Spring 2018 General Faculty Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 24

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Mark your calendars: The Spring 2018 General Faculty Meeting will take place Wednesday, Jan. 24 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. The meeting begins at 3:45 p.m, preceded by a reception in the theater foyer at 3 p.m.

Faculty Senate President Paul Krueger will give the Senate report, and Provost Steven Currall will deliver the Spring Faculty Address.

Also scheduled is the annual presentation of the Golden Mustang Faculty Award for a junior faculty member who demonstrates high achievement as a scholar and teacher, the President’s Associates Outstanding Faculty Award recognizing the distinguished achievements of a tenured faculty member, and the Provost’s Teaching Recognition Award honoring excellence among full-time non-tenure track faculty members.

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Seasonal stress: How to help students, co-workers, and ourselves

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SMU students walking outside a residence hall, fall colors

As SMU enters both the holiday and exam seasons for Fall 2017, the Office of the Provost is asking that all University community members look out for signs of stress in themselves, as well as in co-workers and students.

The weeks from Thanksgiving to the end of finals are “a time of significant stress for many members of our community,” wrote Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Currall in an e-mail message dated Nov. 13, 2017. “We ask each of you to be aware of signs of stress in yourself and those around you. In particular, I ask that you be aware of signs of stress among students, especially first-year students as they are experiencing their first round of final exams.”

In addition, Currall urged students “who feel the stress of the season and finals” to visit the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center and make use of the many health resources available to them.

Currall also urged faculty and staff members to become familiar with SMU’s Caring Community Connections page: “This website allows us to convey our concerns about students so that the University’s support staff are able to provide students with appropriate information, caring, and advice.”

If you have concerns about students and are not sure what to do, please refer to the Student Affairs brochure “Concerned About an SMU Student?” or contact the Dean of Student Life Office at 214-768-4564.

In addition, these SMU offices can help, either with advice or referrals:

  • Counseling Services, 214-768-2277
  • Dean of Student Life Office, 214-768-4564
  • Office of the Chaplain, 214-768-4502
  • SMU Police Department, 214-768-3388

Physical exercise is often a good antidote to stress, Currall added, “and SMU is fortunate to have the extraordinary resources of the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports available for faculty, students, and staff.  Please take advantage of these facilities even during these busy times.”

Currall ended his message by encouraging the SMU community to take care of each other. “If you have the opportunity, I urge you to reach out to an individual who is separated from family and friends during this time and invite them to share some of your traditions and goodwill of your family and friends,” he wrote.

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Save the date: SMU Fall 2017 General Faculty Meeting, Wednesday, Aug. 23

SMU President R. Gerald Turner will address the University faculty at the Fall 2017 General Faculty Meeting Wednesday, Aug. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The meeting will begin at 3:45 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater, after a reception beginning at 3 p.m. in Centennial Hall and the Theater foyer.

Newly tenured faculty will receive their regalia during the meeting. In addition, 2017-18 Faculty Senate President Paul Krueger will give the Senate’s report. Provost Steven Currall will also address the meeting and announce the winner of the 2016-17 Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church.

$2 million gift establishes William F. May Endowed Directorship in SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility

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Rita Kirk, William F. May Endowed Director, Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, SMU
Rita Kirk is the first William F. May Endowed Director of SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

A $2 million gift from SMU trustee emeritus and longtime benefactor Cary M. Maguire will endow the directorship of the University ethics center that bears his name in honor of the center’s founding director, ethicist William F. May.

Each director of the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility will now carry the title of William F. May Endowed Director, beginning with current director Rita Kirk.

“Cary Maguire’s gifts to SMU always have been transformative,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His commitment to the William F. May Endowed Directorship will position the Maguire Center for future excellence while permanently linking Bill May’s name with both the center he founded and the field to which he devoted his illustrious career.”

“SMU is committed to the teaching of ethics throughout its curriculum, and to promoting dialogue on important issues with the surrounding community,” said Steven Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Cary Maguire’s latest act of generosity will ensure that this dialogue continues in perpetuity with a talented, equally committed faculty member leading the way.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

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Students and holiday stress: How to cope, how to help

Dallas Hall Rotunda with studentsAs SMU enters both the holiday and exam seasons, the Office of the Provost is asking that all University community members look out for signs of stress in themselves and in co-workers and students.

The stretch from Thanksgiving to the end of finals is “a time of significant stress for many members of our community,” wrote Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Currall in an e-mail message dated Nov. 21, 2016. “We ask each of you to be aware of signs of stress in yourself and those around you. In particular, I ask that you be aware of signs of stress among students, especially first-year students as they are experiencing their first round of final exams.”

In addition, Currall urged students “who feel the stress of the season and finals” to visit the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center and make use of several resources available to them. Learn more under the jump.

Continue reading “Students and holiday stress: How to cope, how to help”

Provost creates SMU faculty Task Force on Scholarly Research and Creative Impact

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SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall has appointed 17 University faculty members to serve on the Task Force on Scholarly Research and Creative Impact. The new task force, which began meeting in October, will examine and recommend ways for SMU to strengthen its scholarly research and creative activities to bolster the University’s position as the leading global research university in North Texas.

“SMU is in a unique position because of our geography, resources and faculty expertise to make significant strides in scholarly research,” Currall said. “For example, our high-performance computing capability, a university-wide focus on interdisciplinarity, and arts and cybersecurity research, along with our advantageous location near the heart of Dallas, have the University poised to expand its research footprint and become an even stronger catalyst for regional economic prosperity.”

Currall said the task force will provide “vital faculty-led guidance on how to strengthen our scholarly research and creative activities,” adding that “faculty leadership in this endeavor is crucial.”

Continue reading “Provost creates SMU faculty Task Force on Scholarly Research and Creative Impact”

Peter Moore appointed to campuswide curricular and policy role

Dedman Faculty Peter Moore PortraitPeter K. Moore, SMU associate dean for general education and a longtime advocate for liberal studies and scholarship, has been appointed associate provost for curricular innovation and policy effective Oct. 3, 2016.

Moore’s new role is part of a reorganization of the University’s Office of General Education, which will move from Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences to the Office of the Provost. The move was announced jointly by Steven Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Thomas DiPiero, dean of Dedman College, after extensive consultation with the SMU Faculty Senate.

Moore will also continue as co-chair of the Provost’s General Education Review Task Force.

Locating the Office of General Education in the Office of the Provost is expected to provide several benefits for both the University at large and to Dedman College, say Currall and DiPiero:

  • The new arrangement will allow SMU to be more strategically responsive to trends in higher education and in the marketplace.
  • The new structure will enhance flexibility to ensure the University Curriculum works for every undergraduate college and school.
  • The new associate provost will provide coordination across the curriculum.
  • The associate provost will also work to promote innovations in curricular structure and content.
  • University advising, the University Honors Program and the Hilltop Scholars Program will remain in Dedman College.

Moore brings to his new position a wealth of familiarity with SMU’s core curriculum. As head of the Office of General Education, since 2014 he has worked with the University Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Senate’s Academic Policies Committee, as well as faculty across the University, to develop the revised curriculum known as UC 2016 based on data and experience gained from the University Curriculum of 2010.

> Learn more about UC 2016 at the SMU General Education homepage

A professor of mathematics, Moore has also served as senior associate dean and associate dean of academic affairs in Dedman College since July 2010. Dean DiPiero will appoint a new full-time associate dean; plans for that process will be announced at a later date.

“During recent years, Professor Moore’s work has evolved to be more focused on campuswide general education and liberal arts,” said Currall. “This move will create an opportunity for Peter to use his considerable talents in the Provost’s Office and for Dedman College to have a fully dedicated associate dean.”

“Peter Moore is passionate about undergraduate education, and he knows more about how different institutions approach it than anyone I know,” said DiPiero. “I look forward to continuing a close and collaborative working relationship with him as we design new programs and continue to fine-tune our University Curriculum.”

Moore joined the Department of Mathematics in Dedman College in August 2000, after serving 11 years as a faculty member at Tulane University in New Orleans. His teaching interests include calculus, differential equations, numerical analysis and modeling.

He served as department chair from August 2005 to May 2009, and twice as dean ad interim of the College: from June 2009 to July 2010 and from June to August 2014. His SMU service also includes membership on the Provost’s Committee on Tenure and Promotion and the Steering Committee for Project SMU: Operational Excellence for the Second Century (OE2C), now the Office of Operational Excellence.

As a researcher, Moore is an expert in the computational solution of reaction-diffusion equations that occur in a variety of scientific and engineering applications. His projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, among others.

Moore’s work has been published in several major peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Numerical Mathematics, Applied Numerical Mathematics, Mathematics of Computation, Chemical Physics Letters, the Journal of Computational Physics, the Journal of Physical Chemistry, Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, and Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science.

Moore received the “M” Award, SMU’s highest honor for service to the University, in 2012. In 2010, during his first appointment as Dedman College acting dean, he became the first administrator to be elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa by the SMU (Gamma of Texas) chapter. His professional service includes an appointment to the editorial board of Applied Numerical Mathematics from January 2004 to December 2009.

Moore received his B.S. degree in mathematics from Michigan Technological University in 1981. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1983 and 1988.

$10 million gift will establish Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement in SMU’s Cox School of Business

Marci Armstrong, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at SMU Cox - Albert Niemi, Dean of the SMU Cox School of Business - Harold (Hal) Brierley
Hal Brierley (right) with Cox Dean Albert Niemi and Cox Associate Dean Marci Armstrong.

The nation’s first academic institute devoted to the study of customer engagement will be based in SMU’s Cox School of Business thanks to a $10 million gift from Diane and Harold (Hal) Brierley.

A pioneer in database marketing and customer loyalty programs, Hal Brierley is perhaps best known as the only consultant for the launch of American Airlines’ AAdvantage program, the nation’s first frequent traveler program. The Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement will support a critical and growing business need: capturing customer attention in what Brierley has described as “a time-starved, social media-obsessed environment.”

The gift – among the largest in the history of the Cox School – will be formally announced at a ceremony on the SMU campus in the James M. Collins Executive Education Center at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14.

“It is an honor for SMU and the Cox School of Business to serve as home of the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are grateful for the Brierleys’ foresight and their generous gift to establish endowments and provide operational funding that will support curricular innovation, graduate scholarships and faculty leadership to address the issue of building and maintaining customer relationships.”

Hal Brierley
Hal Brierley

The ceremony will be followed by a 5 p.m. panel discussion, also in the Collins Center, focusing on customer engagement insights for the future. Panelists will include John Deighton, Baker Foundation Professor and Harold M. Brierley Professor Emeritus of Business Administration at Harvard Business School; Karen Katz, CEO & President of Neiman Marcus; Suzanne Rubin, former president of American Airlines AAdvantage program; Hal Brierley; and Marci Armstrong, SMU Cox associate dean of graduate programs. SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Currall will host the panel discussion.

“This gift will greatly enrich our marketing concentration, provide extra funding and create depth,” said Cox Dean Albert Niemi. “The Brierley name is magic in customer engagement. Hal will have an office here and serve as an executive-in-residence. He’ll be engaged in the classroom with our students. Both his gift and his presence will strengthen the program.”

“It’s more than serendipity when the right program comes to the right University,” said Currall. “Our existing course offerings within the Cox School are a strong foundation for the new Brierley Institute, and we look forward to partnerships with other disciplines across campus, which will multiply the Institute’s value to our students and faculty members.”

“I look forward to having Dallas and SMU viewed as a center of excellence in customer relationship management,” said Hal Brierley. “I’m pleased that SMU Cox has stepped up to create effective curricula to teach tomorrow’s marketers the techniques that are essential to design and manage successful customer loyalty programs. The Brierley Institute will take an active role in advancing the techniques employed by consumer brands for their current and future customer engagement efforts.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Willard Spiegelman receives Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award at 2016 Fall General Faculty Meeting

Willard Spiegelman, Hughes Professor of English in Dedman College, was honored as the 2015-16 United Methodist Church University Scholar/Teacher of the Year at SMU’s 2016 Fall General Faculty Meeting Wednesday, Aug. 24.

The first meeting of the entire faculty for the 2016-17 academic year featured the Spring 2016 Faculty Senate report, the presentation of regalia to newly tenured faculty, and President R. Gerald Turner’s updates on initiatives ranging from cultural intelligence to continuing education.

Continue reading “Willard Spiegelman receives Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award at 2016 Fall General Faculty Meeting”

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.