Faculty in the News: March 29, 2011

SMU Professor Seyom BrownWilliam Tsutsui, Dean, Dedman College, was in Japan when the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated the country. He wrote about how the Japanese people’s fascination with disaster in movies, manga, anime and video games mirrors that nation’s real-world vulnerability to catastrophe in an essay that appeared in Newsweek March 24, 2011.

Seyom Brown (right), Tower Center for Political Studies, Dedman College, discussed the current crisis in Libya with FOX 4 News March 24, 2011. Watch the Seyom Brown interview online. video

Raúl Magdaleno, Diversity and Community Engagement, Meadows School of the Arts, finished his SMU bachelor’s degree while living in a homeless shelter and caring for family members. He discussed his experiences with Bill Zeeble of KERA Public Radio March 24, 2011. Listen to Magdeleno’s KERA radio interview. audio

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, discussed the competing views of how President Obama is handling the crisis in the Middle East with with The Canadian Press March 21, 2011. He also talked about the political ramifications of a joint appearance of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and President Obama for an article that appeared in The Christian Science Monitor March 2, 2011.

Ryszard Stroynowski, Physics, Dedman College, was featured in a story on how the legacy of North Texas’ Superconducting Super Collider has continued at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. The story was aired by WFAA Channel 8 News March 22, 2011. Watch the Stroynowski interview at the SMU Research blog. video

R. Gerald Turner, SMU president and co-chair of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, provided commentary to Bloomberg News on a report that says the NCAA should alter its payouts for the men’s basketball tournament to reward schools with higher graduation rates. The article appeared March 17, 2011.

Yolette Garcia, Assistant Dean for External Affairs and Outreach, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, provided expertise for a story on how the way words are pronounced may be changing as the state’s demographics change. The article appeared in The Texas Observer March 1, 2011.

George Holden, Psychology, Dedman College, talked about how to handle mature questions from young children, especially when they are taking a very literal approach to a concern, with columnist Tyra Damm of The Dallas Morning News Jan. 7, 2011.

President Turner calls for national athletic spending cutbacks

SMU President R. Gerald TurnerThe big-spending habits of big-time college sports programs will only respond to change from a national level, says SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

As co-chair of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, Turner has called on the NCAA “to save presidents and athletic directors from themselves,” according to a report from The Associated Press.

College and university presidents agree on the need for change, but do not see themselves as the change agents, he told the NCAA Scholarly Colloquium Jan. 12, 2010.

The Knight Commission released a survey of 95 presidents at major football schools in October 2009. The commission also is preparing a comprehensive report to be released this spring.

Turner says that greater fiscal transparency will be the foundation for change.

“The commission believes that the first step among the actions that are necessary to put the financial model into some proper perspective involves the transparency surrounding athletic spending,” he says. “This has the greatest agreement among university presidents. Eighty percent of them stated that they thought that this was the first step toward some kind of financial reform.”

In addition, he compares the movement for financial reform to NCAA academic reform 30 years ago.

“Academic reform hit a tipping point when graduation rates were first shared publicly, and we think the same can be true when it comes to greater transparency around financial data of our institutions,” he says. “The environment is ready for change. We simply need to go about implementing it.”

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Faculty in the News: Nov. 17, 2009

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, was profiled as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 6 in The Austin American-Statesman Nov. 16, 2009. In addition, musician Don Henley talked about Armendariz’s EPA appointment for an article that appeared in The Boston Herald Nov. 9, 2009.

Matt Wilson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about how the abortion issue could split Democrats in the struggle for votes on health care reform in an article for Reuters that appeared in Vision.org Nov. 14, 2009.

R. Gerald Turner, SMU President, and University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan wrote as co-chairs of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics about the need for reform in college athletics funding in a letter published by USA Today Nov. 13, 2009.

Bernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, wrote about the potential for natural gas to transform the global energy market in a letter published by The Wall Street Journal Nov. 9, 2009.

Gary Keith Brubaker, The Guildhall at SMU, talked about how video games based in history spur interest in learning more about the past for a Reuters article published Nov. 13, 2009.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about why the Obama Administration must be careful about calling the Ft. Hood shootings an act of terrorism in an article that appeared in The San Francisco Examiner Nov. 10, 2009.

Faculty in the News: Nov. 3, 2009

George Martinez, Dedman School of Law, discussed the legal ramifications for the Dallas Police Department of issuing tickets to drivers for not speaking English in an article that appeared in The Dallas Morning News Oct. 26, 2009

R. Gerald Turner, SMU President and co-chair of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, talked about the recent Commission report that says the current economic climate is causing universities to reassess their operating budgets and how they maintain athletics programs. His comments appeared in the Oct. 26, 2009 edition of U.S. News & World Report.