SMU COVID-19 operations for 2022


Thursday, December 30, 2021

Dear SMU Community,

I hope you are enjoying a safe and healthy winter break and that the time off from studies and work is providing a much-needed respite. I want to assure you that we are continuing to monitor the current surge in cases of COVID-19 brought on by the new omicron variant. We remain in consultation with our local health officials and are updating University operations in response to the recent changes in guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As we enter a new year, COVID-19 continues to evolve and become even more of a regular part of our lives. This week, the CDC recognized this development and shortened the recommended time for isolation for asymptomatic individuals from 10 days to five days, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others. The CDC stated that this change “is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1–2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2–3 days after.”

SMU will follow these new guidelines along with the CDC’s other isolation and quarantine recommendations as we return to work on Monday, January 3, and begin Jan Term. Classes will proceed in person as scheduled for both Jan Term and spring 2022. Remember that masks are optional for everyone, but they may be required by faculty members in their instructional areas.

It is critical that you consider receiving the vaccine and the booster shot to help ease the spread and possibly lessen the symptoms of COVID-19. Also, please carefully monitor your health and stay home if you are ill. Get tested if you feel symptomatic and make sure to report it if you do contract the virus. (Information on testing, vaccinations and reporting positive cases or close contacts, as well as the new CDC isolation and quarantine guidance, can be found on the Mustang Strong website.)

I want to thank each of you for your continuing commitment to our educational mission during these extraordinary times. Our staff and faculty have worked diligently to provide a safe environment and excellent instruction for our students to thrive. While our vaccination numbers climbed and our campus cases dropped to very low levels in December, experience tells us to prepare for another surge in cases at the beginning of this semester. We have been through this cycle several times now and will rely on many of the responses that have worked for us so far while continuing to stress healthy behaviors. Please check your email and the Mustang Strong website regularly for the latest information.

I look forward to welcoming you back to the Hilltop in 2022.


R. Gerald Turner

R. Gerald Turner

SMU President

SMU pauses federal employee vaccine mandate following nationwide injunction


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Dear SMU community,

A federal judge in Georgia has entered a nationwide injunction that temporarily stops the enforcement of Executive Order (EO 14042). Consequently, SMU is pausing the requirement that all employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 18, 2022, unless and until the courts instruct otherwise.

I want to thank you for your remarkable response to our request to upload your vaccination information. So far, 92% of our full-time faculty and 88% of our staff members ­have verified that they are fully vaccinated. While students were not required to get the vaccine, we know that at least 70% are vaccinated. Many more are likely vaccinated but have yet to report it. The high vaccination rate coupled with the low number of COVID-19 cases on campus in recent weeks is reassuring as we face the latest virus variant, Omicron.

SMU recognizes the value of vaccinations in maintaining a healthy and safe campus. We encourage you to get the COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center or wherever is convenient for you. We will monitor all court cases affecting EO 14042 as they move forward and will remain prepared to comply.

Thank you for your commitment to staying Mustang Strong through the second year of this challenging pandemic. It has been a long haul, and it is not over yet. As we head into the holiday season, I wish everyone a restful, rejuvenating break and a wonderful time filled with family and loved ones.


R. Gerald Turner

R. Gerald Turner

SMU President

Tomorrow is the deadline for Moderna vaccine first dose

Dear SMU employees,

If you remain unvaccinated, tomorrow, December 7, is the last day to receive the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and still meet the federal requirement to be fully vaccinated by January 18, 2022.

You can make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment on campus at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center through the health center portal.

If you received your vaccine at an off-campus location, please make sure to upload your vaccination information today if you haven’t already. Click here for steps to check if you are unsure your immunization is listed.

If you lost your vaccine card, with your consent the University may be able to help locate and confirm your vaccine record.

More information and answers to FAQs about the federal vaccine mandate at SMU can be found on the Mustang Strong website.

Thank you.

Today is the day – upload your vaccination info if you are an SMU employee

Dear SMU employees,

Please upload your COVID-19 vaccine information by today through the secure University health center portal to provide proof of vaccination.

If you received your vaccine at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center or already uploaded your card or other proof of vaccination, no further action is needed. Click here for steps to check if you are unsure.

If you have not yet received your vaccine, time is running out to meet the federal requirement deadline. To be “fully vaccinated” by January 18, 2022, you must receive the first dose by:

  • December 7 for Moderna (two doses, four weeks apart)
  • December 14 for Pfizer/BioNTech (two doses, three weeks apart)
  • January 4 for Johnson & Johnson (single dose)

Or by December 17you can request a religious or medical accommodation as an exemption.

Although not required, booster shots are also now available on campus for anyone age 18 or older.

To receive the vaccine on campus, please make an appointment through the health center portal or by calling 214-768-2141.

Thank you.

How do I know my vaccine card/proof was successfully uploaded?

  1. Log into the Health Portal at
  2. Click Immunizations on the left hand side
  3. If you see your COVID-19 immunizations listed, you are good to go. (Example below).

If you do not see your vaccinations after following the directions above, follow these instructions.

Please note that individuals who previously uploaded an image of their card/proof may not see the photo if it has already been successfully translated to the vaccination records in the system.