Provost emphasizes importance of final exam schedule

As the Fall 2008 finals period approaches, SMU Provost Paul Ludden reminds faculty and administrators of the importance of keeping to the official final exam schedule. Adherence to the schedule was one of 36 initiatives recommended by SMU’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention and approved by SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

“All six academic recommendations put forward by the Task Force were accepted by President Turner last April,” notes Ludden. “One important feature was the recommendation that faculty give final exams during the appropriate week for every lower-division course. The Fall 2008 finals are scheduled from Dec. 8 through Dec. 13. My office and the deans are working with academic departments to implement this recommendation in courses where an exam is appropriate.”

Faculty and staff questions may be addressed to Provost Ludden at 214-768-3219.

SMU enacts medical amnesty with “Call for Help”

UPDATE Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014: The University’s Call for Help program has been updated. Visit SMU’s Live Responsibly site for new information.

Students on Bishop BoulevardIn accordance with a recommendation put forth by SMU’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention, SMU has developed and enacted a Good Samaritan and medical amnesty policy, the “Call for Help Program.”

Under the new policy, now in effect, students who seek medical assistance for themselves or another person due to alcohol and/or drug intoxication may be exempt from the SMU disciplinary process, except when it has been determined that another violation of University policy has occurred (such as destruction of University property, fire safety violation, physical harm to another person, or other infraction).

Any exemption from the SMU discipline process granted under the policy may only apply to disciplinary action and/or sanctions under the SMU alcohol and/or drug policies in the SMU Student Code of Conduct. It does not prevent the SMU Police or another police agency from detaining a student, issuing a citation or making an arrest if they deem that action necessary.

The Task Force recommendation establishing the program is one of 36 reviewed by the Faculty Senate and accepted by President R. Gerald Turner in April 2008

Any questions or comments about the policy may be directed to the Dean of Student Life Office, 302 Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

>> Read the entire policy under the cut.

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Brian Stump receives teaching award at General Faculty Meeting

Brian Stump, Albritton Professor in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in Dedman College, was honored as the 2007-08 United Methodist Church University Scholar/Teacher of the Year at SMU’s Fall General Faculty Meeting Aug. 28.

President R. Gerald Turner updated the faculty on the upcoming Second Century Campaign and other issues surrounding campus life.

>> Newly tenured faculty and more under the link

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Stated attendance requirement? Here.

As the academic year begins, so does SMU’s new focus on keeping stated attendance in undergraduate classes. Professors who teach undergraduates should ensure their students understand that attendance will be monitored in every class, as well as share with their students the method by which they or their department choose to take attendance.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner, after a Faculty Senate review, accepted the recommendation of a stated-attendance requirement from the Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention in April 2008. The policy also is supported by the University Catalog, which already contained a policy regarding attendance.

As stated in Turner’s Response to the Task Force: “The recommendation, properly, does not identify a particular way in which the faculty member should take attendance, nor does it require these records to be turned into a particular office. However, it does call on faculty to announce and utilize an attendance policy, which will be communicated to faculty by their Deans and Department Chairs.”

DMN praises SMU’s “36 steps forward”

The Dallas Morning News praised the “common-sense ideas” of SMU’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention and President R. Gerald Turner‘s approval of new University policies and procedures to fight substance abuse in its “Hits and Misses” editorial column May 3, 2008.

“{SMU] should be a healthier place with the new measures, especially if parents get the message that the university can only do so much and that they have a major role to play, too,” wrote the newspaper’s editorial board. Read more from the DMN website.

Read more on President Turner’s decision.
Visit the Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention website.

President Turner discusses Task Force decisions with SMU community

SMU President R. Gerald Turner announces Substance Abuse Task Force decisionsSMU President R. Gerald Turner (right) has accepted 36 of the 38 recommendations recently made by the University’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention on programs, policies and issues related to alcohol and drug use. Turner gave an overview of his decision to SMU students, faculty and staff members at a briefing and discussion April 29.

“One of the greatest challenges facing American higher education is the extent of substance abuse among college-age students,” Turner said. While the Task Force report notes that “many of these students bring well-developed tendencies and habits regarding alcohol and drug use with them to college,” SMU must “promote … lifestyles that [support] their health and well-being during the short but important years they are on campus,” Turner said.

“Our goal is not only that [students] earn their degree, but that they receive life-long benefits from exposure to the best of human civilization, the lessons of history, and the knowledge, values and skills necessary for successfully navigating the 21st century.”

The report comes at a pivotal time in the progress of the University, Turner added. “There are few moments in the history of institutions that the entire community is galvanized around a salient, central mission.” SMU’s commitment to increasing academic quality, and the University’s significant strides toward that goal, motivated the Task Force to place its recommendations within that context, Turner said. Some recommendations have been accepted partially or with modifications, limitations or reservations; or will be considered with more study. Two recommendations have not been accepted.

Complete text of President Turner’s remarks
President Turner’s announcement
President Turner’s decision
Executive summary of the decision
The Task Force’s recommendations
• Video of President Turner’s briefing (Part 1 and Part 2) video

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Briefing scheduled on Substance Abuse Task Force recommendations

SMU students, faculty and staff members are invited to attend a briefing and discussion with President R. Gerald Turner, Provost Paul Ludden and Vice President for Student Affairs Lori White on decisions regarding the recommendations of the University’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention. The meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. April 29 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

Watch SMU Forum for highlights from the meeting.

Task force offers recommendations on substance abuse prevention

Dallas HallIn a report to SMU President R. Gerald Turner on Jan. 31, SMU’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention offered 30 recommendations intended to strengthen programs of awareness, enforcement and assistance and to address related campus issues.

While noting that SMU’s existing programs are consistent with the best national practices, the Task Force calls for a “course correction.” Increased vigilance and proactive measures are especially important “as the University attracts higher-achieving students with expectations of a vigorous intellectual life on campus,” the report noted.

The report suggests additional steps that can be taken to foster an environment that encourages good decision-making, provides resources for prevention and assistance, offers positive alternatives for social life, emphasizes academic rigor, and maintains consistent and clearly understood policies.

“The Task Force recognizes that the national issue of substance abuse carries with it complexities that are beyond the influence of a single university, such as societal trends toward pre-college experimentation with drugs or alcohol, the availability of illegal substances in the surrounding community, the new freedoms and responsibilities inherent in college life, and students’ expectations that they will be treated as adults responsible for their own actions,” the report said. “Nevertheless, an individual institution must do all that is possible…to address substance abuse issues.”

Read a synopsis at SMU News.
Read the Task Force Report.

Statement on Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force

The final report of SMU’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention has now been delivered to President Turner and will be made public after he has reviewed it. Providing details on isolated recommendations at this time would circumvent that review process.

In general, the Task Force made recommendations that relate to health and medical services, enforcement, academic and social life, education programs and partnerships with parents. The overall goal is to support an environment that encourages wise decision-making and the well-being of our students.

After President Turner reviews the report, he will assign campus groups to consider the feasibility of specific recommendations and will gather other input from the SMU community. Some recommendations may be implemented immediately, some may require further study, and some may not be deemed feasible.

We will be happy to answer specific media questions at the appropriate time, but for now we must respect the deliberation process for our campus community.

Calendar Highlights: Nov. 9, 2007

cowboys-cattlemen-250.jpgJazz in the winds: The Meadows Wind Ensemble performs the music of Mingus, Bernstein, Joplin and Broege in “No Sun, No Shadow” at 8 p.m. Nov. 11 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for faculty and staff. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 8-2787 (8-ARTS).

Survival stories: Sudanese survivors of violence tell their stories in their own words in “Voices from Sudan,” hosted by SMU’s Human Rights Education Program, 7 p.m. Nov. 12 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. The panel will feature refugees from Darfur as well as those who fled southern Sudan to escape the violent civil war. Free and open to the public.

Source code: Veteran newsman Tony Pederson, SMU’s Belo Distinguished Chair in Journalism, speaks on “Reporter Privilege: A Con Job or an Essential Part of Democracy?” Nov. 14 in the Umphrey Lee Center Ballroom. The event, sponsored by SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, begins with a reception (heavy hors d’oeuvres) at 11:30 a.m., followed by the lecture at noon. Free and open to the public.

Living responsibly: SMU students will discuss, debate and engage the issue of substance abuse at the University during a Substance Abuse Forum from 11:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m. November 14 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons. Panelists will include senior Todd Baty, business manager of the weekly newsletter Hilltopics, with members of the Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention: Dean of Student Life Dee Siscoe, English Professor Dennis Foster, Political Science Professor Dennis Simon, and Student Body President Katherine Tullos. For more information, visit the Live Responsibly home page.

Boys against men: Jacqueline Moore, Fellow in SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies, discusses “Cow Boys and Cattle Men: Restraining Masculinity on the Texas Frontier” at noon Nov. 14 in DeGolyer Library. The lecture is part of the Clements Center Brown Bag Series – bring your lunch. For more information, contact Ruth Ann Elmore, 8-3684. (Top left: Cow Boys and Cattle Men on the Matador Ranch 1883, courtesy of the Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University.)

Cave exploringNew traditions: The Meadows Jazz Orchestra explores the traditions of large ensemble jazz and introduces new works by professional and student composers in a concert at 8 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Catch the MJO performing in the Meadows Fall Dance Concert through Nov. 11.

When “caving” is a good thing: Sign up by Nov. 16 for Recreational Sports’ Jester Cave overnight camping trip (bottom left), scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Learn more online at the Outdoor Adventures home page or contact David Chambers, 8-9918.