The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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


Third candidate meets students

Douglas Lowry, the Meadows School of the Arts Dean Search Committee’s third pick, finished up his two-day visit to SMU Thursday evening.

A scheduling conflict on Thursday moved Lowry’s discussion session with faculty to Wednesday.

Lowry took questions from Meadows faculty members about his fundraising capabilities, management style and arts education.

Lowry said he sees “a huge opportunity to build” on Meadows’ foundation. He is interested beceause Meadows is “a first-rate school in performing arts,” a place where there’s “leadership momentum” and also where the university has committed to the “ideals of a research institute.”

Lowry said he manages through empowerment and has expectations for his faculty. When they have expectations about his ability to satisfy division needs, Lowry said it takes “a tremendous amount of consultation with all faculty” to make the right decision.

Faculty continued to fire off questions, some of which Lowry gave vague responses to or even dodged entirely.

Someone brought up the Bush Presidential Library.

Asked what he thinks the library would do for the school, Lowry said, “I think it’s impossible to predict.”

“Your answer troubles me,” said the same person who asked the question.

Lowry rephrased his response and said he didn’t think the library would have a “specific impact on Meadows, rather on the university as a whole.”

Questions then quickly moved on to fundraising.

Lowry estimated he spends about 60 percent of his time fundraising for the university, though the weekly workload varies.

As the current dean of the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, Lowry said what he likes most about his job is “enabling faculty and students to do work.”

More than 30 students turned out to hear Lowry Thursday afternoon, the majority of whom were dance students.

Lowry asked students why they chose to attend SMU.

Students shared their feelings about the university. Many students expressed concern with the lack of national exposure in some areas of the Meadows school. Lowry said many feel the same way.

“There’s a huge lag of time between when you get good and the public perception of what is going on,” he said, adding that this is a challenge at many schools.

Lowry said the way to fix the problem is by challenging the public relations department to use “guerilla marketing” – spending the minimal amount of money you have to get the message out.

Students asked Lowry about his fundraising and reasons for considering SMU. For both questions, he gave a similar version of his response during the faculty session.

Lowry has a master’s in orchestral conducting and trombone performance from the University of Southern California. He has a bachelor’s in theory and composition from the University of Arizona.

He worked at USC in many positions, including lecturer, conductor and eventually associate dean from 1989-2000. In 2000, he became dean at Cincinnati.



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