R. Gerald Turner

SMU CUL Dean Gillian McCombs announces her retirement, effective summer 2017

Gillian M. McCombs, Dean and Director, SMU Central University LibrariesGillian McCombs, dean and director of SMU’s Central University Libraries, has announced her retirement from that position effective in summer 2017.

SMU Provost Steven Currall will announce the timeframe for the search for a new permanent dean and director this fall.

McCombs joined SMU in 1998 and guided the University’s central library system through a transformation of resources, facilities and services in response to changing student and faculty needs. One of the most visible examples of her leadership is the Fondren Library Center renovation. The Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room and new Hillcrest Foundation Exhibit Hall opened April 15, marking the completion of the first phase. The final phase includes a Starbucks Café and Collaborative Commons, which will open with a student-centered celebration in September 2016.

> SMU News: SMU celebrates Fondren Library transformation

“Great libraries are the heart of the University, and at the heart of Dean McCombs’ leadership of SMU Central University Libraries has been an unwavering focus on our library users’ evolving needs, particularly those of our students,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “A prime example is the CUL Student Advisory Council she created to provide the student perspective as library staff shapes programs, services and spaces that enhance the user experience and support academic achievement. Gillian has been a passionate advocate for CUL, and we are grateful for her many contributions to the University.”

McCombs oversees 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 – as well as the Fort Burgwin Library at SMU-in-Taos and the SMU-in-Plano Library Resource Room.

“Dean McCombs has had a longstanding and distinguished career leading Central University Libraries at SMU. In addition to being an insightful voice about advancing libraries at SMU, Gillian is a globally recognized intellectual leader about the future of libraries, digitization of documents, and the creative use of library buildings to foster innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Currall. “One of the crowning achievements of her career was the recent renovation of SMU’s Fondren Library to ensure that it meets the current and future needs of SMU faculty and students. Gillian has been an inspiring leader of the CUL staff, a true academic partner with SMU’s other deans, and an invaluable colleague in advancing SMU.”

Among her SMU career highlights:

  • McCombs led CUL’s observance of the University’s Year of the Library in 2013, joining SMU President R. Gerald Turner in welcoming the acquisition of American explorer John Maley’s travel journal (1808-1812) that represented the libraries’ four-millionth volume. The gift was made by the SMU Board of Trustees in honor of former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush and the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
  • She launched a digital collections initiative, which now numbers 51 collections comprising 50,000 images, documents, videos and other materials from SMU’s special collections, all available to the public online. CUL also scaled up its delivery of e-resources and now provides access to over one million e-books and 75,000 e-journals.
  • As dean and director, she guided CUL’s participation in several major collaborative ventures including the Greater Western Library Alliance’s Occam’s Reader Project, a groundbreaking e-book pilot program; the Association of College and Research Libraries’ three-year research initiative studying the impact of academic libraries on student achievement; and a partnership with the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association to bring George Washington’s personal copy of The Acts of Congress to campus.

Throughout her service to SMU, McCombs has published extensively in the areas of organizational culture, technology and digital services, leadership and management, fundraising and historical children’s literature. She has won numerous awards in the library profession and serves on the editorial board of portal: Libraries and the Academy, a research journal focused on the evolving role of academic libraries and librarians.

Her professional affiliations include membership on the Greater Western Library Alliance Board of Directors. She has represented the United States on the International Federation of Libraries Association, Academic Libraries standing committee and has served on numerous committees and advisory boards of the American Library Association. In North Texas she has served on the Dallas Museum of Art’s Libraries, Archives and Imaging Services Committee, the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences Board of Advisors and the Texas Woman’s University School of Library and Information Studies External Constituent Board.

McCombs began her professional career in England as the music librarian at Huddersfield Public Library in her native Yorkshire. Her career in the United States started in Washington, D.C., where she worked at the Landscape Architecture and Garden Library at Dumbarton Oaks, as well as such federal libraries as the National Library of Medicine, the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Prior to joining SMU, she served as assistant director of technical services and systems for 16 years at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY), where she earned a master’s degree in public administration.

McCombs received a bachelor’s degree in French and European literature (honors) from the University of Warwick and a master’s degree from the Leeds School of Librarianship in England.

2016-08-22T09:19:37+00:00 August 2, 2016|For the Record, News|

Provost names Maria Dixon Hall to lead new campus-wide initiative on cultural intelligence

Maria Dixon HallSMU Provost Steve Currall has named Associate Professor of Organizational Communication and Director of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Maria Dixon Hall as Provost’s Senior Advisor for Campus Cultural Intelligence Initiatives effective Monday, Aug. 1, 2016.

Professor Dixon Hall will have strategic oversight of an emerging initiative “designed to ensure that we are cultivating a campus culture involving faculty, staff and students that ensures our students are ready to effectively engage the complex world into which they will graduate,” said Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“The question that guides me in this unique appointment is: Whether in Detroit or Dubai, South Wales or South Dallas, do our classrooms equip our students to effectively communicate and negotiate human difference?” Currall added. “I believe the faculty has an especially vital role in fostering contexts that teach our students how to successfully and respectfully work, collaborate and create solutions regardless of who their partners may be. Professor Dixon Hall is uniquely qualified to lead this exciting initiative.”

“Last year, I promised the SMU community that we would be bold in our efforts to ensure that our campus was welcoming, inclusive and thoughtful about matters of difference. Maria’s appointment allows us to tap into her internationally recognized expertise in cultural intelligence,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “In addition to being an outstanding faculty member in the classroom, she has earned a reputation, through her research and consulting, for moving organizations and institutions beyond the old frameworks of diversity training to intelligent, thoughtful ways of communicating effectively across cultural boundaries. Her work as an organizational scholar and theologian will help us formulate sustainable actions to position SMU as a strategic leader in inclusion and cultural intelligence in higher education by 2025.”

Recognized throughout her SMU career for her teaching and research, Dixon Hall has been honored with the 2005-06 Willis M. Tate award for service to the student body; the 2009 Golden Mustang Award for outstanding teaching and research by junior faculty; the 2010 Rotunda Award for Outstanding Teaching; and the 2011 “M” Award, SMU’s highest award for service to the University. In 2016, she was named an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor by SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence.

“I am deeply honored by this appointment,” Dixon Hall said. “The conversations I’ve had with my colleagues during the past year have demonstrated the commitment our faculty has to ensuring that we are shaping world changers in every sense of the term. The opportunity to lead those conversations in service of a University I love is deeply gratifying. Provost Currall’s innovative structuring of this appointment can only encourage others like myself, who love the classroom, to occasionally step out of it and engage in these types of transformative opportunities on behalf of the University.”

Dixon Hall will return to research and teaching once the initiative is complete, at which time the University leadership will unveil a long-term plan to sustain the cultural intelligence programs she will develop.

Professor Dixon Hall joined the SMU faculty in 2004. As Director of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, she oversees curriculum and assessment for the Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication program.

She also serves as the director of Mustang Consulting, an in-house firm staffed by top communication students, whose global client list includes Southwest Airlines (Dallas), The Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Kampala/Dallas), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso), and Lifeworks (Austin). The firm’s research has been featured in The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, The Franchise Times, and Restaurant Nation.

Dixon Hall’s research and professional consulting is focused on the implications of identity, power and organizational culture on the strategic communication of religious and non-profit organizations. Dixon Hall serves on the editorial boards and as a reviewer for both her field’s national and international publication outlets, as well as their academic conferences. Her work appears in the discipline’s top journals, including Management Communication Quarterly, The Journal of Communication and Religion, Business Communication Quarterly and Southern Journal of Communication.

Dixon Hall maintains an active speaking schedule and is a frequent contributor to national media outlets such as TIME Magazine and CNN on issues of race and education. Her examination of the University of Oklahoma’s failures in dealing with race, “Transformation 101,” became one of 2015’s most viral blog posts. A probationary deacon in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, she is also a frequent contributor to the United Methodist Reporter and The Religious News Service.

A graduate of the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama, Dixon Hall earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology of Emory University. She received her Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2004.

2016-07-22T13:28:45+00:00 July 22, 2016|For the Record, News|

SMU’s 2016 President’s Picnic is Wednesday, May 18

Originally published April 5, 2016.
presidents-picnic-2016The SMU Staff Association and President R. Gerald Turner invite all University staff members to the 2016 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic. The post-Commencement celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, May 18 on the Clements Hall south lawn.

This year’s event will include the announcement of the 2015 President’s Staff Recognition Award winners, who were originally scheduled to be named at the postponed Staff Association Assembly and Recognition Ceremony in March.

For more information, contact Staff Association President Tim Norris, 214-768-4959.

> Visit the SMU Staff Association online: smu.edu/staffassociation

 

2016-05-18T10:36:16+00:00 May 17, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Tech and civic leaders Richard and Mary Templeton to deliver SMU’s 101st Commencement Address Saturday, May 14, 2016

Richard and Mary Templeton family

(l. to r.) Nephew William Templeton, Richard Templeton, Mary Templeton, son Jim Templeton and daughter Stephanie Templeton.

Technology and civic leaders Richard and Mary Templeton will share the delivery of the SMU Commencement address at an all-University ceremony in Moody Coliseum at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14. The ceremony, including the commencement address, will be broadcast live at smu.edu/live.

“Richard and Mary Templeton’s lives reflect an exceptional commitment to community service and a determination to squarely face and adapt to unanticipated life changes,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Their message will both inspire and guide our students at this important stage of their lives.”

> Find complete information on SMU Commencement 2016: smu.edu/commencement

Richard Templeton, a member of the SMU Board of Trustees, is president and CEO of Texas Instruments, and Mary Templeton is a financial analyst and computer scientist. Their $2 million gift in 2014 established the Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair in Electrical Engineering, providing for a $1.5 million endowment and $500,000 in operational support. The couple has three children, Stephanie, John and Jim – who is a 2014 graduate of SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

Mary Templeton is a philanthropist and community volunteer who had a 14-year career with General Electric Company (GE) before moving to Dallas. She has served on the boards of trustees for her alma mater, Union College, the University of Dallas, John Paul II High School, Ursuline Academy of Dallas Foundation, the Southwest Region Boys and Girls Club of America, AT&T Performing Arts Center and the Dallas Arboretum. Mrs. Templeton is a member of the Advisory Council of The Catholic Foundation. In 2011 she received the 29th Catholic Foundation Award for her support of Catholic education.

With more than 30 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, Richard Templeton has been chairman of the board at TI since 2008, and president and CEO since 2004. In addition to his TI duties, Mr. Templeton serves on the board of the Semiconductor Industry Association, the board of directors of Catalyst, and the board of trustees for Southwestern Medical Foundation. He is also a member of the Business Roundtable. In addition to serving as an SMU trustee, he also serves on the executive boards for the Lyle School of Engineering and the Cox School of Business.

The TI Foundation’s partnership with SMU includes supporting programs to enhance diversity and innovation in engineering education. The TI Foundation endowed the Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Engineering Education and the directorship of the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education in the Lyle School in 2008. Members of TI leadership have served on SMU’s board of trustees and provided guidance to other University committees and groups for decades.

> Read the full story from SMU News

2016-05-02T12:31:02+00:00 May 2, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

SMU, Dedman School of Law announce Deason Family Criminal Justice Reform Center

Umphrey Lee Cenotaph, Dedman School of Law quad, SMUSMU’s Dedman School of Law is poised to become a hub of research and education on issues related to criminal justice reform.

The Deason Family Criminal Justice Reform Center will be a place for scholars to undertake independent research and develop educational opportunities on topics such as the causes of wrongful convictions and over-incarceration, and ensuring the fair and ethical treatment of individuals at all stages of the criminal justice process.

The new center is supported by combined gifts totaling $7 million from the Deason Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation. The gifts will provide $3.5 million each over a period of five years.

“The support from the Deason Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation for this center goes right to the heart of what a great university like SMU is positioned to do in finding solutions to societal problems,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prison population, so there’s work to be done. Dedman Law is eager to engage in the important national debate surrounding issues of fairness, accuracy and compassion in the criminal justice system.”

> The Dallas Morning NewsDeason and Koch give $7 million to SMU Dedman Law for criminal justice reform

Jennifer Collins, the Judge James Noel Dean and Professor of Law at Dedman School of Law, served as assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia from 1994 to 2002 and is well positioned to anticipate the impact of the Deason Family Criminal Justice Reform Center.

“Policy makers across the ideological spectrum are talking about the need for criminal justice reform,” Collins said. “From the adequacy of defense counsel, to police uses of force, to wrongful convictions and the racial disparities in the criminal justice system – these are the huge issues of our time. This new center will work well with our existing criminal clinic and innocence clinic, and build on our existing faculty strength in criminal law.”

The Deason Family Criminal Justice Reform Center will provide a platform for important interdisciplinary collaboration among many different groups, including scholars, students, the judiciary, law enforcement, prosecutors, and defense counsel. By bringing together experts from across the country to participate in symposia and conferences, the center will engage in national conversations surrounding criminal justice.

“Our passion for criminal justice reform is based on our desire to create and support programs that help lift the poor from poverty, to help them become self-dependent and, consequently, support their families and live their lives with dignity,” said Doug Deason. “Because the problems with our criminal justice system are so complex and deeply rooted, a collaborative, thoughtful approach is essential. This new Criminal Justice Reform Center will offer the research required to find innovative solutions, and we are very proud to support it.”

“Finding solutions to the problems with our criminal justice system will require the sort of leading-edge scholarship that the faculty at SMU produce. This is an issue that separates families, divides communities, and gets to the heart of how our society treats people in their most difficult hour. The Deason Center scholars can make a major difference and we’re proud to partner with the Deason family and SMU on this initiative,” said Charles Koch Foundation President Brian Hooks.

The gifts to fund the Deason Family Criminal Justice Center in Dedman School of Law count toward SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which concluded on Dec. 31, 2015 and raised more than $1 billion to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

“The overarching goal of our Second Century Campaign has been to build an extraordinary platform for research and learning at SMU,” said Brad Cheves, vice president for Development and External Affairs. “The Deason Family Criminal Justice Reform Center will support important learning experiences for our students, and, we believe, equally important societal changes. We are grateful for the opportunity this provides us.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

2016-04-27T14:42:58+00:00 April 27, 2016|News|
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