Albert W. Niemi Jr.

Matthew B. Myers named dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business

Matthew B. MyersMatthew B. Myers, a global marketing and strategy expert with special expertise in cross-border business relationships and Latin American economies, has been named dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business. He will assume his new duties on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at which point Albert W. Niemi Jr., who has been dean of the school since 1997, will transition to full-time teaching.

“As the new dean of the Cox School of Business, Matt Myers brings extraordinary energy for outreach to the regional, national, and global business community,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The range of his previous administrative and professorial experiences also equips him to lead the school toward even greater faculty research excellence, as well as innovative educational programs for Cox undergraduates, graduate students and working executives. Furthermore, Matt is deeply committed to collaborations with other academic units on the SMU campus to advance interdisciplinary academic programs and initiatives.”

“The Cox School of Business and its international academic reputation will be in good hands with Matt Myers,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His expertise in global trends, particularly in cross-border and Spanish-language markets, will be invaluable to our faculty and students – especially as programs such as the Cox School’s Latino Leadership Initiative and the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center in Dedman College continue to evolve. In addition, his vision and leadership as a fundraiser will help secure the ongoing health of these centers of excellence, as well as the promise of innovations to come.”

As dean and Mitchell P. Rales Chair of Business Leadership of the Farmer School of Business at Miami University of Ohio, Myers manages an $80 million budget and recently launched the first independent fund-raising campaign for a college at Miami University. The $200 million effort includes a $40 million lead gift, the largest philanthropic gift in Miami history. The Farmer School of Business is a top-10 producer of Fortune 500 CEOs and maintains undergraduate, graduate and executive programs with a student body of approximately 4,300 and more than 250 faculty and staff members.

“I am extremely excited about becoming the next dean of the Cox School of Business at SMU,” Myers said. “I wish to thank President Turner, Provost Currall, and the SMU community for this opportunity, and I look forward to joining a wonderful group of faculty, staff, and students. The Cox School’s dedication to quality programs and research excellence, in addition to its supportive and engaged network of alumni and business partners, make the school an exhilarating place to be for anyone passionate about business education.”

“Matthew Myers is a terrific choice to lead the Cox School of Business into the future,” said longtime Cox School Dean Albert W. Niemi Jr. “Matt is an accomplished teacher and researcher, and he has a keen understanding of the global economy. He will be a wonderful addition to SMU’s leadership team, and Maria and I look forward to welcoming Matt and his family to Dallas and the Cox community.”

> Cheryl Hall, Dallas Morning News: SMU hires global expert as new business school dean

Myers has written extensively on knowledge sharing in cross-border business relationships, international pricing strategies, and comparative marketing systems. His research has been published in leading journals including the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Operations Management, the Journal of International Business Studies, and Sloan Management Review. He also served as co-editor of the Handbook of Global Supply Chain Management (2006, SAGE Publications). His current work focuses on the effects of foreign direct investment in supply-chain functions on developing-economy performance and wealth distribution.

As an educator and consultant, Myers has traveled extensively and worked with organizations in the global distribution, chemical, insurance, education, pharmaceutical, and marketing research industries. He has served as a visiting faculty member at ESSEC Business School-Paris and the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He also has taught at the Vienna University of Economics and Business as well as in Italy, Romania, Taiwan and Uzbekistan. In addition, he has led executive education courses in China, Vietnam, India, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Hungary and Poland.

Prior to his tenure at Miami, Myers served as the Nestlé Professor and associate dean of executive education in the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, where he oversaw a grant from the U.S. Air Force as well as cooperative educational relationships with Oak Ridge National Laboratories. He was recognized three times as the Outstanding Faculty Member for M.B.A. programs and received the University of Tennessee’s Chancellor’s Award for Globalization Initiatives.

A military veteran, Myers served in the U.S. Army Airborne at Ft. Kobbe, Canal Zone, Republic of Panama and at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, from 1979 to 1982. He is a member of the Society of Fellows of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to educational and policy issues.

Myers earned his Ph.D. degree in marketing and international business from Michigan State University in 1997. He received his Master of International Business Studies with a focus on Spanish-language and Latin American economies from the University of South Carolina in 1992. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Louisville’s College of Natural Sciences in 1986.

Provost Currall expressed thanks to Albert W. Niemi Jr. for his 20 years of service as dean of the Cox School. Dean Niemi, who currently holds the Cox School’s Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership, plans to return to full-time teaching during the 2017-18 academic year as the William J. O’Neil Chair in Global Markets and Freedom.

> Read the full story from SMU News

 

Cox School of Business rises 16 places in The Economist‘s global M.B.A. rankings

Fincher Building, Cox School of Business, SMUSMU’s Cox School of Business has risen 16 places in the newly released 2016 global business school rankings of The Economist magazine. The rankings appeared in the magazine’s Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 print edition.

The publication’s “Which M.B.A.?” survey ranks the top 100 full-time M.B.A. programs of the world’s business schools annually. Among U.S. schools, the Cox School ranks No. 46. Globally, SMU Cox is ranked at No. 66, up from No. 82 in the 2015 rankings survey.

The school also receives high marks for the quality of faculty: No. 6 in the world, and student/alumni potential for business networking: No. 20 in the world. The ratio of faculty to students, the percentage of faculty members who hold Ph.D. degrees and alumni/student opinions factored into the faculty ranking.

A survey of business school alumni from the Class of 2015, which asked alumni why they decided to enroll in a full-time M.B.A. program, resulted in the potential to network ranking.

> Find the complete “Which M.B.A.?” rankings online at The Economist

“We are proud of the world-class business education we offer all our students,” said Cox Dean Al Niemi. “While it’s true that ranking surveys are subjective, the fact that this one gives especially high marks to our faculty and our alumni network reaffirms our efforts to provide students with a well-rounded business school experience that will positively influence the direction of their careers.”

The survey weighs four main areas: being open to new career opportunities, personal development and educational experience, post-graduation salary increase and potential to network. In addition to measuring quantitative data from business schools, the publication conducts qualitative online surveys with business school alumni, this year from the Class of 2015, as well as each school’s most recent graduating M.B.A. class, in this case the Class of 2016.

> Read the full story from SMU News

Al Niemi announces plans to step down as dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business after 2016-17 academic year

Albert W. 'Al' Niemi Jr., dean, SMU Cox School of BusinessAlbert W. Niemi, Jr., the dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business during a time of great growth and increasing national stature for the school, has announced his intention to step down from his administrative post at the end of the 2016-17 academic year.

He will continue to serve as dean during the University’s search, which will begin immediately.

Dean Niemi, who currently holds the Cox School’s Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership, will remain on the faculty as the William J. O’Neil Chair in Global Markets and Freedom after he completes his administrative duties.

“We just finished SMU’s first century and the Second Century Campaign, so now is a time to look ahead,” Niemi said. “We need someone with a vision to lead the Cox School to success in its next era. By stepping down as dean, but remaining to teach, I have the opportunity to support the next dean if he or she wants my advice, and I can be with my students, work with my faculty and staff colleagues, and continue to be part of this great campus. It will be a privilege to end my career the way I began it – in the classroom, doing what I love best.”

Since arriving at the Cox School in June 1997, Niemi has increased the school’s national and international visibility. Cox’s B.B.A., full-time M.B.A., Professional M.B.A. and Executive M.B.A. programs are ranked among the best in the world by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Economist, Financial Times, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. Niemi is the eighth dean – and, as he begins his 20th year at SMU, the longest-serving dean – in the Cox School’s history.

Niemi also has been an effective fund-raiser who has dramatically increased the school’s endowment from $78 million to more than $200 million. The new endowment funds have created 10 new endowed faculty positions, eight new endowed centers and institutes, and 60 new endowed scholarships. In addition, he helped raise $19 million to support the construction of the James M. Collins Executive Education Center.

During his tenure, donors have honored his service by establishing the Albert W. Niemi Center for American Capitalism at SMU Cox and the Maria and Albert Niemi Endowed Centennial B.B.A. Scholars Fund. The Niemi Center is a partnership with the George W. Bush Institute that puts the tenets of Niemi’s teaching and research into action through research fellowships, academic programs and community outreach. The Niemi Endowed Centennial B.B.A. Scholars Fund provides scholarships to support B.B.A. students in the Cox School.

“My professional relationship with Al Niemi pre-dates my own arrival at SMU as president,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He had already earned a reputation as an outstanding educator and business school administrator at the University of Georgia, so when the opportunity arose to recruit him to serve as the dean of the Cox School, it was an easy choice and one that has greatly benefited both Cox and the University. Under his leadership, the Cox School has strengthened its connection to the Dallas and North Texas community of which SMU is a part and has also become a globally prominent business school.”

Before coming to SMU, Niemi served as dean of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia from 1982-1996. An expert in economic growth, economic forecasting, and the history of capitalism in America, he has taught more than 15,000 students and consistently has been recognized for distinguished teaching. He also has written six books and more than 200 articles for leading academic journals and business periodicals.

“As an academician, administrator, and university citizen, Al Niemi is second to none,” SMU Provost Steven Currall said. “The business school faculty he leads enjoys a stellar global reputation. Both the undergraduate and graduate programs rank highly. The Cox BBA Scholars program, which allows first-year students with outstanding academic qualifications to be admitted directly into the Cox School, continues to attract the nation’s best and brightest undergraduates. In turn, the BBA Scholars program has helped enhance SMU’s student academic profile campus-wide.”

Niemi has served on and led search committees that have brought new leaders, including the current provost, to SMU. He has worked extensively in business school and university accreditation. In addition, he has chaired or served as a member on accreditation review teams to more than 20 universities, including Emory, Washington University, DePaul, Vanderbilt, Claremont, William and Mary, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Syracuse, Monterrey Tech (Mexico), INCAE (Costa Rica), University of Monterrey (Mexico), the Autonomous Technological University of Mexico, and IESA (Venezuela).

The dean also served three-year terms on the Board of Governors of the American Association of University Administrators and Beta Gamma Sigma, and he served a six-year term on the Board of Trustees of Stonehill College, his alma mater, in Easton, Massachusetts.

Active in the business community, Niemi speaks to numerous civic and business groups across the nation. He is currently a member of the advisory board of the Bank of Texas and the Advisory Council of The Catholic Foundation.

Originally from Massachusetts, Niemi is the grandson of Finnish and Irish immigrants. He earned a scholarship to Stonehill College, from which he graduated cum laude with an A.B. degree in economics, and went on to earn his M.A and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Connecticut.

The dean and his wife, Maria, have two grown children, Albert III and Edward Charles, and three grandchildren.

Steven C. Currall named SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs

Steven C. CurrallSteven C. Currall, whose record of academic leadership includes achievements at Rice University, University College London and the University of California-Davis, has been named vice president for academic affairs and provost at SMU, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Currall, a psychological scientist, becomes SMU’s chief academic officer as the University begins its second century of operation. He will oversee all aspects of academic life, including admission, faculty development, libraries, the curriculum and study abroad. He will supervise SMU’s seven degree-granting schools and will hold departmental appointments in three of them – Management and Organizations in the Cox School of Business; Engineering Management, Information, and Systems in the Lyle School of Engineering; and Psychology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Most recently, Currall served as senior advisor for strategic projects and initiatives to the UC Davis chancellor, and previously served as dean of the Graduate School of Management at UC-Davis.

“Steven Currall brings the perfect combination of experience and skills to lead SMU’s rise among the nation’s best universities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He brings interdisciplinary perspectives that are central to our academic mission going forward. He possesses expertise in the sciences and technology as well as in the humanities and social sciences, insights that are critical for SMU’s progress and that reflect the challenges and opportunities of a complex society. We are delighted to welcome him to SMU and back to Texas.”

“I am thrilled and honored to join the SMU community as the next provost,” Currall said. “SMU has a foundation of academic excellence, its teaching and research are transformational, and its interdisciplinary ethos fosters innovations by faculty and students that are positively impacting Dallas, the state of Texas, the nation, and beyond.  I am grateful to President Turner and the search committee for the opportunity to serve SMU. I look forward to listening, learning, and partnering with my colleagues to propel SMU into an ever higher orbit.”

Currall served as dean of the Graduate School of Management at UC-Davis for more than five years, during which time the school reached the highest ranking in its history, before becoming the chancellor’s advisor. He describes himself as an “organizational architect” and has conducted research in organizational behavior, innovation, entrepreneurship, emerging technologies, trust and negotiation, and organizational governance.

He is lead author on Organized Innovation: A Blueprint for Renewing America’s Prosperity (Oxford University Press, 2014) and a frequently quoted source for national and international media.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Currall received his Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; a master of science in social psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a bachelor of arts cum laude in psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

As chancellor’s advisor at UC-Davis, Currall has facilitated campus-wide deliberations on the university’s strategic vision for its role in the 21st century, including how UC-Davis will address global challenges relating to food, health, and energy. He developed plans for an additional UC-Davis campus in Sacramento. He co-led development of a blueprint for increasing annual research expenditures to $1billion. He led the development of a new framework for recognizing faculty excellence and a methodology for eliminating faculty salary disparities due to gender or ethnicity.

Currall also has served as the vice chair and member of the executive committee of  the board of directors for the 10-campus University of California system’s Global Health Institute.

He spent 12 years at Rice University, where he was the William and Stephanie Sick Professor of Entrepreneurship in the George R. Brown School of Engineering and a Rice faculty member in the departments of management, psychology, and statistics.   He was founding director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. He was formerly vice dean of enterprise and professor of management science and innovation in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at University College London and a visiting professor at the London Business School.

At the invitation of the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Currall served as a member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group. His other honors include:

Currall’s appointment ends a nationwide search through a committee led by SMU Cox School of Business Dean Albert Niemi.

“Steve Currall will be an outstanding addition to the SMU leadership team,” said Niemi. “In particular, his background in strategy and planning will be a tremendous asset as SMU embarks on a new strategic plan for 2016-2025.”

“I want to thank Steve for his dedication to UC-Davis over the years, and in particular while he served as my senior advisor during this last year,” UC-Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said. “Steve will bring to Southern Methodist University strong academic leadership and a deep understanding of the needs of students, faculty and staff. We know he will contribute to and help advance the wonderful culture and distinguished reputation of SMU.”

Currall will be joined in Dallas by his wife, Cheyenne Currall, Ph.D. Read Currall’s full curriculum vitae.

$2 million gift to SMU establishes endowed directorship in the Cox School’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship

SMU Cox School of BusinessA $2 million gift from two Dallas entrepreneurs will support a new faculty directorship in the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship in SMU’s Cox School of Business.

The Linda A. and Kenneth R. Morris Endowed Directorship honors Jerry F. White, who has served as director since 1988. The endowment provides for the continued professional leadership of the Institute, which promotes the spirit of entrepreneurship through credit and noncredit courses as well as numerous business community outreach programs.

The gift also raises the University to 103 endowed faculty positions and closer to the Second Century Campaign goal of 110.

“Endowments such as this are vital because they allow us to retain individuals of great distinction at the University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This farsighted gift provides permanent funding for faculty, and we are proud that it comes from an SMU alumni family.”

The Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship supports everything from business plan competitions and entrepreneurship clubs to participation in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

“Supporting the spirit of entrepreneurship at SMU’s Cox School bolsters the University’s commitment to student learning both inside and outside the classroom,” said Cox Dean and Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership Al Niemi. “This is at the very heart of what puts Cox graduates head and shoulders above their peers.”

Ken Morris is currently vice president, student systems software, at Workday, Inc., where he has served in a variety of technology- and development-related roles since shortly after the company was founded in 2005.  He was the co-founder of PeopleSoft Inc., where he served as its chief technology officer and in various other technology-related roles for 11 years until his retirement in 1998.

Linda Morris spent most of her professional career in recruiting and human resources.  She served as a principal at American Management Systems, Inc., heading up a nationwide college recruiting effort, and later was manager of human resources for PeopleSoft Inc.  She currently is involved with various philanthropic activities. Together, the couple founded the Morris Foundation, which assists social services organizations, especially those focused on education and animal cruelty prevention and care.

Mr. and Mrs. Morris were among the first of two investors in the SMU Cox MBA Venture Fund, directed by White through the Caruth Institute, which allows MBA students to gain practical knowledge in venture projects. The fund was established with $600,000 in seed capital, made its first investment in 2002, and is now valued at approximately $4 million after 15 student-driven investments.

The gift to fund the new endowed directorship counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised more than $942 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU announces two new gifts for endowed faculty positions

Two new gifts to SMU totaling $3.5 million will create two new endowed faculty positions in two schools.

A gift of $2.5 million, made through the Texas Methodist Foundation, will establish the Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology in Perkins School of Theology. A gift of $1 million from two SMU alumni will establish the Janet and Craig Duchossois Endowed Professorship in Management and Organizations in Cox School of Business.

The new gifts were announced Friday, Nov. 14. 2014 at a campus event honoring donors of endowed faculty positions.

“Increasing the number of endowed faculty positions at SMU is a major goal of our Second Century Campaign,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “These two new gifts for faculty positions in the theology and business schools move us closer to our goal of achieving 110 endowed faculty positions by the end of the campaign in December 2015. We are grateful to all of the donors who have helped us add to the strength of the SMU faculty by supporting this goal.”

Perkins Chapel at Southern Methodist UniversityThe Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology honors the woman referred to as “the mother of Methodism.” Her sons, John and Charles Wesley, led a revival within the 18th-century Anglican Church that sparked the emergence of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the American colonies. Historians point to her “practical theology” as a source of inspiration for her sons.

The Texas Methodist Foundation, which conveyed the gift, provides grant and stewardship services that advance The United Methodist Church and Christian ministries.

The chair’s “Centennial” designation represents a gift that includes operational funds to provide immediate impact while the endowment matures. The Wesley Chair commitment includes endowment funding of $2 million and annual operating support of $100,000 for the first five years. These operating funds will make it possible to fill the chair in the next academic year.

“The discipline of practical theology helps students reflect on and formulate conclusions about the various fields of theological inquiry as they relate to one’s practice of ministry,” said Perkins School Dean William Lawrence. “Perkins School of Theology graduates are facing an ever-changing world of ministry opportunities. Helping students think theologically in ministry settings is essential for successful pastors and Christian workers.”

SMU Cox School of BusinessThe Janet and Craig Duchossois Endowed Professorship in Management and Organizations is designed to strengthen the Cox School of Business in an area of increasing importance to corporations and other types of institutions.

“The Department of Management and Organizations in the Cox School offers students tools to succeed in a globally competitive environment,” said Cox Dean Al Niemi. “The increased faculty strength provided by this new professorship will enable more students to develop skills that help prepare them for future leadership in the business world.”

Janet and Craig Duchossois earned B.B.A. degrees from SMU’s business school in 1966 and 1967, respectively. Craig also earned an M.B.A. degree from SMU in 1968. he is CEO of The Duchossois Group, Inc., which deals in commercial and residential access control. Mr. Duchossois was honored in 2002 with the Cox School’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Janet previously owned an interior design and home furnishings business..

The Wesley Centennial Chair and the Duchossois Endowed Professorship bring the total to 40 endowed faculty positions established during SMU’s Second Century Campaign. SMU now has 102 fully endowed faculty positions toward its goal of 110, which includes positions previously endowed throughout the University’s history.

> Read the full story from SMU News

The Economist ranks Cox E.M.B.A. program in top 20 globally

SMU Cox School of BusinessThe SMU COX Executive M.B.A. is ranked at #18 in The Economist magazine’s first-ever Executive M.B.A. (E.M.B.A.) rankings survey. The results were released Friday, July 19, 2013. The Cox School of Business ranks in the top 20 out of 62 global business schools.

Tom Perkowski, assistant dean of the Cox Executive M.B.A. Program, credits its success to the leadership and vision of Cox Dean Al Niemi and Associate Dean of Graduate Programs Marci Armstrong.

“Their leadership, coupled with the Executive M.B.A. team’s high energy, customer service and constant pursuit of excellence has resulted in recruiting the highest quality Executive M.B.A. students,” says Perkowski. “These students take advantage of the increasing program resources and move into more successful roles after graduation.”

The business school data portion of the survey was conducted in winter 2013, and questionnaires were distributed to students and alumni of the last three graduating classes. The programs were ranked on two broad measures: personal development/educational experience and career development, with both categories equally weighted and each consisting of 27 subcategories. Those included such factors as the quality of students and faculty, student diversity, the percentage of students promoted after graduation, student and alumni networking potential and average alumni salary increases.

The Cox School is one of four Texas-based business schools included in this new Executive M.B.A. ranking. The Economist plans to make it a biennial rankings survey.

> Visit SMU’s Cox School of Business online at cox.smu.edu

CTE to discuss ‘Higher Ed in the Crosshairs’ Feb. 22, 2013

Concerns about the costs and value of higher education are rising to the top of debate from the kitchen table to Capitol Hill.

In response, SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence has organized a symposium to explore questions of government support, online competition and the perceived marketability of a university degree.

“Higher Ed in the Crosshairs” takes place from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22 in the Hughes-Trigg Lower Level. The symposium will examine the extent to which high-quality teaching – especially at a place like SMU – can answer critiques about the costs and benefits associated with a bachelor’s degree.

Register online at SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence homepage

Participants will also explore the questions of what and how colleges and universities should be teaching students, and how they can demonstrate the results of what happens in the classroom and on campus.

CTE Director Beth Thornburg will provide opening and closing remarks. Speakers and topics include:

  • Dean Albert Niemi, Cox School of Business, on “Valuing Higher Education”
  • Dean William Tsutsui, Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences, on “Preserving the American Character Through Liberal Education”
  • Associate Provost Linda Eads on “Responding to How People Learn,” with panelists including Professors Stephanie Al Otaiba, Teaching and Learning; Miguel Quiñones, Organizational Behavior; Maria Dixon Hall, Communication Studies; and Patty Wisian-Neilson, Chemistry
  • Dean ad interim Marc Christensen, Lyle School of Engineering, on “Using Technology to Enhance Learning,” with panelists including Professors Paul Krueger, Mechanical Engineering; Lynne Stokes, Statistical Science; Scott Norris, Mathematics; and Jake Batsell, Journalism
  • Dean José Bowen, Meadows School of the Arts, on “Demonstrating Our Value,” with panelists including Professors Michael McLendon, Education Policy and Leadership; and Paige Ware, Teaching and Education; and Assistant Provost Tony Tillman

The CTE has created an Xtranormal text-to-movie animated video about the symposium and the issues it tackles. Click the YouTube screen to watch it, or visit this link to see “Henny Penny & Ducky Lucky Discuss Challenges to Academia” in a new windowvideo

> Get a mobile guide to the “Higher Ed in the Crosshairs” program

Julie Patterson Forrester named SMU interim law dean

SMU Law Professor Julie Forrester

SMU Law Professor Julie Patterson Forrester has been named interim dean of the University’s Dedman School of Law.

Law Professor Julie Patterson Forrester, an award-winning legal scholar in property law, has been named interim dean of SMU’s Dedman School of Law, effective June 1, 2013. She previously served as the law school’s associate dean of academic affairs, from 1995-96.

“We are fortunate to have Professor Forrester in place to serve in this important role,” said SMU Provost Paul Ludden, who appointed the interim dean. “She is an outstanding legal scholar who also has an impressive record of community service and engagement. She will work well with the University community and with the broader legal community as we look forward to a bright future for the Dedman School of Law.”

SMU will conduct a national search for a permanent dean to replace John B. Attanasio, who will complete his service as dean in May. The search committee, also appointed by Ludden, will be assisted by Ilene Nagel, Ph.D., and Mirah Horowitz, J.D., of the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. It will include 18 attorneys, law professors, community leaders and others.

SMU search committee members from the community, who also are members of the Dedman School Executive Board, are attorneys Michael M. Boone of Haynes and Boone, LLP, and chair-elect of the SMU Board of Trustees; William D. Noel of Houston; Alan Feld of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP; the Hon. Deborah G. Hankinson of Hankinson LLP; Albon Head of Jackson Walker, LLP, Fort Worth; and Robert H. Dedman Jr., president and CEO of DFI Management, Ltd., and vice-chair of the SMU Board of Trustees.

Members from the Dedman School of Law community are Professors Cheryl Nelson Butler, Bill Dorsaneo, Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Joshua Tate and Jeffrey Kahn; second-year Dedman School of Law student Jessie Williams Greenwald, Ph.D.; and Karen Sargent, assistant dean for career services. Other committee members are Professor Rita Kirk of the Division of Communication Studies and director of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility; Rosario E. Heppe, senior director of corporate compliance at Fluor Corporation; and Wayne Watts, senior executive vice president and general counsel, AT&T.

The committee is chaired by Albert W. Niemi Jr., dean of the SMU Cox School of Business. SMU’s custom is to have a senior dean chair the search committee for other deans.

“We are gratified by the high caliber and diversity of individuals who will serve on our search committee,” Ludden said. “With the advantages of SMU and Dallas and a strong tradition of academic achievement, Dedman School of Law is well-positioned to attract a leader who will take the school into the next stage of its development.”

Professor Forrester joined the faculty at SMU Dedman School of Law in 1990 and teaches in the areas of property, real estate transactions and land use.

She received her B.S.E.E. with highest honors in 1981 and her J.D. with high honors in 1985 from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a member of the Texas Law Review, Chancellors, and The Order of the Coif. After graduation she was a real estate attorney with the Dallas law firm of Thompson & Knight.

Forrester, co-author of Property Law: Cases, Materials, and Questions (second edition, 2010, with Edward E. Chase), writes and speaks on real estate finance, the residential mortgage market, predatory lending and real property law. She was one of the first legal scholars to write about the problem of predatory lending in the subprime mortgage market, for which she was awarded the John Minor Wisdom Award for Academic Excellence in 1995.

She is a member of the American Law Institute and is on the executive committee of the American Association of Law Schools Real Estate Transactions Section. She recently served on the Texas State Bar Real Estate, Probate, and Trust Law Section committee charged with drafting the new Texas Assignment of Rents Act.

Written by Denise Gee

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