Developing The Research Effort At SMU
The research effort has to be, of course, coming from the faculties. What I can do as provost and what the president can do is to encourage things that happened across schools. And so I cannot tell a senior member from economics that I know economics better than they do. But I can encourage them to cooperate with somebody from finance and work on issues that cut across disciplines. So my personal emphasis has been to encourage cross-disciplinary work. Fortunately, that's the same priority for the president Arnoud De Meyer, we both believe very very strongly in that. And consequently, there has been a tremendous amount of support from us on cross disciplinary programs. Beyond that, we have to encourage the schools to do the right things. Now one way of managing research is to spread the resources and say there are so many faculty members in this school, so many faculty members in that school, and we simply take the amount available and then divide it by the number of faculty and spread it around. That cannot be the case. What we have to do is that we have to make sure that we water those plants that are growing. And we occasionally have to trim things in order to make them grow better. There has been a strong focus on performance and I have stood behind the Deans that had been pushing the envelope and that has led to a situation where the schools cannot take things for granted and think they are going to get this money anyway. Now we have almost all the schools performing, you know, pretty well because the ground rules are not based on history and number. The ground rules are forward looking in terms of what they want to achieve and backward looking in terms of what they have achieved.