SMU President R. Gerald Turner (right) has accepted 36 of the 38 recommendations recently made by the University’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention on programs, policies and issues related to alcohol and drug use. Turner gave an overview of his decision to SMU students, faculty and staff members at a briefing and discussion April 29.
“One of the greatest challenges facing American higher education is the extent of substance abuse among college-age students,” Turner said. While the Task Force report notes that “many of these students bring well-developed tendencies and habits regarding alcohol and drug use with them to college,” SMU must “promote … lifestyles that [support] their health and well-being during the short but important years they are on campus,” Turner said.
“Our goal is not only that [students] earn their degree, but that they receive life-long benefits from exposure to the best of human civilization, the lessons of history, and the knowledge, values and skills necessary for successfully navigating the 21st century.”
The report comes at a pivotal time in the progress of the University, Turner added. “There are few moments in the history of institutions that the entire community is galvanized around a salient, central mission.” SMU’s commitment to increasing academic quality, and the University’s significant strides toward that goal, motivated the Task Force to place its recommendations within that context, Turner said. Some recommendations have been accepted partially or with modifications, limitations or reservations; or will be considered with more study. Two recommendations have not been accepted.
• Complete text of President Turner’s remarks
• President Turner’s announcement
• President Turner’s decision
• Executive summary of the decision
• The Task Force’s recommendations
• Video of President Turner’s briefing (Part 1 and Part 2)