Standing Committees 2023-24

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.


  • Anthony Petrosino – Chair, Office of the Dean, Teaching & Learning
  • Jill Allor – Teaching & Learning
  • Eric Bing – Global Health
  • Greta Davis – Counseling
  • Leanne Ketterlin Geller – Research in Mathematics Education (RME)
  • Aki Kamata – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Annie Wright – Center on Research & Evaluation

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:
September 12th 10:30am-11:30am
October 12th 1pm-2pm
November 14th 10:30am-11:30am
December 12th 10:30am-11:30am
January 9th 10:30am-11:30am
February 13th 10:30am-11:30am
March 13th 10:30am-11:30am
April 10th 10:30am-11:30am

Academic Affairs Council (AAC)

Charge: Review curriculum, new program proposals, and academic policies and procedures in order to ensure their consistency with SMU's strategic academic priorities and 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 AAC reports to the Dean and merged with the Technology Advisory Council to streamline the work of both governing bodies, which ensures faculty governance of program and course approval.

Technical Requirements for Simmons Hybrid/Digital Courses


  • Francesca Go – Assistant Dean Faculty for Assessment and Accreditation, Office of the Dean
  • Sarah Brown – Applied Physiology & Sports Management
  • Diane Baty Gifford – Teaching & Learning
  • John Potter – Human-Centered Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Edita Ruzgyte – Counseling
  • Candace Walkington – Teaching & Learning


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

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

Ph.D. Committee

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


  • Aki Kamata – Chair, Education Policy & Leadership
  • Jeanna Wieselmann – Teaching & Learning
  • Sondra Barringer – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Scott Davis – Applied Physiology & Sport Management
  • Leanne Ketterlin Geller – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Meredith Richards – Education Policy & Leadership
  • Quentin Sedlacek – Teaching & Learning
  • Candace Walkington – Teaching & Learning

Appointment: Unspecified term of service

Meeting Dates:
Spring 2024
January 26th Open House 8:00am-2pm,  all PhD faculty
February 1st Admission Meeting 9:00am-11am, all PhD faculty
March 21st 9:30am-11am, PhD, Executive Committee only
April 18th 9:30am-11am, PhD, Executive Committee only
May 9th 9:30am-11am, PhD, Executive Committee only

Fall 2024 TBA

Communications/Public Relations

Charge: Promotes Simmons program and department activities and news and prioritizes what the School promotes through SMU and external channels.


  • Annette Gonzales Taylor – Chair, Office of the Dean
  • Peter Carton – Applied Physiology & Sport Management
  • Rose Chavez – Office of the Dean
  • Nancy George – Development & External Affairs
  • Jessica Murillo – The Budd Center
  • Becky Hood – Office of the Dean
  • LaChelle Cunningham – College Access
  • Breya White – Human-Centered Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Brandy Schumann – Counseling
  • Francesca Go – Teaching & Learning
  • Pamela Bailey – Center on Research & Evaluation (CORE)

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

Meeting Dates: Once a month

Educator Preparation Program Directors and TEA Certification Preparations

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


  • Roxanne Burleson – Education Policy & Leadership, Superintendent and Principal Classes
  • Mario De La Garza – Counseling, Counselor Class
  • Francesca Go – Assistant Dean Faculty for Assessment and Accreditation, Office of the Dean
  • Amy Richardson – Teaching & Learning, Teacher Class

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 Simmons Educator Preparation Program Directors