Message from the Dean

I am pleased to report that we have had a very busy and productive year in the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. We have provided important funds to support the work of SMU faculty and graduate students; we have put in place measures to increase funding for external research; we have welcomed aboard a new Ph.D. program in English; and we have continued to patent and market the significant findings of the University's researchers.

Research, which long has been a major SMU priority, was given fresh emphasis by the goal of President R. Gerald Turner and the Board of Trustees to make SMU a top 50 university. One of the key measures of that status is the quality and quantity of research, the amount of research funding for our faculty, and the number of Ph.D. students we graduate each year. As a result, the upcoming Centennial Campaign, SMU's plan for the future, places research, grants, and the quality of graduate programs at the very center of the University's goals for the next decade, which will celebrate the founding of SMU in 1911 and its opening in 1915.

One attribute I always have admired about our University – among many – is the ongoing desire to improve, to set measurable goals, and achieve measurable results. "Getting better and better" at what we do is SMU's mission; it is a challenge and a delight to be part of that experience. I am honored to invite you to join us on this remarkable journey. Please sign up, for the results will be well worth witnessing. SMU, already a fine university, is moving to another level, and we are delighted to have your support and company on the trip.

Please accept my warmest welcome to another issue – the 13th, I am proud to say – of SMU Research magazine.

R. Hal Williams
Dean, Research and Graduate Studies