Nearly 100 years ago, visionary leaders established SMU. Were they to visit campus today, their astonishment can only be imagined. SMU is an emerging national university, and becoming one of the premier private institutions in our nation is within reach.
SMU is one of the few private universities in the United States with a realistic opportunity in the near term to make significant enhancements in the actual and perceived quality of its academic programs. SMU’s supporting communities are becoming more aware of this reality, and many constituents are developing a sense of responsibility to contribute their time and financial resources to ensure that this progress occurs. Future progress for the greater Dallas area will depend, in part, upon excellence in higher education at both public and private institutions.
To move forward, the existence of supportive infrastructures in academic programs and activities will be fundamental to our efforts. Extraordinary progress has been made with regard to the quality of academic physical facilities, and when completed, several ongoing projects will provide an environment that is more conducive to teaching and research throughout the University. Endowed chairs and additional support for outstanding graduate students, along with new or renovated facilities, will substantially improve program excellence.
Additional infrastructure requirements for high-quality academic programs include technology hardware, software, and library resources. Technology is an essential component of academic excellence. Sufficient qualified personnel must be available to provide the technical resources necessary in this vital area. In combination, technology and library resources provide the basis for much of the faculty’s research.
The vision for SMU has always been bold, and these goals and objectives exemplify that boldness. As the University makes significant strides toward their attainment, its continual ascent within the higher education community will be inevitable. In addition, the ability to provide the educational, cultural, and technological resources for the accelerating growth of the Metroplex will ensure a second century of the national and international development of SMU and Dallas.
Each previous strategic plan has resulted in significant improvements in the quality of SMU. The Centennial Strategic Plan calls for the SMU community to focus on increasing faculty and student quality, particularly in the liberal arts and sciences, for the benefit that will accrue to the entire University.