Randall Griffin honored at Fall General Faculty Meeting

Randall Griffin, professor of art history in Meadows School of the Arts, was honored as the 2009-10 United Methodist Church University Scholar/Teacher of the Year at SMU’s Fall 2010 General Faculty Meeting Aug. 25.

President R. Gerald Turner updated the faculty on endowment issues, the incoming class, and other issues surrounding campus life.

> Newly tenured faculty and more under the link

Incoming Faculty Senate President Linda Eads urged faculty members to reflect on their proper role in university governance. In no university system in the world, she said, has the faculty been regarded as staff or as a group subordinate to university leadership. “The faculty is not a supplicant,” she said. “Rather, the faculty is considered central to determining how best the entity called a university can advance the pursuit of knowledge, and the transmission of knowledge to students.”

During his address, Turner made note of SMU’s 12-place jump from No. 68 to No 56 in the U.S. News college rankings. “We have a goal of moving into the top 50 by 2015, and to move up that much is encouraging,” he said.

> SMU News: University achieves its highest national ranking

He also discussed the implications of the ongoing global recession for the University’s endowment, as well as the Second Century Campaign. The three-year plan to adjust to the loss of endowment income assumed that the endowment would grow 2 percent in the first year and four percent each of the two years after, Turner said. Endowment income grew 8 percent in the first year but less than 1 percent in the second. “We still have 4 percent to go, but fortunately, that 8 percent gives us a little padding,” he said.

> Visit the Second Century Campaign website

Another important budgetary assumption was that the University would meet its recruitment targets for the Fall 2010 incoming class, and Turner announced that the first-year class exceeded the goal of 1,400 new students.

Turner announced that the incoming class of 2014 carries an average SAT score that remains about the same as that of last year’s entering class, due to a revision of U.S. News‘ reporting mechanism, which now requires SAT scores for prelude and international students. SMU’s Strategic Plan sets an average-SAT goal between 1275 and 1300 by the centennial year of 2015. Texas students represent 46 percent of the first-year class, which also contains 108 international students from 34 countries. Minority students make up 25.8 percent of the class, an increase from the Fall 2009 total of 24 percent and the Fall 2008 total of 20 percent.

> Find more SMU data at the Institutional Research homepage

In addition, Turner updated the faculty on the University’s upcoming centennial celebration. SMU will commemorate the 100th anniversary of its founding on April 15, 2011 (the actual anniversary date, April 17, falls on a Sunday).

He also emphasized the importance of SMU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for its upcoming SACS reaccreditation. “Every faculty member should be able to state what this is any time they are asked,” he said, citing the University’s commitment to experiential learning as a cornerstone of the plan, now being created by the QEP Committee headed by Maggie Dunham, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

> Learn more about the QEP

President Turner, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Ludden and the deans of the schools presented academic regalia to faculty members who received tenure in Spring 2010:

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

  • R. Alan Covey, Anthropology
  • Robert Kehoe, Physics
  • Luis Maldonado-Peña, Foreign Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
  • Dayna Oscherwitz, Foreign Languages and Literatures (French)
  • Thomas Ritz, Psychology

Dedman School of Law

  • Josh Tate, Law (legal history, wills and trusts, property)

Lyle School of Engineering

  • Khaled Abdelghany, Environmental and Civil Engineering
  • Ping Gui, Electrical Engineering

Meadows School of the Arts

  • Daniel Buraczeski, Dance
  • James Crawford, Theatre
  • Maria Dixon, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs
  • Derek Kompare, Cinema-TV

Perkins School of Theology

  • Elaine Heath, Evangelism
  • Susanne Scholz, Old Testament

Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

  • Paige Ware, Teaching and Learning