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Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby Pony^ » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:01 pm

couch 'em wrote:Considering the post above where SMU rejected ties to two of the major academic elements in the city, perhaps SMU's goal was not always elite status.

How affordable was SMU in 1965?


Honestly, had SMU been better endowed from the beginning, it could have kept its fledging medical school.

The rejection of the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest is more perplexing. Texas Instruments needed a larger, local source of engineering graduates; however, President Tate was apparently concerned that SMU might stray too far from its liberal arts roots if the school went along with the TI execs. Tate did not want to see SMU become a tech school like MIT; obviously, a totally irrational concern.

Pye, during his presidency, actually tried to dissolve two engineering programs to save money. The Board of Trustees did kill the civil engineering department as a result of Pye's recommendations.

By 1989 university debt was steadily mounting (costing $4 million annually to service the debt), and President Pye called for sweeping budget cuts affecting multiple university departments and services. Pye recommended a halt on new campus construction; discontinuing SMU’s major in public relations and its minors in social sciences and linguistics; spending cuts on programs such as physical education and criminal justice; and reduced funding for the university cafeteria and physical plant. Pye also noted his willingness to cut athletic program budgets as well, commenting, "I have no intention in the world of cutting back on academics and not applying the same scrutiny to athletics."

The university community seemed generally supportive of the measures, but Pye’s proposed elimination of two of SMU’s engineering programs met with resistance from the engineering faculty. Although the proposal was not intended to undermine engineering as whole, the faculty argued that the cuts could fatally weaken the department due to reduced student enrollment. They further noted that a region of the state that boasted many high-tech companies would suddenly be without a source of engineering graduates if the two programs were cut. The Board of Trustees later opted to eliminate only the civil engineering program. In addition, a weaker economy in the early 1990s led to some budget cuts around campus to maintain a balanced budget, and in 1991 the university laid off roughly 80 administrative staff members.


http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/smu/00115/smu-00115.html

So yes, through the years, STEM programs have not received enthusiastic support from SMU administrators.

Interestingly, SMU was not alone. Baylor jettisoned its medical school, which was originally located in Dallas, in 1969 and its dental school in 1971. The dental school is now part of the Texas A&M Health Science Center. Baylor College of Medicine remains an independent institution although it did consider merging with Rice Uinversity in 2009.
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby friarwolf » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:04 pm

Endowment sits at 1.1bb....Not a particularly good year from a return perspective.....SMU needs to do better. True, we have invested a large portion of the current campaign in bricks and mortar as well as scholarships and endowed teaching positions which have all been necessary to keep us competitive. But, we must do better with our investment activities......
To answer what happened on our way to the top? We lost focus for 20+ years and the death penalty and the reign of Pye didn't help. When we began focusing in the mid 90's on academic improvement, we were obviously way behind. And unfortunately, the arms race to attain better rankings had begun. While we are doing better in SAT scores and other metrics, we still suffer from a national rankings perspective which hurts our ranking. It is gonna take a continued concerted effort to get the SAT over 1300, improve our retainment %, and increase the percentage of alum giving to overcome that national perception that we are a middle rung university.
Efforts to rebrand southern methodist university to SMU continues but kind of like that historic perception, it is going to take effort and money to solidify the brand.
Oh and by the way, the baby boomlet is ending. That means fewer bright kids for us to fight over with the upper crust schools to keep the quality of our incoming clasees up. We better get going.................
Last thing, the quality of our incoming classes is improving. Engineering is crowing over its incoming class. But, my biggest criticism of Turner is he is too easy going with the deans. He lets them underperform for way too long before making a change. The law dean sucks, Niemi is a good guy but he is not demanding excellence from his professors, and Tsutsui is not setting the world on fire. Still don't have a new dean of engineering, either............ ok, fingers hurt...........
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby redpony » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:42 pm

Friar- I thought that I read a yr or so ago that we had 'stolen' a top level engineering guy form ND to be our dean. What happened to that or was he just going to head up a portion of the E. program?
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby friarwolf » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:10 pm

His name was Talley. He was brought in as some kind of senior professor under Eddie Haskell, aka Geoffrey Orsak. He and Orsak butted heads and he left. Big loss for us...........
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby couch 'em » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:24 pm

friarwolf wrote:His name was Talley. He was brought in as some kind of senior professor under Eddie Haskell, aka Geoffrey Orsak. He and Orsak butted heads and he left. Big loss for us...........

Would that make Orsak a Talley-whacker?
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby friarwolf » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:29 pm

We have a winner!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby NavyCrimson » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:36 pm

I remember reading the article in the SMU mag. How do u lose a good guy??? Inexcusable. Obviously orsak's true colors came out at Tulsa. Isn't turner retiring real soon???? I mean soon.
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby friarwolf » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:46 am

2015 at the earliest...........
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby NavyCrimson » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:36 pm

Ugh...

The board must really be unconcerned???
BRING BACK THE GLORY DAYS OF SMU FOOTBALL!!!

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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby gostangs » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:22 am

I don't think our problem is the guy who raised 650 million in the worst recession in 90 yrs.

It is time to focus on the endowment. We need to hike it up by 200m to stay on track.

By the way - I don't recall us ever being in the 50's on ranking until last few years. Where are you getting that we were there 20 yrs ago?

We are ramping up science and engineering but need to do more. That is where the research is (along with education) so those are big growth areas for us. We will break top 40 but it will take 15 more yrs. we have now passed a&m which is not widely known - and they aint getting that back. we will pass UT in 10 yrs but probably never pass rice, which is fine. We want to be academic but not at the price of being boring and nerdy
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby smustatesman » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:29 pm

I was talking about 37+ years ago. Probably before you were born, and before their was a US World Report and other periodicals that supposedly ranked the US universities. If you came from an educated family, you knew what were the best schools without have to pick up a magazine to be told. SMU ranked below Northwestern, on par with Vanderbilt, and above Notre Dame. If you wanted to go to a major, private university with good academics and athletics, it was either Stanford, USC, SMU, or to a much lesser degree, Duke, Notre Dame, or Wake Forest.
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby leopold » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:05 pm

In terms of SMU's place within Dallas - which I think was the original question - I think SMU fills a role for the city, working with local buisiness in every way, bringing art and culture to the city, and bringing in young talent in almost all fields to grow-up and see the city when they decide what to do with their lives and where to do it.

But as you've pointed out, Dallas continues to grow at a huge rate, and in order for the city to do that it had to outgrow SMU - no single university can be the only source for a city as large as Dallas, or expecially for DFW; Harvard can't be all things to Boston, Columbia to New York, USC to LA, Vandy to Nashville, and so on. At the very least it's limiting, at most it can open academic and intellectual in-breeding - you need different schools and different schools of thought.

But there's a corollary to that: Dallas can't be tha only place an SMU grad can get a job - the school has a duty to it's students to prepare them to go to Wall Street, Washington DC, Hollywood, and Afghanistan, anyway it can.

So to answer the question inherent in your post, yes, Dallas DOES deserve more than SMU, in fact it NEEDS more than SMU can always be, but that's not because of SMU. That's because of the growth and success of both the city and the school.
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby Stallion » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:37 pm

I got SoCalPony's back on this one-SMU was definitely ranked in the low to mid 50s circa 1985 before the DP and then the Pye debacle. After DP the SATs, GPAs and acceptance rates dropped dramatically. SMU didn't want you to know how far so they stopped publishing them right about 1988-I actually researched this in the 1990s in order to determine the effect of DP/Pye on the university. I was able to get all the pertinent information each year from a particular SMU publication-and then it just stopped being made public
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby Pony^ » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:02 am

According to the NACUBO, SMU had the 31st largest college endowment in 1990 (based on market value):
http://www.nacubo.org/documents/1990%20Total%20Market%20Values.pdf

In 2011, SMU had the 61st largest college endowment (based on market value):
http://www.nacubo.org/Documents/research/2011NCSEPublicTablesEndowmentMarketValues319.pdf
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Re: Does Dallas deserve more than SMU

Postby lwjr » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:14 am

gostangs wrote:
I don't think our problem is the guy who raised 650 million in the worst recession in 90 yrs.


It is time to focus on the endowment. We need to hike it up by 200m to stay on track.

By the way - I don't recall us ever being in the 50's on ranking until last few years. Where are you getting that we were there 20 yrs ago?

We are ramping up science and engineering but need to do more. That is where the research is (along with education) so those are big growth areas for us. We will break top 40 but it will take 15 more yrs. we have now passed a&m which is not widely known - and they aint getting that back. we will pass UT in 10 yrs but probably never pass rice, which is fine. We want to be academic but not at the price of being boring and nerdy


No disrespect intended towards President Turner, but the state of Texas has not even come close to an economic down turn like many parts of the country have had to deal with over the last four or five years. Having said that, that is an incredible amount of money he has raised. Tip of the hat to RGT.
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