Steven C. Currall

Holly Jeffcoat named dean of SMU Libraries

Holly Jeffcoat

University of Connecticut Associate Dean of Libraries Holly Jeffcoat, a leader in the use of technology in instruction and library services, has been selected as the next dean of SMU Libraries. She will assume her new duties Wednesday, August 1, 2018.

“Holly Jeffcoat has deep leadership skills, as well as broad administrative experience in the library system of a highly ranked research institution,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall. “She will lead SMU Libraries in forging a collective vision in line with SMU’s goals for even greater academic quality.”

SMU President R. Gerald Turner lauded Jeffcoat’s strategic vision.

“Holly is wonderfully forward-thinking in her understanding of the role of technology in libraries now and in the future,” Turner said.

As associate dean of UConn Library, Jeffcoat leads core library operations that include access services, administration, marketing, development, facilities, finance, human resources, information technology and strategic planning. She oversees a $22 million budget, and leads the Library’s five-year, $20 million master plan renovation effort.

She is a key contributor to One UConn Library, an endeavor that ultimately will align systems across all UConn libraries. She also serves as interim leader of the strategic library areas of research, teaching, service and outreach. Previously at UConn, she served as the interim vice provost (the head UConn librarian), the assistant vice provost, and as the associate university librarian of planning, finance and assessment.

“It is an honor and privilege to join the SMU community as the new dean of SMU Libraries,” Jeffcoat said. “This is an exciting time of change and growth in academic research libraries and at SMU. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with world-changing faculty, students, staff, and the broader SMU community to create a shared 21st-century vision for SMU Libraries built upon the existing strengths of dedicated library professionals, outstanding special collections, and inspiring facilities.”

Prior to an international search for a new dean, Currall convened a task force to review existing university library organizational structures and processes, and to make recommendations for a new structure favorable to coordination among the libraries, and conducive to future strategic planning. A new unified organization model will take effect when Jeffcoat begins her new post.

As SMU Libraries dean, Jeffcoat will oversee DeGolyer Library, SMU’s principal repository for special collections in the humanities, the history of business, science and technology; Fondren Library Center, including the Norwick Center for Digital Services; the Hamon Arts Library; Bridwell Library, which supports theological education and scholarship; the Business Library; and human resources needs for the libraries. She will serve as ex officio member of the SMU Libraries Executive Board and the Friends of the SMU Libraries.

“Holly understands modern research libraries from the ground up and across all disciplines,” said Thomas DiPiero, dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, who chaired the 15-member search committee. “Her terrific strategic planning experience will help her lead collaborations across SMU Libraries.”

Prior to UConn, Jeffcoat held positions at the University of New Mexico College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences as well as the UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center. Her library leadership career began in Galápagos, Ecuador, as the director of the Charles Darwin Research Station. Jeffcoat has published and presented on translational science support, use of virtual reality in education, collection development in health sciences, and numerous scholarly communication topics.

Jeffcoat is a founding creator of BLC Leads, a Boston-based leadership program for mid-career librarians, and serves as a program mentor. She is a 2018-19 fellow in the prestigious Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Library Leadership Fellows program.

She earned B.A. degree in psychology from Greensboro College, where she minored in sociology and French. She earned an M.S. degree in sociology from Utah State University, and an M.A. degree in library and information sciences from the University of Arizona.

Currall thanked Elizabeth Killingsworth, who has served as interim dean since July 2017, for her leadership. “Elizabeth guided us through this period of transition extremely well,” he said. “She’s a wonderful asset to SMU Libraries and the University.”

New center in SMU’s Dedman School of Law will equip legal and business leaders for a changing world

Umphrey Lee Cenotaph, Dedman School of Law quad, SMUCombined gifts of $4 million will create a new center in SMU’s Dedman School of Law to train the next generation of prominent legal and business leaders and influence national conversations surrounding business and corporate law. The Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law and Leadership is being named in honor of Dallas businessman Robert B. Rowling, owner and Chairman of TRT Holdings, Inc., which is the holding company for the Omni Hotels and Resorts chain as well as Gold’s Gym International. Rowling received an undergraduate degree in business before graduating from Dedman Law in 1979.

The center will be named for Rowling at the request of an anonymous donor who made the lead gift. The donor asked Mr. Rowling the favor of sharing his name with the new center to reflect that Mr. Rowling exemplifies the type of business achievement, community engagement and civic contribution that future participants in the center’s programs should strive to emulate.

“Bob Rowling is the perfect example of the combined skills that will be the focus of the new center,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Today’s law students will be navigating careers that we cannot even imagine at the moment. They need training in ethical leadership, business analytics and entrepreneurship to develop the skills they will need to be successful. The Rowling Center has a role to play in shaping the future of business and corporate law.”

The Rowling Center will enrich the School’s existing curriculum, and include new leadership training to highlight professionalism and “soft skills,” as well as empirical training to teach core business skills. The program will build on the legal and business acumen centered in Dallas, collaborating with SMU’s Cox School of Business to provide an interdisciplinary approach. The center also will enhance Dedman Law’s mentoring program and provide new opportunities for students to connect with SMU’s extensive network of highly successful alumni and supporters.

In addition to expanded course offerings for J.D. students, the J.D./M.B.A. degree programs will be closely connected with the Rowling Center and its broader activities. Both the traditional four-year and the recently launched three-year accelerated J.D./M.B.A. degree programs are attracting top students with exceptional promise and strong credentials.

“I am honored to have my name associated with this center for several reasons,” Rowling said. “Dedman Law is my alma mater, of course, and I know from personal experience that a law degree is very useful in business. The center’s emphasis on business law and leadership will train law students in critical areas of business and position them well for future career success.“

A gift of $3 million from an anonymous donor, in addition to $1 million from the Dedman Foundation, will launch the center in fall 2018.

“This is great philanthropic synergy,” said Brad Cheves, SMU Vice President for Development and External Affairs. “We had a very generous donor who wanted to support an important initiative at Dedman Law and, at the same time, honor Robert Rowling, a Dedman Law alumnus who epitomizes the type of work on which this center will focus. We are delighted to see this idea come to fruition.”

The center will focus on two areas:

  • Training through an interdisciplinary program that includes new and innovative courses and extracurricular offerings, and
  • National conversations related to business and corporate law topics through programming, faculty research and partnerships.

“The center will capitalize on the Dedman School of Law’s global reputation for producing graduates who work at the interface of law and business,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The center will also build upon innovative partnerships with SMU’s Cox School of Business and with the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which is located on our campus.”

“The Rowling center for Business Law and Leadership is an extraordinarily good fit for us, and a natural progression for Dedman Law,” said Jennifer Collins, Judge James Noel Dean of Dedman School of Law. “This Center will enhance the education we provide to our students by ensuring that graduates have the commitment to ethical leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and business acumen they need to navigate the rapidly evolving employment landscape. It also will position the law school as a thought leader on questions related to corporate law and leadership and provide us with new opportunities to engage our alumni and the broader legal and business community. We are profoundly grateful to our lead donor, to the Dedman family, and of course to Mr. Rowling for helping us transform our vision of a business law center into a reality.”

Collins said the search would now begin for a center director with the practical experience and professional connections to make the Rowling Center immediately impactful. In addition to hosting seminars, conferences and symposia aimed at stimulating new developments in business and corporate law and policy, the center will house and coordinate established programming such as Dedman Law’s Corporate Counsel Symposium, Corporate Counsel Externship program and Corporate Directors’ Institute.

> Read the full story from SMU News

Continuing the Ascent: New report details 14 recommendations to boost SMU’s global impact

Dallas Hall at SMU

SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall have released a new report presenting 14 recommendations to further raise SMU’s standing relative to other universities.

The recommendations in Continuing The Ascent: Recommendations for Enhancing the Academic Quality and Stature of Southern Methodist University were discussed and vetted for more than a year among the SMU community via task force work, fora and town halls. They address four categories:

  • Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduates and Their Educational Experience
  • Strengthening Faculty, Research and Creative Impact at SMU
  • Enhancing the Quality of Graduate Students and Their Educational Experience
  • Deepening Innovative Community Partnerships and Engagement

Each recommendation briefly compares SMU with its peers and aspirants, and includes estimated costs.

“This is our time to rise even higher,” Turner said. “There’s more to do to strengthen our already fine academic quality, and to bolster our local, national and global impact.”

“The SMU community contributed extensively to, and informed the development of our recommendations,” Currall said. “This report represents our collective vision of SMU’s future and how to further elevate SMU’s excellence in scholarship, creative activity, teaching, and societal impact.”

> Read Continuing the Ascent here

$2 million gift from Andrew and Elaine Chen will establish endowed SMU Cox chair in finance

Fincher Building, Cox School of Business, SMURetired SMU faculty member Andrew H. Chen and his wife, Elaine T. Chen, have made a $2 million gift to the Edwin L. Cox School of Business to establish The Andrew H. Chen Endowed Chair in Financial Investments Fund. Andrew, who retired as professor emeritus of finance in 2012, said he and his wife wanted to ensure that the Cox School will continue to attract outstanding finance faculty.

The gift will include $1.5 million for the endowment of the faculty chair and $500,000 for operational support, which will enable immediate use of the position while the endowment vests.

“As a faculty member in the Finance Department, I focused much of my research and teaching in the areas of option pricing and options-related investment strategies, ” Andrew said. “After retiring from my faculty position, I decided to put into practice what I had taught in the classroom and was fortunate enough to meet with some success. Elaine and I now find ourselves in the position of being able to make a useful contribution to the Cox School by setting up an endowed chair in financial investment. We hope that this new finance chair will further enhance the Cox Finance Department’s reputation and enable its holder to enjoy an excellent career at SMU, just as I did when I was a member of the Finance Department.”

Elaine Chen said her husband’s experience as a chairholder at Cox played a large role in their decision.

“Since our days as graduate students at a leading U.S. business school (University of California, Berkeley), both Andy and I have always placed great value on finance education and research,” Elaine said. “Andy’s finance chair at SMU was invaluable in facilitating his teaching and research activities for nearly 30 years, and we are always grateful for the positive impact that the chair had on Andy’s career. Therefore, we decided to contribute in kind by helping to establish a new finance chair in the Cox School. It’s our hope that the contribution for this new chair will attract a talented finance scholar who will further develop his or her own research career at the Cox School while providing a top-notch learning experience to many students.”

A member of the Cox faculty from 1983-2012, Andrew Chen is a renowned researcher, educator, prolific author, business consultant and respected colleague in the field of finance. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the National Taiwan University and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He has also been a visiting scholar at universities in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia.

“The Chens’ thoughtful gift will allow the Cox School of Business to continue building one of the best programs in the country,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “It’s especially meaningful that a retired faculty member and his wife would feel compelled to make such a gift.”

The editor or co-author of several books, Andrew Chen has written more than 125 articles in leading academic and professional journals. He served as editor of Research in Finance and a managing editor of the International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance. He has held leadership positions with financial institutions and corporations and has been a consultant to several companies and government agencies. He served as president of the Financial Management Association International and as a director of the Asia-Pacific Finance Association.

At Cox, Andrew Chen was known for his passion for both research and teaching, frequently working with independent-study students on investment strategies. SMU Provost Steven C. Currall said the new endowed chair will help the University secure a similarly minded scholar.

“Endowed chairs support SMU’s mission to strengthen its academic foundation for the future by recruiting and retaining distinguished faculty,” Currall  said. “Dr. Chen understands this better than most thanks to his own experience at Cox. This gift will make a difference for our students for years to come and help to raise SMU’s national and international profile as an outstanding university.”

Finance is the most popular major for Cox undergraduates, with almost half of the BBA students declared as finance majors. More than half of Cox MBA students choose a finance degree program. The finance department offers students unique immersive experiences such as the EnCap Investments and LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center, the Kitt Investing and Trading Center, the Don Jackson Center for Financial Studies and the Practicum in Portfolio Management.

SMU Cox School of Business Dean Matthew Myers said the Chens’ largesse will extend this legacy.

“I had known about Dr. Chen long before my arrival at SMU,” Myers said. “He has always had a reputation for keeping students challenged and excited about finance. This position will enable us to always remember Andy’s invaluable contributions to SMU and will help us attract other talented scholars to the Cox School. We are so appreciative of Andy and Elaine’s generosity, and hope they will come back often to Cox to see the impact of their gift.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Nobel laureate Barry C. Barish to receive honorary SMU doctorate during 103rd Commencement, May 19, 2018

Barry C. BarishNobel laureate Barry Clark Barish, Ph.D., Linde Professor Emeritus of Physics at the California Institute of Technology and a leading expert on cosmic gravitational waves, will receive an honorary doctoral degree during SMU’s 103rd all-University Commencement ceremony. The event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Moody Coliseum.

Barish shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017 for his work in establishing the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the first observations of gravitational waves – disturbances in the fabric of space and time predicted by Albert Einstein based on his General Theory of Relativity.

He will receive the Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa, from SMU during the ceremony.

On Friday, May 18, Dr. Barish will give a free public lecture on campus. “Einstein, Black Holes and Gravitational Waves” will begin at 3 p.m. in Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center, on the SMU campus. The lecture will be preceded by a reception at 2:15 p.m. Free parking will be available in the University’s Binkley and Moody garages, accessible from the SMU Boulevard entrance to campus.

RSVP online to attend the Barry Barish Public Lecture

“Dr. Barry Barish has changed the way we see the universe with his work,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His accomplishments as an experimental physicist have broken new ground and helped to confirm revolutionary theories about the structure of our cosmos.”

“Conferring an honorary degree is an important tradition for any university,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall. “For SMU, this year’s decision takes on special meaning, as the University is the home of a highly-regarded Department of Physics deeply involved in research ranging from variable stars to the Higgs boson. Dr. Barish and his record of world-changing accomplishment represent the very best of his field. He’s an outstanding example of what all our graduates can aspire to as they begin their own professional endeavors.”

Einstein predicted in 1916 that gravitational waves existed, generated by systems and regions such as binary stars and black holes and by events such as supernovae and the Big Bang. However, Einstein thought the cosmic waves would be too weak to ever be detected. Barish’s work at LIGO resulted in the first observation on Earth of these cosmic ripples on Sept. 14, 2015 — emanating from the collision of two black holes in the distant universe.

Barish was the principal investigator for LIGO from 1994 to 2005 and director of the LIGO Laboratory from 1997 until 2005. He led LIGO from its funding by the National Science Board of the National Science Foundation (NSF) through its final design stages, as well as the construction of the twin LIGO interferometers in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana.

In 1997, Barish established the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), an organization that unites more than 1,000 collaborators worldwide on a mission to detect gravitational waves, explore the fundamental physics of gravity, and develop gravitational-wave observations as a tool of astronomical discovery. Barish also oversaw the development and approval of the proposal for Advanced LIGO, a program that developed major upgrades to LIGO’s facilities and to the sensitivity of its instruments compared to the first-generation LIGO detectors. Advanced LIGO enabled a large increase in the extent of the universe probed, as well as the discovery of gravitational waves during its first observation run.

Bookmark SMU Live for the May Commencement livestream: smu.edu/live

After LIGO, Barish became director of the Global Design Effort for the International Linear Collider (ILC)—an international team that oversaw the planning, design, and research and development program for the ILC—from 2006 to 2013. The ILC is expected to explore the same energy range in particle physics currently being investigated by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), but with more precision.

Barish joined Caltech in 1963 as part of an experimental group working with particle accelerators. From 1963 to 1966, he developed and conducted the first high-energy neutrino beam experiment at Fermilab. This experiment revealed evidence for the quark substructure of the nucleon (a proton or neutron) and provided crucial evidence supporting the electroweak unification theory of Nobel Laureates Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg.

Following the neutrino experiment, Barish became one of the leaders of MACRO (Monopole, Astrophysics and Cosmic Ray Observatory), located 3,200 feet under the Gran Sasso mountains in Italy. The international collaboration set what are still the most stringent limits on the existence of magnetic monopoles. Magnetic monopoles are the magnetic analog of single electric charges and could help confirm a Grand Unified Theory that seeks to unify three of nature’s four forces — the electromagnetic, weak, and strong forces — into a single force. The MACRO collaboration also discovered key evidence that neutrinos have mass.

In the early 1990s, Barish co-led the design team for the GEM (Gammas, Electrons, Muons) detector, which was one of two large detectors scheduled to run at the Superconducting Super Collider near Waxahachie. Congress canceled the accelerator in 1993 during its construction — but major elements of the GEM design and many members of its team were integrated into LHC detector projects at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Barish became Caltech’s Ronald and Maxine Linde Professor of Physics in 1991 and Linde Professor Emeritus in 2005. From 2001 to 2002, he served as co-chair of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel subpanel that developed a long-range plan for U.S. high-energy physics. He has served as president of the American Physical Society and chaired the Commission of Particles and Fields and the U.S. Liaison committee to the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). In 2002, he chaired the NRC Board of Physics and Astronomy Neutrino Facilities Assessment Committee Report, “Neutrinos and Beyond.”

Barish was born in 1936 in Omaha, Nebraska, to Jewish immigrants from a part of Poland that is now part of Belarus. He grew up in the Los Angeles area and earned his B.A. degree in physics and his Ph.D. in experimental physics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1957 and 1962. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Barish is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society.

In 2002, Barish received the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers. His honors also include the 2016 Enrico Fermi Prize from the Italian Physical Society, as well as the Henry Draper Medal, the Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, the European Physical Society’s Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize, and Fudan University’s Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award (all in 2017).

Barish holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Bologna, the University of Florida, and the University of Glasgow.

> Visit the SMU Commencement homepage: smu.edu/commencement

Linda and Mitch Hart commit significant gift to SMU’s Ford Research and Innovation Building

Linda and Milledge 'Mitch' A. Hart IIIDallas business leaders Linda Wertheimer Hart ’65 and Milledge (Mitch) A. Hart, III have committed a significant gift to the Gerald J. Ford Research and Innovation Building at SMU. The new facility will house the University’s Linda and Mitch Hart eCenter, which includes SMU Guildhall, the world’s top-ranked graduate game design program. The building will be located on SMU’s main campus at the corner of McFarlin Boulevard and Airline Road.

“Thanks to the Harts’ generosity, we are one step closer to creating a world-class center for research and innovation on our campus,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are excited about the synergies we’ll derive from bringing advanced computer programs together under one roof.”

In 2000, the Harts made a generous gift to establish the Hart eCenter, currently located at SMU-in-Plano, as well as to endow the eCenter’s directorship. The Hart eCenter focuses on interdisciplinary research, education and innovation; it is the first university-wide initiative focused on interactive network technologies created at a major research university. Reporting directly to SMU’s provost, the Hart eCenter uses this freedom and flexibility to promote thought leadership at the intersections of multiple fields and disciplines.

The Hart eCenter’s most visible manifestation is SMU Guildhall. Since its founding in 2003, the program has graduated more than 700 students, who now work at more than 250 video game studios around the world. SMU Guildhall offers both a Master of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development degree and a Professional Certificate of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development, with specializations in Art, Design, Production and Programming. In 2017, the Guildhall was named the world’s “No. 1 Graduate Program for Game Design” by The Princeton Review, based on a survey of 150 institutions in the United States, Canada and abroad that offer game design coursework and/or degrees.

> Visit SMU Guildhall online: guildhall.smu.edu

“SMU understands the value of interdisciplinary research in creating new knowledge and discovering new approaches to solving the world’s challenges. With a new facility dedicated to building these research collaborations, the University is stepping forward as an innovation leader,” said Linda Hart. “The growth of SMU Guildhall, both in programming and in stature, has been a source of tremendous pride for Linda and me ever since we made our first gift to establish the Hart eCenter. I look forward to seeing the exciting work this internationally recognized program will produce as it extends and expands its cutting-edge research in interactive technologies,” said Mitch Hart.

The Ford Research and Innovation Building was established with a $15 million lead gift commitment from Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69 and Kelli O. Ford to construct a campus research center supporting SMU’s goal to expand advanced computing and interdisciplinary research throughout the University.

“One of SMU’s strengths is the research and other work we do at the intersection of multiple disciplines,” said Steven C. Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We plan to continue building on this strength to advance and expand our research capability.”

In addition to the Hart eCenter and SMU Guildhall, the new building will house the AT&T Center for Virtualization, which will allow researchers from across the University to conduct interdisciplinary work to address the technical, economic, social and security issues associated with virtual technologies and their applications. It also will be the home of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, established in May 2012 through a gift from the Dedman Foundation.

It is expected that the availability of the Ford Research and Innovation Building will encourage more faculty to use high-performance computing and attract greater levels of external research funding. The University’s Second Century Campaign added 54 new substantially endowed faculty positions, bringing SMU’s current total to 120, many of them senior-level scholars with active research agendas. Along with other faculty who are leading important research projects, these scholars need and expect the best facilities to support their work. In addition, high-performance computing will apply directly to the undergraduate curriculum in several disciplines.

“Linda and Mitch Hart have been visionary supporters of SMU for many years. This gift reaffirms their dedication to the University as a leader in interdisciplinary research and education,” said Brad E. Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs. “We are incredibly grateful for their support of excellence and innovation among our faculty and students, and for the opportunity to share these world-changing capabilities with our North Texas and global communities.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Larenda Mielke named SMU Associate Provost for Continuing Education

Larenda Mielke, an international leader in professional, online, and executive education, has been named SMU’s first associate provost for continuing education. She will begin her new duties Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017.

University President R. Gerald Turner and Provost Steven C. Currall created the position to support one of the major objectives in SMU’s strategic plan, to engage the community for lifelong learning through professional training and continuing education, and in response to a report provided by the Task Force on Continuing Education.

SMU has offered continuing education to the community in different ways since the early 1920s. Currently, SMU’s Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE) and Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) programs report directly to the Provost’s Office. CAPE includes noncredit courses, and SMU’s seven academic schools offer for-credit and degree programs as well. Existing continuing education programs in SMU’s academic units report through their respective dean to the provost.

SMU Forum: Provost appoints search committee for Associate Provost for Continuing Education

“The vision for SMU’s continuing education is to further strengthen our commitment to academic excellence by broadening accessibility to the outstanding instruction offered by SMU’s faculty members,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Ms. Mielke’s background in domestic and international programs, as well as her breadth of experience in intercultural communication, research writing, English language programs in a medical school, and leadership, equips her to succeed in expanding SMU’s continuing education efforts. We expect that continuing education will generate financial surplus that will be reinvested in the University’s academic mission. Larenda is the ideal leader to propel the growth of SMU’s continuing education.”

Mielke stated, “It is with great excitement that I prepare to join SMU’s continuing and professional education team. Together we will build upon the ongoing vision of student-centered, external-facing educational offerings to enrich lives, foster innovation, and enhance productivity. Using the latest technological advances in teaching and learning, and harnessing the synergies of a University-wide effort, together we will join with the other exemplary initiatives of SMU to provide an unbridled residential student experience to include those attending SMU online and at a distance, doing our part to galvanize the University upward and outward while contributing to cutting-edge excellence and leadership among our peers.”

As senior director of Executive Education at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Mielke is a member of the leadership team of an internationally recognized program ranked No. 2 in the United States by the Financial Times. She has developed and led continuing education programs in top academic, corporate, government, and medical organizations and has experience in expanding initiatives, course offerings and revenues.

From 2004-14, Mielke held steadily advancing roles at Washington University in St. Louis, serving ultimately as associate dean and managing director of an Executive M.B.A. program run jointly by the Olin Business School and Fudan University’s School of Management in Shanghai, China. In that role, she managed a multimillion-dollar international program and brought Olin’s Executive M.B.A. program ranking to No. 5 in the world, as assessed by the Financial Times.

Mielke received a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in biology from Indiana State University. She holds an M.A. degree magna cum laude in cross-cultural education from Wheaton College Graduate School and an Executive M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School.

Reporting to the SMU provost, Mielke will provide University-wide leadership to prioritize, coordinate, support and grow continuing education. She will oversee CAPE and the MSDS programs, as well as help create an institution-wide strategy to build on notable efforts that some of SMU’s academic units have already developed in continuing education.

In addition, Mielke 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 guidance to the associate provost regarding the overall strategy for SMU’s continuing education and coordinate new proposals as well as revisions to existing programs.

Associate Provost for Student Academic Services Julie P. Forrester chaired the search committee. “We considered a number of outstanding candidates. Larenda, with her combination of experience and enthusiasm for our goals, was clearly the most impressive,” Forrester said. “We’re looking forward to working with her.”

The higher education search firm of Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. assisted the University in the national search.

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

 

SMU names Stephanie L. Knight dean of Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Stephanie L. KnightStephanie L. Knight, a nationally recognized education leader, researcher and professor, has been named dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. The current associate dean and professor of education in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University will assume her new duties at SMU on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017.

“Stephanie Knight’s impressive background of scholarly excellence and outreach to the education community will enable her to deliver visionary leadership to propel the Simmons School toward even greater visibility and impact,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Stephanie will continue to amplify the school’s commitment to evidence-based scholarship, external research funding and the preparation of exemplary professionals in education and human development. Her history of partnerships with urban and suburban schools equips her to further elevate the school’s contributions to K-12 education in the North Texas region and beyond. Furthermore, Stephanie is deeply committed to collaborations with other academic units on the SMU campus to advance interdisciplinary academic programs and initiatives.”

“Dr. Knight is joining a dynamic school, which will continue its trajectory as an innovative leader in education research and practice under her leadership,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “She understands that education is key to change, from lifting individuals from poverty to opening minds to new understanding, and that will strengthen SMU’s impact on individuals, schools and the world.”

Knight began her education career as a classroom teacher of Spanish and French in Texas, Saudi Arabia and Pennsylvania. She received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the University of Houston before beginning a 20-year tenure at Texas A&M University, where she was professor of educational psychology and teaching, learning and culture. In addition, she held the Houston Endowment, Inc. Chair in Urban Education at Texas A&M, received the University Distinguished Teaching Award and was named a University Faculty Fellow. Knight joined Pennsylvania State University in 2009 as professor of educational psychology, where she taught courses in educational psychology and effective learning. In 2013 she became associate dean at Penn State, leading the College of Education’s undergraduate and graduate studies programs.

Her scholarly interests demonstrate a dedication to bringing the results of evidence-based research to the K-12 classroom. Her research into relationships between instructional strategies, classroom processes, learning environments and student outcomes; teacher professional development, and the use of observational techniques to study classroom processes has been published in hundreds of professional journal articles, book chapters and books and presented at numerous professional conferences.

In addition, Knight has directed university and national research centers, including serving as associate director of research into practice for the National Science Foundation Information Technology in Science Center for Teaching and Learning, and director of evaluation and assessment for the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement in Washington, D.C.  She recently concluded five years as co-editor of the Journal of Teacher Education and also served from 2004 to 2006 as co-editor of the Teaching, Learning and Human Development section of the American Educational Research Journal. She currently serves as associate editor of the Review of Educational Research.

“Dr. Stephanie Knight stood out from a large pool of highly qualified candidates due to both her administrative experience and her tenure at tier-one research universities,” said Marc Christensen, chair of the Simmons School dean search committee, and dean and Lyle Professor of Innovation in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. “I look forward to working with her on the Council of Deans to advance the University’s academic and research missions.”

Knight earned her B.A. in romance languages and literature at the University of Kentucky, where she was selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa; her master’s degree and certification in secondary teaching at Lehigh University; and her Ed.D. in educational curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston.

“I am honored, and very excited, to have the opportunity to serve as the next dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development,” she said. “Simmons has already established an impressive foundation in its first decade, and I look forward to working with the very talented and productive faculty, staff and students in the school to further their ongoing mission of excellence in research, teaching and community outreach. SMU provides an ideal context for the success of this mission: Location in a dynamic urban context; commitment to academic excellence; support for interdisciplinary approaches that encourage innovation; and a climate of collaboration across and within units that enhances the process and outcomes of our very important work in education and human development. I look forward to becoming an integral member of the SMU and Simmons community.”

— Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News

Elizabeth Killingsworth named interim dean and director of SMU’s Central University Libraries

Elizabeth KillingsworthElizabeth Killingsworth, director of SMU’s Fondren Library Center and head of Research Services, has been named interim dean and director of Central University Libraries (CUL). Killingsworth, an expert on teaching with technology and a longtime advocate for information literacy, will begin her new duties effective July 1, 2017, as the University begins a national search for a permanent dean.

“The breadth and depth of Elizabeth Killingsworth’s experience equips her to be the ideal leader for Central University Libraries during the next academic year,” said Steven C. Currall, University provost and vice president for academic affairs. “She has the respect of SMU’s faculty and staff, and, importantly, librarians from across the SMU campus. She has both wisdom about operational matters regarding delivery of library services and ambition to ensure that CUL is progressive and innovative in its evolution to become a library system for the 21st century. I have every confidence in Elizabeth’s leadership during the interim period as we search for a permanent dean and director of CUL. I am grateful to her for assuming this important campus leadership role.”

Killingsworth joined SMU in 2013 as head of Research Services in Fondren Library. She became Fondren Library director and head of Research Services in January 2015. In those roles, Killingsworth oversees all public services at SMU’s largest library — with a general collection of nearly two million volumes covering the humanities, social sciences, business, education, science and engineering, as well as a selective depository of government documents and an extensive map collection. She guides the Information Literacy Program, Access Services (circulation, interlibrary loan/document delivery, and stacks management), the Marketing Team, the User Experience Team, the Initiative for Spatial Literacy, and the library’s web presence.

She also led Fondren Library public services through a major 16-month building renovation. Killingsworth kept all library services running throughout a project that culminated in the opening of the Starbucks Café and Collaborative Commons, as well as the renovated Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room, Hillcrest Foundation Exhibit Hall, Gillian M. McCombs Special Collections Reading Room, and more than a dozen renovated classrooms, conference rooms and offices.

As interim dean, Killingsworth, who will not be a candidate for the permanent deanship, will oversee 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. In addition, she will lead the Fort Burgwin Library at SMU-in-Taos and the SMU-in-Plano Library Resource Room.

Killingsworth has more than 27 years of experience as a professional librarian. She began her career as a medical librarian at the University of Texas Medical Branch and Hartford Hospital, before joining the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando as Health Sciences Librarian. She co-authored UCF’s successful Quality Enhancement Plan proposal on information fluency and became the first head of Information Literacy and Outreach at the university’s John C. Hitt Library.

While at UCF, she co-led a team to create 14 online Information Literacy Modules, built within an authenticated system with assessment components for each module. In addition, she was appointed Senior Faculty Fellow to the UCF provost and worked on the university’s strategic planning team.

Killingsworth’s research and scholarly activities focus on information literacy and the impact and interplay of online components to increase student learning, as well as analysis of legislation that impacts reading in early childhood. Her current work centers on textual analysis and comparison of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and NCLB (No Child Left Behind).

She has written and presented extensively on research techniques and evaluation, teaching with technology, and the acquisition and support of information fluency. Her work has been published in Childhood Education, the Journal of Academic Librarianship and the Journal of Educational Media and Library Sciences, among others.

Among her professional honors, Killingsworth received the Dean’s Eureka Award and the CUL Team Award in 2016, as well as UCF’s Excellence in Librarianship Award in 2005. She was elected Vice President and President of the Florida Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries and was elected Region 3 Director of the Florida Library Association Executive Board.

Killingsworth graduated with a B.S. degree in political science from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1987. She earned her master’s degree in library and information science from the University of North Texas in 1989.

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