as chairman of the Cox Executive Board. He is a recipient of Distinguished Alumni Awards from both the University and the Cox School. In 2009, Miller was honored with the Silver Anniversary Mustang Award by the SMU Lettermen’s Association.

In 2016, Methodist Health System provided more than $149 million in unreimbursed charity care, a growing portion of total care provided in North Texas. The Folsom dinner, recognized as one of Dallas’s largest fundraising events, has raised more than $15 million net to benefit Methodist Health System’s programs and services.

Co-chairs for the event include Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Lottye and Bobby B. Lyle, The Honorable Jeanne L. Phillips and Gail and R. Gerald Turner.

Past Folsom Leadership Award recipients include Robert S. Folsom (2005), Nancy Ann Hunt (2006), Troy Aikman (2007), Laura Bush (2008), the late Norman Brinker (2009), Pat and Emmitt Smith (2010), Trevor Rees-Jones (2011), Mike Boone (2012), Rev. Mark Craig (2013), Bobby B. Lyle (2014), Jack Lowe, Jr. (2015), and R. Gerald Turner (2016).

> Read the full story from SMU News

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.

Updates from the May 5, 2017 meeting of the SMU Board of Trustees

In its quarterly meeting May 5, SMU’s Board of Trustees elected new officers, selected two new committee chairs and welcomed new incoming deans of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business and Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. President R. Gerald Turner also agreed to a five-year extension, ensuring that he will continue to serve as president until at least May 31, 2022.

According to SMU Board of Trustees Chair Michael M. Boone, this action expresses the Board’s continuing confidence in Turner’s leadership. “The Board’s goal is to continue SMU’s momentum and its rising prominence at this historic time.”

The SMU Board reelected Boone as board chair. Robert H. Dedman, Jr. was elected vice-chair and chair-elect. He is expected to serve as board chair beginning in June 2018. David B. Miller was elected secretary. Two new committee chairs were chosen by the Board: Kelly Compton will chair the Academic Affairs Committee and Jeanne Tower Cox will chair the Student Affairs Committee.

New ex-officio members of the Board are SMU Faculty Senate President Paul Krueger, a professor of mechanical engineering in the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, SMU Alumni Board Chair Doug Smellage, 1977 SMU alumnus and Dallas businessman, and SMU Student Trustee Andrew Udofa, a 2014 SMU alumnus (degrees in biology and chemistry) and current Simmons School of Education and Human Development doctoral student.

SMU’s new deans, who will start at the University on Aug. 1, are Matthew B. Myers, Cox School of Business, and Stephanie L. Knight, Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

The Board also enthusiastically supported the Pony Power: Strengthening the Stampede initiative to strengthen annual support for scholarships and programs. The goal of this three-year effort is to increase current-use giving from its $43 million per year total to $50 million per year.

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

 

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