Essential personnel status extended through April 30

Dear SMU Faculty and Staff, 

Following the guidance of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s latest executive order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, SMU will extend its “essential personnel only” status through April 30, allowing most of our faculty and staff to continue working remotely.

We miss seeing all of you on campus, but I am very proud of the way you have responded to the shift to remote working and teaching. Thank you to everyone for all you are doing to keep the mission of SMU front and center during this dynamic situation. It bears repeating that all of the strategic measures that we’ve taken to move classes online for the rest of the semester, support a remote working environment, and to cancel or postpone campus events have been designed to keep the SMU community healthy as we meet our academic mission.

Here are some reminders as we extend “essential personnel only” status:

  • You will be directed by your appropriate vice president or athletics director on how your unit will continue to operate.
  • All faculty and staff, whether salaried or hourly, will continue to be paid during this extension, but please make sure you report your time as you normally would.
  • Please continue to watch for emails and updates to our COVID-19 blog for other changes prompted by new guidelines or continued restrictions.

I understand that there are questions regarding continued employment and pay. I have always placed a priority on the wellbeing of SMU employees and will continue to do so through these uncertain times. As you can imagine, when the data changes daily it is hard to make definitive decisions about the future. We are modeling scenarios for a variety of outcomes to ensure the long-term health of the University. Our goal is to preserve the staff positions within our SMU community until we can return to full campus operations, recognizing that no institution, including SMU, can predict today the impact of this crisis on its future budget.

I want to thank you all for your flexibility, cooperation and resilience during this time, whether you are still working on the Hilltop or from your home. And I look forward to the day when our entire Mustang family is back together and we can bring our now too quiet campus back to life.


R. Gerald Turner President