Simmons Governance

Simmons Governance

Standing Committees 2017-2018

Research Council

Charge: promotes the development of high-quality research efforts and raises and addresses issues related to research and grant opportunities within Simmons.  The council shall facilitate collaboration within and across departments, colleges, and schools in order to promote on-gong and new research initiatives and shall find ways to promote research events and grant opportunities for junior faculty.  Other responsibilities may include matters related to: IRB requirements, Principal Investigator challenges, interdisciplinary opportunities, and investment of resources to further the academic and research enterprise.


  • Frank Hernandez - Chair, Education Policy & Leadership, Office of the Dean
  • Aki Kamata - Center on Research & Evaluation
  • Jill Allor - Teaching & Learning
  • Peter Weyand - Applied Physiology & Wellness
  • Greta Davis - Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Dan Berebitsky - Education Policy & Leadership
  • Amy Rouse - Teaching & Learning
  • Regina Nippert - The Budd Center
  • Eric Bing - Global Health
  • Leanne Ketterlin Geller - Research in Mathematics Education
  • David Deggs - College Access
  • Hiba Rahim - Center on Research & Evaluation
  • Doris Baker - Ph.D. Program

Appointment: With the exception of the graduate student representative, who shall serve a one-year term, terms are set at 2 or 3 years to provide overlap from year to year. 

Meeting Dates: Inaugural meeting Friday, January 26, 2018 (formal meeting schedule to be established)

Academic Affairs

Charge: Review curriculum, new program proposals, and academic policies and procedures in order to ensure their consistency with SMU's strategic academic priorities. 


  • Frank Hernandez - Chair, Education Policy & Leadership, Office of the Dean
  • Kiersten Ferguson - Education Policy & Leadership
  • Margaret Mahoney - Ex-officio, Office of the Dean
  • Nancy Montgomery - Teaching & Learning
  • Megan Murphy - Applied Physiology & Wellness
  • Misty Solt - Dispute Resolution & Counseling


Meeting Dates: Once a month, starting in September and ending in June

Faculty Research Publications & Presentations: For the most current Academic Affairs Digest, click here

Library Committee

Charge: Addresses the School's library resource needs. 


  • Gashaw Abeza - Applied Physiology & Wellness
  • Gay McAlister - Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Robert Rouse - Teaching & Learning
  • Milan Sevak - Education Policy & Leadership

Appointment: Appointed by the Dean

Meeting Dates: Quarterly

Ph.D. Committee

Charge: Reviews annual student recruitment, admission, funding issues, curriculum, faculty instructional assignments, student advisement, and Ph.D. program policies. 


  • Paul Yovanoff - Chair, Teaching & Learning
  • Stephanie Al Otabia - Teaching & Learning
  • Doris Baker - Teaching & Learning
  • Scott Davis - Applied Physiology & Wellness
  • Aki Kamata - Center on Research & Evaluation
  • Leanne Ketterlin Geller - Education Policy & Leadership
  • Alex Pavalakis - Education Policy & Leadership
  • Meredith Richards - Education Policy & Leadership
  • Candace Walkington - Teaching & Learning
  • Peter Weyand - Applied Physiology & Wellness

Appointment: Unspecified term of service

Meeting Dates: Monthly - every third Friday of the month 

Public Relations

Charge: Promotes Simmons program and department activities and news and prioritizes what the School promotes through SMU and external channels.  The meeting is conducted with an external consulting firm. 


  • Yolette Garcia - Chair, Office of the Dean
  • Mercedes Allen - College Access
  • Erin Crosby - The Budd Center
  • Amy Ferrell - Teaching & Learning
  • Suzanne Frank - The Writer's Path
  • Lauren Gilmore - Office of the Dean
  • Frank Hernandez - Office of the Dean
  • Marilea Jungman - Research in Mathematics Education
  • Jessica Lunce - Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Kate Montgomery - Graduate Liberal Studies
  • Megan Murphy - Applied Physiology & Wellness
  • Galina Pegues - Education Policy & Leadership
  • Hiba Rahim - Center on Research & Evaluation
  • Brandy Schumann - Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Patti Addington - Development & External Affairs

Appointment: Department or program chairs, terms of service are one year

Meeting Dates: Once a month

Assessment & Accreditation

Charge: Facilitates a culture of assessment across Simmons, identifies current data collection efforts and needs, establishes a common set of outcomes for Simmons' graduates, makes recommendations for universal data collection system, creates a glossary of assessment/accreditation terms, documents our assessment story


  • Margaret Mahoney - Chair, Office of the Dean
  • Frank Hernandez - Office of the Dean, Education Policy & Leadership
  • Yetunde Zannou - Center on Research & Evaluation
  • Sheryl English - Teaching & Learning
  • Les Black - Education Policy & Leadership
  • Karen Milligan - Education Policy & Leadership
  • Francesca Jones (for Annie Wilhelm) - Teaching & Learning
  • Edita Ruzgyte - Dispute Resolution & Counseling

Appointment: Nomination by Department Chairs

Meeting Dates: Monthly

TEA Program Directors and Certification

Charge: Responsible for understanding of TEA rules and regulations.  Discusses and resolves compliance issues, and implements policy and practice that is consistent across programs.


  • Nancy Roberts - Teaching & Learning
  • Roxanne Burleson - Education Policy & Leadership
  • Amy Ferrell - Teaching & Learning
  • Gay McAlister - Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Jill Moore - Teaching & Learning
  • Karen Milligan - Teaching & Learning
  • Margaret Mahoney - Office of the Dean

Texas Educator Certifications: For information on Texas Educator Certifications from the Texas Education Agency, click here

Complaints Against Educator Preparation Programs: For information about filing a complaint against Educator Preparation Programs with the Texas Education Agency, click here

Educator Preparation Programs Available in the Simmons School: These programs prepare students to meet the requirements for certification by the Texas Education Agency.

Appointment: Job role

Meeting Dates: Monthly

Simmons Educator Preparation Programs Advisory Council

Charge: Discusses the design, delivery, evaluation, and major policy decisions of the teacher, administrator, and school counselor preparation programs at Southern Methodist University.  In accordance with TAC 228.20, the Council plays an integral role in the accreditation and review process of the Simmons School and its educator certification programs. 

Members: TEA Program Directors, Certification Officers, and School and Community Partners

Appointment: Nomination by TEA Program Directors 

The Technology Advisory Council (TAC)

Charge: Supports the development and implementation of high-quality online and hybrid programming in Simmons by maintaining an infrastructure for instructional design, structured course-module development, quality review standards and processes, institutional compliance and innovative excellence.  The TAC reports to the Dean and supports the Academic Affairs Council, which ensures faculty governance of program and course approval. 


  • Tony Cuevas - Chair, Teaching & Learning
  • Jennifer Culver - Academic Technology Director, Office of Information Technology
  • Diane Gifford - Teaching & Learning
  • Michael Harris - CTE
  • Michele Mrak - Liberal Studies
  • Regina Nippert - The Budd Center
  • Rosemary Perlmeter - Educational Policy & Leadership
  • Lynn Romejko Jacobs - Applied Physiology & Wellness
  • Brandy Schumann - Dispute Resolution & Counseling
  • Milan Sevak - Educational Policy & Leadership

Appointment: Appointed by the Dean

Meeting Dates: As needed