SMU to improve property south of Mockingbird Lane

Map of North Central Expressway and Mockingbird LaneSMU has received a Municipal Setting Designation (MSD) as part of plans to improve University property south of Mockingbird Lane between Airline Road and North Central Expressway.

The property to be improved will include the site of the former Mrs. Baird’s bakery and adjacent businesses on the south side of Mockingbird. SMU’s plans are for non-commercial campus development that “will result in an attractive enhancement of this space,” says Paul Ward, SMU vice president for legal affairs and government relations.

> FAQ: The Mrs. Baird’s site redevelopment

Under current University plans, the redeveloped property will contain facilities such as tennis courts and a throwing field for SMU athletic activities. The southern tip of the property will house a University data center and an enclosed, partially below-grade electrical substation. Structures and landscaping “will reflect the level of quality characteristic of the SMU campus,” Ward says.

The Dallas City Council approved SMU’s application for an MSD on Aug. 11. At a later date, the city councils for Highland Park and University Park will vote on related resolutions.

Demolition of the site’s buildings is expected to begin in October 2010. Construction of new facilities on the site is expected to begin in 2011.

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SMU names new VP for Legal Affairs

Paul WardPaul Ward, vice president for university administration and general counsel at Arizona State University, has been named SMU’s vice president for legal affairs, general counsel and secretary to the Board of Trustees, effective Jan. 1, 2009.

Ward received his J.D. degree from the SMU School of Law in 1975. He has been admitted to practice law in Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, Indiana, the District of Columbia and the United States Supreme Court. He succeeds Leon Bennett, SMU’s vice president for legal affairs and governmental relations, general counsel and secretary to the Board of Trustees. Bennett has been with the University since 1983 and will retire Dec. 31, 2008.

At SMU, Ward will oversee legal services to the University, including the supervision of three staff attorneys, and selection and management of outside counsel. Additionally, as Secretary to the Board of Trustees, he will work closely with the president and senior administrative officers in coordinating the Board’s activities.

“We are pleased to welcome Paul Ward to SMU,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As an SMU law alumnus, he knows the University, and his extensive background in legal affairs at other universities gives him the knowledge and experience to lead SMU’s legal affairs division.”

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