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.

Associate Provost Harold Stanley named interim SMU provost

Harold StanleySMU Associate Provost Harold W. Stanley has been named the University’s vice president for academic affairs and provost ad interim effective June 1, 2015. Current Provost Paul W. Ludden has announced that he will be leaving the Office of the Provost on May 31, 2015.

A distinguished political scientist with special expertise in American government, Southern and Latino politics and presidential elections, Dr. Stanley came to SMU in 2003 as the Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

He became the University’s associate provost in June 2010. In this position, he oversees SMU’s international study, research and internship programs in its International Center; teaching, research and other activities at the University’s New Mexico campus, SMU-in-Taos; student academic services in the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center and the Loyd Center for the Academic Development of Student Athletes; and the University’s most prestigious scholarship for exceptional students, the President’s Scholars program.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Stanley in place to serve in this important role,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner, who appointed the interim provost. “He is an outstanding scholar and University citizen who understands the issues and operations of the Office of the Provost and the academic life it guides. He will provide valuable continuity as we conduct a national search for provost and vice president for academic affairs.”

At SMU, Dr. Stanley has been a member of the Executive Board of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies since 2003. He has also chaired the Honors Task Force (2006-07), served on the General Education Review Committee (2007-09), and co-chaired the Faculty/Staff Steering Committee for the Second Century Campaign (2009-10). He received SMU’s Distinguished University Citizen Award in 2008 and the University’s highest recognition, the “M” Award, in 2010. He was honored with the Outstanding Administrator Award in 2013.

Dr. Stanley has written three books: Vital Statistics on American Politics, now in its 15th edition (CQ Press); Voter Mobilization and the Politics of Race: The South and Universal Suffrage, 1952-1984 (Praeger, 1987), and Senate vs. Governor, Alabama 1971: Referents for Opposition in a One-Party Legislature (University of Alabama Press, 1975). He has also published numerous reviews, book chapters and journal articles in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and The Journal of Politics, among others.

A former president of the Southern Political Science Association, Dr. Stanley received the 2010 Outstanding Teaching in Political Science Award from Pi Sigma Alpha and the American Political Science Association. Earlier this year, he was named a 2015-16 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar.

Dr. Stanley received his B.A. degree from Yale in 1972, graduating magna cum laude as well as with honors with exceptional distinction in political science. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University (Worcester College) from 1972-75, earning a Master of Philosophy in politics. He returned to Yale to earn his Ph.D. in political science in 1981.

Provost search committee named; open forums for faculty and staff scheduled for March 25, 2015

SMU President R. Gerald Turner has announced the formation of the search committee for the next University provost. Provost Paul Ludden has announced that he will be leaving the Office of the Provost on May 31, 2015.

The Provost Search Committee will be chaired by Al Niemi, dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business. The committee members include:

  • Cindy Boeke, Central University Libraries
  • Jennifer Collins, Dean, Dedman School of Law
  • Jodi Cooley, Physics, Dedman College
  • Robert H. Dedman Jr., SMU Trustee
  • Maria Dixon, Communication Studies, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Rahfin Faruk, SMU Student Trustee
  • Andrew Graybill, History, Dedman College
  • Rod Jackson, Enrollment Services
  • Rebekah Miles, Perkins School of Theology
  • Marc Peterson, Enrollment Services
  • Caren Prothro, SMU Trustee
  • Dinesh Rajan, Electrical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering
  • Santanu Roy, Economics, Dedman College
  • Paige Ware, Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development
  • Lori White, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Stanley Wojewodski, Theatre, Meadows School of the Arts

Dr. Ann Die Hasselmo will serve as consultant to the Search Committee.She has worked with SMU on five previous academic searches, including the most recent dean searches for Dedman College and Meadows School of the Arts. The committee’s first organizational meeting took place March 17, with a goal of completing its search during the fall semester, wrote President Turner in an e-mail to the campus community dated Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

Dean Niemi has invited faculty and staff members to meet with several members of the Search Committee and Dr. Hasselmo. Two open forums have been scheduled for Wednesday, March 25:

  • 10 a.m., Karcher Auditorium, Storey Hall, Law Quad
  • 2 p.m., Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center. Business Quad