The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Faculty Senate hears from Honors Task Force

No action was taken at Wednesday’s Faculty Senate meeting regarding last week’s tabled resolution about joint and concurrent appointments for staff at the proposed Bush Institute.

Faculty Senate President Rhonda Blair reported to the Senate about her meeting with SMU President R. Gerald Turner this week. She told the faculty that Turner would be passing the resolutions along to legal and governmental affairs.

The Honors Task Force also addressed the Faculty Senate on Wednesday. Ellen Pryor and Harold Stanley presented the Senate with an update of their progress.

“We need more resources to develop and strengthen our honors program,” said Blair.

The Honors Task Force was set up in October 2006. According the honors program’s Web site, “The charge of the committee is to develop a comprehensive strategic plan as to all facets of honors programming within SMU’s undergraduate programs.”

The task force is expected to turn in a formal report consisting of a review of the current programs, plus the group’s assessments and recommendations for improvement of the SMU honors programs. The report is due at the end of the semester on April 25. The task force consists of 17 members, including two student members. The group has met once a week since Oct. 20, 2006, with the exception of winter break.

“Each week we have a different aspect of honors programming to discuss,” said student member Sterling Morriss. “We bring in the experts who know about each specific topic and they give us an overview so it’s not a one-way conversation.”

The task force exchanges feedback with the appropriate sources and creates general theses about the overriding characteristics of the individual honors programs.

The task force is concerned there are too many honors groups and one suggestion has been to figure out a way to unite them.

“Currently you have several groups and different undertakings that are scattered and fragmented. They are not integrated,” said Stanley. “One of the questions we are dealing with is – in some fashion should these be made into more of a sense of community?”

The Honors Task Force continues to make progress but has no plans for addressing the Faculty Senate again.

“We would certainly be happy to follow up in the Senate requested such a report,” said Stanley.

The next Faculty Senate meeting is scheduled for March 7.

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