SMU partners with Toyota and DISD to develop STEM-focused school

Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), Toyota USA Foundation and SMU have joined together to collaborate on the creation of a new and innovative STEM-focused school in West Dallas.

The aim is to inspire and prepare students for the next generation of STEM jobs through curricula that is project-based and business-aligned.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our students and families of West Dallas as this unique public private partnership comes together,” said Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. “STEM jobs are the wave of the future, and Toyota and SMU’s contribution is a major investment in shaping the next generation. This is a significant shift in education, and we’re grateful to these incredible partners.”

Toyota USA Foundation is granting $2 million to SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, which will develop curricula, advise on state-of-the-art educational practices, provide professional development for teachers, coordinate nonprofits operating in the area, and monitor and evaluate the program. The future school will be operated and staffed by the Dallas ISD. The Office of Transformation and Innovation will co-facilitate the design of the school in collaboration with School Leadership.

The collaboration will also bring together nonprofits, including groups already working with Dallas ISD through the SMU Simmons School program, The School Zone, as well as Toyota Motor North America and Toyota Financial Services’ partners to address community issues like literacy, nutrition, transportation and after–school care – each vital to creating successful outcomes for the community.

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By | 2018-09-16T14:24:49+00:00 September 7, 2018|Categories: News|

Important reminder from HR regarding overtime pay

As the new academic year begins, SMU Human Resources reminds faculty and staff members about federal regulations regarding overtime pay for non-exempt (hourly) employees.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours a workweek. The overtime rate is one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. This overtime requirement may not be waived.

Non-exempt employees and their managers should be aware of this requirement and accurately record and submit any overtime hours or fractional hours. Employees and managers are urged to discuss in advance the need for overtime work and to adjust workloads to maintain a regular workweek, if possible. If an employee works overtime, it must be recorded and properly compensated.

For more information

If you have questions about the overtime requirement, please contact Human Resources at smuhr@smu.edu.

Learn more about University policies regarding wages and overtime, Policy 3.64 and Policy 9.18, in the University Policy Manual.

The U.S. Department of Labor has information about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime_pay.htm, including frequently asked questions about overtime pay, https://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/faq.htm.

By | 2018-09-18T11:53:52+00:00 August 29, 2018|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

SMU Triumph of the Spirit Human Rights Award to honor international Nazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld

The world’s best-known Nazi hunters, Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, will make a rare visit to Dallas Nov. 15 to accept SMU’s global 2018 Triumph of the Spirit Award, presented by the Embrey Human Rights Program in SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

The docents of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance also will receive the award for their dedication to educating museum-goers about the history of the Holocaust and advancing human rights to fight prejudice, hatred and indifference.

“We want to recognize the bridge between those who led the effort to pursue justice on behalf of the victims of the Holocaust and those educators who are working to ensure that current and future generations will remember what can happen when people remain silent in the face of an assault on humanity and dignity,” said Rick Halperin, director of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program.

The Triumph of the Spirit Award is a biennial award presented to Dallas-based and global human rights leaders in honor of their accomplishments, innovation and commitment to human rights. The dinner and celebration will begin at 6 p.m., Nov. 15, in the Mack Ballroom in Umphrey Lee Center, 3300 Dyer St., on the SMU campus. Sponsorship opportunities and tickets are available at Triumph of the Spirit Award.

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By | 2018-09-18T16:27:21+00:00 August 27, 2018|Categories: News, Save the Date|Tags: , |

SMU’s National Center for Arts Research and DataArts Merge

On August 16, SMU announced the merger of its National Center for Arts Research (NCAR), a leading provider of evidence-based insights on the nonprofit arts and cultural industry, with DataArts, the respected Philadelphia-based resource for in-depth data about U.S. nonprofit arts, culture and humanities organizations, effective immediately.

The two are joining forces to strengthen the national arts and cultural community through data, the knowledge that can be generated from it, and the resources to use it.

The combined entity, SMU DataArts, will integrate the strengths and capabilities of both organizations, which have been closely collaborating since 2012. The merger will continue the core operations of both organizations and build on their existing successful programs. NCAR’s research expertise, its partnerships with other data providers, and the resources of a major research university will be combined with DataArts’ existing data collection platform and relationships with arts organizations and grantmakers. SMU DataArts aims to make data useful and accessible to all in the arts and culture field, illuminating strengths, challenges and opportunities for individual arts organizations and for the sector as a whole, to help ensure long-term stability.

Since its founding, NCAR has integrated national data on arts organizations and their communities to provide evidence-based insights and tools to arts leaders as well as groundbreaking research on the impact and viability of the nonprofit cultural industry. NCAR’s research is available free of charge to arts leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers and the general public. Its findings and tools have been accessed nearly 100,000 times by users from all 50 U.S. states and 166 countries. Its Key Intangible Performance Indicators (KIPI) Dashboard, a free online diagnostic tool launched in July 2016, has attracted more than 7,600 unique users.

DataArts, a non-profit organization, created and manages the widely used Cultural Data Profile, an annually updated national data set covering the financial and programmatic activity of 12,000 U.S. cultural nonprofits. Data and insights drawn from the Cultural Data Profile are used by grantmakers to steward their investments; by research institutions such as SMU to identify trends and develop findings about the sector; and by cultural institutions to improve their financial and programmatic operations. In the last year alone, DataArts users have produced 5,500 reports using their data and have registered more than 1,500 times for training sessions, webinars and online courses to develop their data skills.

“SMU DataArts is a natural extension of the mission of our university and our investment in data excellence,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said. “By combining the highest levels of academic research with widely accessible education and training programs serving the nonprofit arts industry, we can more effectively contribute data and knowledge to the arts and culture field. This merger will create new connections between SMU and cultural organizations in every part of the country.”

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By | 2018-09-18T15:33:32+00:00 August 16, 2018|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Three faculty members honored with 2018 Tunks Distinguished University Citizen Awards

Three faculty members were honored with SMU’s 2018 Thomas W. Tunks Distinguished University Citizen Award at the Faculty Breakfast held Saturday, May 19 before Commencement. This year’s recipients are:

  • Alan Brown, Psychology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Linda Eads, Dedman School of Law
  • Pia Vogel, Biological Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Science

The award, given by the Office of the Provost, honors three faculty members each year for service and activities that benefit students and the University’s academic mission and “who have demonstrated outstanding citizenship through dedicated service to the University and its governance.”

Formerly the Distinguished University Citizen Award, the honor was renamed in 2014 for Tunks, a professor of music education, former associate provost and founding Faculty-in-Residence in the University’s Residential Commons.

Explore ‘Hidden Scripts’ with the Cultural Intelligence Initiative at SMU

The Cultural Intelligence Initiative at SMU (CIQ@SMU) is offering faculty, staff and students opportunities this summer to examine the cultural identities and languages that shape interactions.

CIQ@SMU will present “Hidden Scripts,” a seminar that explores how geographical, age, gender, political, economic, racial and sexual identities affect how individuals collaborate with others and make decisions. The seminar is from 10 a.m. to noon June 21, July 18 and August 31 in Umphrey Lee Center.

Campus community members may register online for the June 21, July 18 or August 31 seminar here.

“Faculty, staff and students have provided input and inspiration that have shaped ‘Hidden Scripts’ since we piloted the seminar earlier this spring,” says Maria Dixon Hall, senior advisor to the Provost for cultural intelligence and associate professor of corporate communication and public affairs in Meadows School of the Arts. “Participants in ‘Hidden Scripts’ will discuss concepts including cultural identities and affinities, and how these narratives can support or hinder our abilities to work and learn with one another.”

> Learn more about CIQ@SMU: smu.edu/ciq

Four outstanding SMU scholars named 2018 Ford Research Fellows

Four SMU professors received 2018 Ford Research Fellowships during the University’s Board of Trustees Meeting in May. Pictured left to right: SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Adam Herring, Klaus Desmet, Elfi Kraka, MinJun Kim, and SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall. Photo credit: SMU | Allison Slomowitz

Four distinguished SMU professors were honored for their scholarship as 2018 Ford Research Fellows. The awards were presented during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 8.

This year’s recipients are Klaus Desmet, Economics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Adam Herring, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts; MinJun Kim, Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and Elfi Kraka, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Klaus Desmet is the Ruth and Kenneth Altshuler Centennial Interdisciplinary Professor and professor of economics in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. His research focuses on international trade, regional and urban economics, macroeconomics, and political economy. In April, he was appointed as a research associate in the International Trade & Investment and Political Economy program of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) – a prestigious national think tank that brings together researchers in economic policy and empirical economic analysis.

Adam Herring is the Emily Rich Summers Endowed Professor, chair and director of graduate studies in the Division of Art History, Meadows School of the Arts. Dr. Herring is a specialist in the art of the pre-Columbian Americas, with research interests that include visual theory and semiotics, anthropological and materialist critique of visual experience, and the history of the discipline. A 2017 Guggenheim Fellow, Dr. Herring has also received fellowships from Dumbarton Oaks, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Huntington Library.

MinJun Kim is the Robert C. Womack Chair in Mechanical Engineering in Lyle School of Engineering. He works in three unified subject areas: micro- and nanorobotics, single-cell and single-molecule biophysics, and transport phenomena. His research applies to a range of nano- and microfabrication techniques that are capable of producing small-scale functional materials and devices. These “microbots” create the possibility of exploring biology where fundamental processes take place, such as epigenetic and genetic control of single cells.

Elfi Kraka is professor and chair in the Department of Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and an expert in computational chemistry, quantum mechanics, and drug discovery. As head of SMU’s Computational and Theoretical Chemistry (CATCO) Lab, she researches computer-assisted drug design as a tool for reducing the time needed to develop new pharmaceuticals. She also investigates and develops new quantum chemical methods, the mechanism of chemical reactions with the Unified Reaction Valley Approach (URVA), and the structure and stability of van der Waals complexes.

Established in 2002 through a $1 million pledge from trustee Gerald J. Ford, the Ford Research Fellowships help SMU retain and reward outstanding scholars. Each recipient receives a cash prize for research support during the year.

Nineteen SMU faculty members retire with emeritus status in 2017-18

Nineteen distinguished faculty members with a combined total of nearly 620 years of SMU service retired with emeritus status in the 2017-18 academic year.

The professors, and their dates of service:

Cox School of Business

  • William B. Brueggeman, Professor Emeritus, Real Estate, Risk Management and Business Law, 1978-2018
  • James C. Collins Jr., Professor Emeritus, Information Technology and Operations Management, 1964-2017
  • Ellen F. Jackofsky, Associate Professor Emerita, Management and Organizations, 1982-2018
  • Robert W. Rasberry, Assistant Professor Emeritus, Management and Organizations, 1974-2018
  • James Smith, Professor Emeritus, Finance, 1995-2018
  • Rex Thompson, Professor Emeritus, Finance, 1988-2018

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

  • Alan S. Brown, Professor Emeritus, Psychology, 1974-2018
  • Louis L. Jacobs, Professor Emeritus, Paleontology, 1983-2018
  • Francisco Morán, Professor Emeritus, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish), 2003-2018
  • Wayne A. Woodward, Professor Emeritus, Statistical Science, 1981-2017

Dedman School of Law

  • Maureen N. Armour, Associate Professor Emerita, Law, 1989-2018
  • William J. Bridge, Associate Professor Emeritus, Law, 1977-2018
  • Linda S. Eads, Associate Professor Emerita, Law, 1986-2018
  • Victoria Palacios, Associate Professor Emerita, Law, 1991-2018

Lyle School of Engineering

  • William Milton (Milt) Gosney Jr., Professor Emeritus, Electrical Engineering, 1986-2017
  • David W. Matula, Professor Emeritus, Computer Science and Engineering, 1974-2017

Meadows School of the Arts

  • Daniel (Danny) Buraczeski, Professor Emeritus, Dance, 2006-2018
  • Mary Vernon, Professor Emerita, Art, 1987-2018

Perkins School of Theology

  • William B. Lawrence, Professor Emeritus, American Church History, 2002-2018

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.”

SMU remembers benefactor and alumna Patsy Pinson Hutchison ’54

Patsy Pinson Hutchison '54 with Bill Hutchison

SMU alumna Patsy Pinson Hutchison ’54, a devoted University supporter, passed away on May 15, 2018. Along with her husband and fellow alumnus, Bill, the Hutchisons have long been familiar figures at the SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute at SMU’s campus in Taos, New Mexico, supporting The Chapel at Fort Burgwin, which was dedicated in 2014.

“Patsy Hutchison’s love for SMU was deep and constant,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said. “Our University has benefited from the Hutchisons’ enduring commitment to education and enrichment and a special affinity for our Taos campus. Gail and I, along with all those who attend the Cultural institute at SMU-in-Taos each summer, will truly miss her warm, friendly presence each year.”

Mrs. Hutchison earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from SMU and was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. She served as vice president of the SMU Mother’s Club and on the reunion committee for her 50th reunion year class in 2004.

A noted civic and community volunteer in Santa Fe, where the Hutchisons reside, she served on the boards of Kitchen Angels – an organization that provides meals for the homebound – and the New Mexico Governor’s Mansion Foundation. She also was involved with the Santa Fe Garden Club. While the Hutchisons lived in Dallas, she was a member of the Junior League of Dallas.

Mr. Hutchison ’54 is an SMU Trustee Emeritus, serving on its board from 1981-1987. In addition to The Chapel at Fort Burgwin, the Hutchisons’ generous support includes the Ima Leete Hutchison Concert series at SMU-in-Taos. They supported many other initiatives at SMU, creating endowed chairs, scholarships and program funds such as the Ima Leete Hutchison Endowment in the Meadows School of the Arts.

“Patsy exuded such grace and elegance, yet she always made everyone feel like a good friend. She has left a lasting mark on SMU, an institution she loved very much,” said Brad Cheves, SMU vice president for development and external affairs. “The Hutchisons’ rich SMU legacy is part of the University fabric extending over four generations. We will forever be grateful for their support and service.”

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