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


President Turner opens the new school year to faculty with confidence

Schools across the country are making adjustments for the economic recession, SMU included.

President R.Gerald Turner said in his annual address to the faculty on Aug. 26 that SMU is prepared to go throughout this year with careful planning, campus development and faculty, student and alumni participation.

According to Turner, there are three primary ways the economy has impacted the university.

While the number of scholarships has grown, more are needed for students. In order to continue to support them, SMU has asked donors to support students with annual scholarships, as opposed to endowments, to help their immediate needs.

Secondly, some individuals have been reluctant to make significant gifts due to the recession. Campuses across the country are having this same difficulty, and SMU is reacting by having to slow some construction projects on campus. This leads to the final effect, a decline in the university’s endowment fund.

SMU’s endowment figure for July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009, is down 21.9 percent. Which Turner said, is very similar to the loss of our aspirant and cohort institutions.

However, the university’s spending policy is designed to expect major changes in endowments, as they may go up or down.

Another concern for many campuses was the recruitment of the fall 2009 entering class. However, Turner says this time has been as “chaotic and worrisome” as before. The university’s total undergraduate enrollment should be 6,174 – close to last year’s total of 6, 240.

According to Turner, universities would typically put hiring of new faculty positions on hold at a time like this. However, SMU recently hired 31 tenured faculty.

The recession is also affecting the campus physically, as the construction of the sophomore housing has been delayed. However, the new Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Building will still open Sept. 11, followed by the new Caruth Engineering Building, set to open by January 2010.

President Turner also assured faculty that the new curriculum is continuing improvement, as the “committee has now submitted its report, and the Provost’s Office will be working with [faculty] to review, approve, and implement a new General Education curriculum.”

The outbreak of H1N1 flu is a concern for Turner, as he said SMU is preparing by providing information and adding an increased number of hand washing stations.

The national Second Century Campaign is going strong through this year, said Turner. Last year, event locations included Los Angles, New York Houston, Chicago and Atlanta. This school year, the campaign will be opening in San Francisco, St. Louis, Washington D.C. and Denver.

Turner finished with believing that “it seems more appropriate now than in former years when [saying] again: There are no perfect places, but SMU is a very good place to be!”

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