Southern Methodist University is pleased to present its Centennial Strategic Plan 2006–2015. Like the preceding two five-year plans (1996–2000 and 2001–2005), its foundation is in the vision and values embodied in the Master Plan of 1963 as we continue to link our institutional heritage with the opportunities available to the University today and in the future.
The goals and supporting objectives of the previous two five-year plans have helped bring focus and consistency to the institution’s efforts to become one of the leading universities in the nation. By strengthening the fundamentals of the University—faculty, staff, students, and the resources for instruction, research, and service to the community—SMU implemented many major advances during the past 10 years. The recent Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead (1997–2002) was guided by these strategic plans and provided crucial enhancements to the entire campus, including new buildings and endowments for scholarships, programs, and faculty positions. Excitement and optimism for SMU as an emerging national institution have followed from the foundation laid by this successful fundraising effort.
One of the great strengths of SMU is its location in Dallas, a vibrant international city. A great city requires a great University,and SMU’s rise as an institution of national distinction will assist Dallas business, industry, cultural organizations, and educational institutions in solidifying their positions in the world community. In order to meet specific needs presented by the critical partnership between SMU and Dallas, SMU must continue to strengthen its foundation in the liberal arts as well as improve its professional schools and academic centers.
As the University begins planning to celebrate the centennial of its founding (2011) and opening (2015), it has become obvious to both internal and external constituencies that the quality of programs in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences in Dedman College must continually be enhanced if our goals for national distinction are to be achieved. Teaching and research in all fields, but especially in the sciences, must be strengthened significantly by making available additional financial resources, particularly supportive endowments.
The Centennial Strategic Plan is focused on the quality of faculty, students, and core academic programs. The result will be to elevate the stature of the University, sustain its ongoing work, and enhance its societal influence.
R. Gerald Turner