SMU’s vice president for executive affairs, Tom Barry announces retirement

Tom Barry, SMU’s vice president for executive affairs since 1995 and professor of marketing in the Cox School of Business since 1970, announced his retirement Nov. 16, which will be effective Dec. 31.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner released a statement Nov. 16 notifying the faculty, staff and student body of Barry’s retirement, while praising his numerous accomplishments during his time at the university.

Barry, who received his Ph.D. in marketing from the University of North Texas and his bachelor’s and master’s degree in marketing at Southern Illinois University, will begin a sabbatical year in January 2016 with the option of returning to the Cox faculty in 2017. Throughout his 45 years at the university, Barry has impacted the evolution of SMU.

Barry helped SMU lead development of the Master Plan of 1997-2015, which aimed to provide “direction and cohesion to the physical evolution of the campus, including its expansion east of Central Expressway, as well as improvements to SMU-in-Taos.”

Barry helped coordinate the addition or renovation of more than 23 campus facilities, aided in the development of SMU’s last three strategic plans, which raised more than $1.5 billion for “scholarships, faculty and academic programs, facilities and the campus experience,” and worked as professor in the Cox School of Business.

One of Barry’s most notable contributions not only to SMU but also, to the city of Dallas was his leadership in SMU’s mission to be the home of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

After the 2000 presidential election, Barry began researching how presidential libraries were funded, structured and operated, along with the relationship that the library would have with the university, all aiding in SMU’s successful proposal.

Working as a professor in the Cox School, Barry brought a different perspective to SMU’s administration, one coming from a teacher’s view who is in direct contact with students in their day-to-day lives.

Barry, who served for two terms as chair of the Marketing Department and three times as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Cox School, has received numerous teaching awards and has served on more than 100 committees.

During his time as an academic administrator, he wrote three books and published more than 80 scholarly articles.

He is described by President Turner as having a “quiet, persistent and substantive leadership,” and leaves a imprint on the growth and success of SMU.

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