SMU seeks full participation in Protection of Minors program

policy

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 courses.smu.edu 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

April 17, 2013|News, Save the Date|

A community commitment to health and safety

Dallas HallSMU is committed to providing an educational environment that supports students’ health and well-being while they pursue their academic and personal goals.

The Live Responsibly Health and Safety website contains important information about SMU policies, procedures and resources that foster a secure environment that is free of misconduct and that upholds our community’s shared values and standards of behavior.

On the site, you will find information about substance abuse and sexual misconduct, which are serious issues at universities and colleges across the country. At SMU, a permanent Presidential Commission on Substance Abuse Prevention meets regularly to assess the University’s efforts and outcomes. The Commission’s 2011-12 report and previous reports are available on the website.

In addition, President R. Gerald Turner this fall established the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures, which is examining SMU’s programs in comparison with benchmark practices to determine if changes are needed, taking into account state and federal laws. Colleges and universities nationwide are reviewing their procedures for handling allegations of sexual misconduct in light of new guidelines issued by the federal government under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX requires universities and colleges to investigate reports of sexual assault and to provide internal grievance procedures.

More information about the Task Force and Title IX is on the website, as well as information about getting help in case of a sexual assault; reporting an assault to police, campus officials and confidential counselors; pursuing criminal charges and the University conduct review process; and campus and community resources that provide support and education. Because these are important, sensitive and complex issues, all community members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these policies, procedures and resources.

November 12, 2012|News|

SMU establishes new policies, procedures on workplace violence

(Originally published Aug. 13, 2010.)

Stock photo of business people in an escalating argumentNo campus is immune from the possibility of violence by one community member against another. This summer, SMU has taken steps to ensure that all faculty and staff members have easy access to University resources when harassment, intimidation and other hostile acts are committed or threatened in the workplace.

“For some time now, we have been interested in getting a formal workplace-violence policy and program in place,” says Jeff Strese, SMU Director of Human Resources. The departments responsible for preventing and reacting to risk have been working together for years, he says. Human Resources, Legal Affairs, the SMU Police Department, Institutional Access and Equity, and Risk Management meet regularly to deal with high-risk issues and involve one another as appropriate.

Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Business Services Bill Detwiler and Vice President for Legal Affairs Paul Ward spearheaded the effort to improve connection and communication among these areas. “This is an opportunity to better deploy the resources that already exist,” Strese says. “It creates an umbrella for the whole University that allows our offices to work together to respond to or mitigate any risk.”

Campuses across the country have begun to focus on raising awareness of workplace violence during the past year, Strese adds. The issue came to national attention in February 2010, when a University of Alabama-Huntsville professor who had been denied tenure shot six colleagues in a departmental staff meeting, killing three.

“When you look at case studies of campus violence, you find that in every single one of them there was previous knowledge and concern,” Strese says. “We intend to streamline the information-gathering process so that intervention can occur earlier in situations where there is an emerging threat or risk, whether it comes from inside or outside this community.”

SMU’s program includes a new policy on workplace violence, added to the University Policy Manual in August. Policy No. 10.12 in the Public Safety section includes clear descriptions of prohibited behaviors, as well as procedures for reporting violence and threats of violence from an SMU community member or visitor.

A new website, smu.edu/workplaceviolence, provides e-mail and telephone contacts for reporting concerns securely and confidentially. It also serves as a clearinghouse for information on policy and procedure.

In addition, the University has established a Workplace Violence Assessment Team, which includes representatives from the offices of the Provost, Risk Management, Legal Affairs and Human Resources. The team will meet as needed to review individual cases and recommend appropriate responses in accordance with University policies. Other staff or faculty members, or both, may be invited to join on a case-by-case basis.

The new program “is not intended to supersede any existing policies or processes, such as those coordinated by the Office of Student Life or the Ethics and Tenure Committee,” says Anita Ingram, SMU Executive Director of Risk Management. The Workplace Violence Assessment Team will review each case it receives to determine if it should be referred to the appropriate area, she says.

> Learn more at smu.edu/workplaceviolence
> Find SMU’s University Policy Manual online

August 17, 2010|News|

Winter weather: What to do

WInterWeather-thumb.jpgIt’s the time of year when weather conditions may cause schools and businesses to close – and even when it’s unseasonably warm, Texas weather can change in an instant.

When conditions warrant closing or delays, the University has procedures in place to ensure that students, faculty and staff know where to go for information:

  • If a decision is made to close or delay, an e-mail message will be sent to all students, faculty and staff.
  • Closing announcements may be obtained by calling 214-SMU-INFO (214-768-4636).
  • Closing announcements will be posted on the SMU website and via SMU’s Twitter feed at twitter.com/smu.
  • SMU News will contact the news media.

Learn more at the University’s Inclement Weather Policy page.

February 10, 2010|News|
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