About the Provost

Biography

Steven C. Currall is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southern Methodist University (SMU). As Provost, he oversees all aspects of academic activity at SMU including seven academic units: Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman School of Law, Meadows School of the Arts, Lyle School of Engineering, Perkins School of Theology, and Simmons School of Education and Human Development, as well as Central University Libraries, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, satellite campuses, and other academic programs. At SMU, Currall is the David B. Miller Endowed Professor and holds academic appointments in the Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and the Lyle School of Engineering.

Previously, Currall was the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and member of the Executive Committee for the 10-campus University of California system's Global Health Institute. He also served on the Boards of Directors of the San Francisco Bay Area Council and the California Life Sciences Association.

Currall worked at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), where he served as Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for Strategic Projects and Initiatives, during which he co-chaired a campus-wide strategic visioning exercise to position UC Davis as the "University of the 21st Century." He also led planning for an additional campus in the Sacramento region.  At UC Davis, Currall served as the Dean of the Graduate School of Management, leading the School to the highest MBA program ranking in its history.  At University College London, he was the founding chair of the Department of Management Science and Innovation in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences, where he was also a Vice Dean.  For 12 years, he served as a professor at Rice University and held the William and Stephanie Sick Professorship of Entrepreneurship in the George R. Brown School of Engineering.  He founded the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship.

He has led seven centers/institutes, and held campus-wide service roles as Chair of the Task Force on Faculty Salary Equity, Chair of the Strategic Review of Human Resources, Chair of Board of Directors of the Ecosystem for Biophotonics Innovation, and Vice Chair of Chancellor's Blue Ribbon Committee on Research.

A psychological scientist, Currall has conducted research and taught for nearly three decades on organizational psychology topics such as innovation, emerging technologies, negotiation, and corporate governance. At the invitation of the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Currall was a member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group. He has been a grantee on $21,533,893 in external funding of which over 78% came from referred research grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health. Currall was lead author of a book on university-business-government collaboration entitled, Organized Innovation: A Blueprint for Renewing America's Prosperity (Oxford, 2014). Based on a study funded by the NSF, the book is the culmination of a 10-year research project on interdisciplinary research involving science, engineering, and medicine. He has served as a member of several editorial review boards such as Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, and Organization Science. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Currall has been a member of the boards of BioHouston, Leadership in Medicine, Inc., Nanotechnology Foundation of Texas, and Interferometrics, Inc., a venture-funded medical device start-up. He has been quoted over 600 times in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, Business Week, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television, and the Nightly Business Report on public television.

Provost Currall earned a Ph.D. from Cornell University, a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A. (cum laude) from Baylor University.

Provost Currall is married to Cheyenne Currall, Ph.D., a business advisor and corporate psychologist (bio).

View Curriculim Vitae (CV)

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Learn more about his recent book, "Organized Innovation" below:

Organized Innovation: A Blueprint for Renewing America's Prosperity

An innovation gap has emerged as American universities have focused on basic research and industry has concentrated on incremental product development. This gap has widened in recent decades, and the country has failed to close the gap in large part because of three myths-that innovation is about lone geniuses, the free market, and serendipity.