Human Resources

Health coaching available at SMU beginning Sept. 18, 2013

Paige Shouse, Baylor Health Coach

Baylor Health Coach Paige Shouse returns as SMU’s on-campus wellness coach during the 2013-14 academic year.

Baylor Health Coach Paige Shouse will return to SMU to provide on-campus wellness coaching during the 2013-14 academic year. She will available for consultation on most Wednesdays beginning Sept. 18, 2013.

A 5-year veteran of corporate wellness programs, Shouse served as SMU’s on-campus health coach in 2012-13. She helps Wellpower participants set and achieve wellness goals through one-on-one counseling in person, by phone and via e-mail. She also hosts seminars and webinars on wellness topics throughout the year.

> Learn more about Wellpower at

Shouse holds a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition and certification as a Health/Fitness Specialist from the American College of Sports Medicine. In addition, she holds certification as a Wellness Program Coordinator through the National Wellness Institute.

To set up a consultation with Shouse, e-mail

> Read more from the SMU Human Resources blog

By | 2013-08-26T17:00:22+00:00 August 26, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , |

SMU seeks full participation in Protection of Minors program

SMU President R. Gerald Turner has requested that all University employees complete an online training program on their responsibilities under Texas law to report suspected child abuse.

The course, “Program for the Protection of Minors,” requires approximately one hour to complete and includes a module on fundamentals of the Clery Act. Per University Policy #9.31, all SMU employees are required to complete the training.

The program is offered as a partnership among SMU’s Office of Police and Risk Management, SMU Human Resources, and the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC). The policy requirement applies to the SMU-in-Taos and SMU-in-Plano campuses as well as to the main campus.

> Complete SMU’s Program for the Protection of Minors on Blackboard

Texas colleges and universities are required to comply with the law laid out in Senate Bill 1414 relating to abuse-prevention training for employees who work with campus programs for minors, which took effect Sept. 1, 2011. For the first phase of training, an SMU task force spent five months identifying the University populations that work directly with minor children, says Jeff Strese, executive director of human resources.

All SMU camp operators, coordinators, and employees who work with minors completed a version of the program by June 1, 2012, Strese adds. In addition to the training in Blackboard, the SMU Police Department has completed DCAC’s first-responder training, which is recognized for its collaborative and child-centered approach to protection of minors, says Associate Vice President and Chief Risk Officer Anita Ingram.

Phase Two of the training rollout is currently in progress for all benefit-eligible faculty and staff, as well as student workers. The deadline for completion is Tuesday, April 30, 2013. The third phase will include training for temporary employees, including adjunct faculty.

The University has committed to exceeding state standards for compliance, said President Turner in a video introduction to the program. Turner and the President’s Executive Council have already completed the program.

Log in to Blackboard at with your 8-digit SMU ID and e-mail password. Find the training program on the right side of the page under My Courses (HRPPM-01: SMU Program for the Protection of Minors).

If you believe you have already completed the program, check your training summary in Access.SMU or contact SMU HR to review your training records. For more information, contact Mary Stall, 214-768-2194.

Find the full training sequence and more information on Blackboard

Nomination deadlines extended for 2012 SMU staff awards

Loretta O'Reilly Hawkins

Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins

This post was originally published Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.

The nomination deadlines for SMU’s 2012 Presidential Staff Recognition Awards and Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award have been extended for one week. Nominations for all awards will now be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21.

The Presidential Staff Recognition Awards “recognize the contribution and excellence of staff employees to SMU,” and the nomination and selection process is managed by the Department of Human Resources.

The awards include $1,000 cash prizes, and each carries unique criteria:

  • New Employee Excellence Award, given to a staff member who has been with SMU for 1 to 3 consecutive years.
  • Continuing Excellence Award, given to a staff member who has been with the University for 4 or more consecutive years.
  • Outstanding Leadership Award, given to a staff member who supervises 1 or more benefit-eligible employees and who “demonstrates exceptional leadership ability within his or her unit or across the University.”
  • Innovation Award, given to a staff member whose “creative, innovative ideas … significantly improve a work process or system or greatly increase the efficiency of an operation or unit.”

The Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award is presented by the SMU Staff Association to permanent full-time employees “who have exemplified the qualities and characteristics of Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins as a member of the University community by demonstrating integrity, productivity and devotion to SMU and family.” The award was endowed by Dallas E. Hawkins II to honor his mother and her life as well as to benefit the university she served as a staff member from 1924 to 1961.

Hawkins Award nominees must have been permanent, full-time SMU staff employees for at least 5 five years as of the month of the nomination deadline and be in good standing with the University. The award includes a cash prize of $1,500.

Students, supervisors, employees, co-workers and colleagues are welcome to submit nominations for all awards. Honorees will be named at the 2013 Staff Recognition Ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Send Presidential Staff Recognition Award nominations to SMU Human Resources, to the attention of Rebecca Sampson, SMU Box 232. Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award nominations may be sent to Staff Association President Abigail Smith, SMU Box 335. Mark all nomination materials confidential.

> Download Presidential Award criteria and nomination forms from SMU Human Resources
> Find Loretta Hawkins Award criteria and nomination forms at the Staff Association homepage

Work-life balance is focus of SMU’s 2012 Human Resources Fair

Stock image of 'Good Health, This Way' freeway signThe importance of work-life balance, and how to achieve it, is the focus of SMU’s 2012 Human Resources Fair, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23. New additions for this year’s fair include Open Enrollment information sessions to help faculty and staff members make the best plan decisions for themselves and their families.

Participants can also take their annual flu shots, get chair massages from SMU Department of Recreational Sports massage therapists, receive a free health screening from Baylor Health Care System and much more during the fair, which will take place in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

The fair will also host Emeriti Retiree Medical Plan information sessions for SMU retirees and active employees who are considering retirement. RSVP online to attend a session.

Learn more at the Human Resources Fair homepage
Visit SMU Human Resources online

SMU’s 2013 Open Enrollment period runs Oct. 14-31

SMU Benefits U logoSMU’s 2013 Open Enrollment period begins Sunday, Oct. 14 and ends Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. The Open Enrollment period is the only opportunity for SMU employees to make changes to benefits elections for the coming year, except for qualified life event changes.

For 2013, there are several Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) required changes that will affect you:

Women’s Preventive Health Services Covered at 100%
SMU will provide female plan participants with expanded access to recommended in-network preventive services, including contraceptives, without cost sharing.

Healthcare FSA Contribution Limit of $2,500
If you contribute to the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA), the maximum amount the IRS will allow you to contribute will be reduced from $5,000 to $2,500. This change in the law does not impact the Dependent Care FSA; you can still contribute up to $5,000 to this account.

Medicare Tax Increase – Highly Compensated Employees
Currently, the Medicare tax is 2.9%, with 1.45% withheld from the paycheck and the other 1.45% paid by SMU. Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, an extra 0.9% Medicare tax will be charged as follows:

  • For unmarried people, the extra 0.9% will be charged on wages above $200,000.
  • For married-filing-jointly couples, the extra 0.9% will be charged on combined wages above $250,000.
  • For those who are married filing separately, the extra 0.9% will be charged on wages above $125,000.

Medical premium increases for 2013 are due to the University’s medical claims experience and new requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Premium increases will vary depending on which SMU Health & Wellness Plan you’re currently enrolled in and on what plan you choose next year. Premiums will remain the same for dental and vision coverage.

SMU will continue to offer the $1,000, $2,000, and $2,500 deductible options. In addition, the University is adding a fourth coverage option in 2013 – a $5,000 deductible option – in order to provide greater coverage choice. In some cases, the premium savings from switching to a higher deductible plan option can offset the higher deductible, or a large portion of it.

Find more information in the 2013 Benefits Guide, available at HR’s Benefits U page

For 2013 open enrollment, you must take action for the following conditions:

  • You want to make changes to your current coverage, including adding or dropping dependents.
  • You want to participate in one or both of the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) in 2013. All faculty and staff members must reconfirm their participation in an FSA even if they participated in an FSA in 2012.
  • You want to participate in the Health Savings Account (HSA) in 2013. All faculty and staff members must reconfirm their participation in the HSA even if they participated in the HSA in 2012.

SMU uses a secure online open-enrollment application available through Access.SMU. To use the application:

  • Enter your Access.SMU user ID and password as you normally would to review your pay statement.
  • Click Benefits in the Employee Self-Service navigation on the right, then choose Benefits Enrollment to access your personalized Open Enrollment record.
  • Be sure to read all instructions carefully before making elections for 2013.

More information on vendors and plan changes will be available at SMU’s 2012 Human Resources Fair, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballrooms. Vendor representatives will be on hand to answer questions about your options.

The Department of Human Resources has scheduled a series of sessions designed to help faculty and staff members make their medical-plan decisions for 2013. RSVP online for the session of your choice, or contact the Department of Human Resources, 214-768-3311.

Consult SMU’s 2013 Benefits Guide on the web

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