This message was originally sent to SMU employees on June 25, 2020 at 10:23 AM.

As SMU students will be in class on Labor Day 2020 to accommodate revisions to the fall semester, SMU offices will remain open and staffed on Monday, Sept. 7. The University will, instead, offer its employees a floating holiday to replace the traditional Labor Day holiday.

All benefit-eligible employees hired by SMU before December 31, 2020 will be eligible for the floating holiday. Employees will be offered one day off based on their standard hours. For example, employees who work 37.5 hours per week will accrue 7.5 hours of holiday time.

The floating holiday, to be chosen by the employee with their supervisor’s approval, may be scheduled for any time between July 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021. Bi-weekly employees should report the floating holiday as FLB on timesheets and monthly employees should report the time as FLM. The time reporting code will be available for use on July 6, 2020.

The Labor Day adjustment is part of a larger modification of the fall semester designed to help lessen the spread of COVID-19 by ending in-person classes before Thanksgiving and reducing the number of students returning to campus after holiday travel. The September 7 Labor Day holiday and October 12–13 Fall Break will both be suspended and used as class instruction days.

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A new session of Speed of Trust Foundations has recently been scheduled for May 6, 2021 from 9:00 am -5:00 pm. This session will be hosted on Zoom.

Enroll via my.SMU>Employee Self Service>Learning and Development>Request Training Enrollment and use the Course Code HRSQ to submit your request.

Questions?  Email DevelopU@smu.edu.

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Professional Development Workshop – Intro to StrengthsQuest

A new session of Introduction to StengthsQuest has recently been scheduled for April 25, 2021 from 1-5:00 pm. This session will be hosted on Zoom.

Enroll via my.SMU>Employee Self Service>Learning and Development>Request Training Enrollment and use the Course Code HRSQ to submit your request.

Questions?  Email DevelopU@smu.edu.

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Updated Professional Development Workshops

Please visit our Professional Development webpage to view the most recent list of available training opportunities.

Questions may be directed to DevelopU@smu.edu




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Updated COVID-19 Awareness Course for Employees

Last May, SMU launched its COVID-19 Return to Work training program. This course provided new guidelines for current and newly-hired employees so the University could stay healthy and continue its mission amid the pandemic.

A refreshed version of the course is now available. All new employees after January 1, 2021, are asked to review this updated version if they have not completed the previous version of the course.

Employees who completed the previous version are strongly encouraged to review the updated information. To access the course, log into Canvas with your SSO credentials to access the updated course titled
Employee 2020-2021 COVID 19 Awareness.

It is through everyone’s efforts that we will remain Mustang Strong!

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Supervisor Checklist for Hiring Student Workers

With the beginning of the spring semester, it is time to confirm that your new and returning student workers are on-boarded and prepared for the rest of the academic year.

Verify Your Student Worker is Authorized to Work
Hiring managers must provide each new student worker the New Student Employment Packet and ensure he/she is authorized to work by verifying his/her Form I-9 is appropriately completed.

To make the process more seamless, HR requests that students schedule an appointment to fill out the Form I-9. The appointment can be scheduled here: Schedule an I-9 Appointment. It will request their SMU ID and anticipated start date before booking the appointment. Walk-ins are strongly discouraged due to our current social distancing protocols in the office.  

Supervisors should not assume their student worker already has a Form I-9 “on file” OR that a Form I-9 completed previously is acceptable. To confirm your student is I-9 compliant, supervisors should verify directly with HR or verify that HR has signed off that the student is I-9 compliant on his/her Student Worker Employment Checklist.

Supervisors hiring International Student Workers must follow the instructions provided by the International Scholars & Students Office (ISSS) to confirm the student’s work eligibility. The student’s ePAF start and end date must stay within the ISSS-authorized dates and scheduled work hours. Failure to do so could endanger your student worker’s ability to remain within the U.S. to complete his/her education and/or to work in the U.S. after graduation.

Complete the ePAF to Ensure Your Student Worker is Paid on Time
As employees of the University, it is essential for each student worker to be set-up correctly in the payroll system in order to receive timely pay.

  • Supervisors must initiate a new hire/rehire ePAF for each student worker as the employment offer is accepted by the student.
  • End date for ePAF: financial aid work-study student employment must end on or before by May 6, 2022. Non-financial aid work-study students must have an employment end date on or before May 20, 2022.
  • Non-Work-Study Student Worker jobs that are paid from an unrestricted source (fund 10 or 12) will require additional approval.
    -Approver for an academic area will be the financial business manager for the school or Provost’s area
    -Approver for an administrative area will be the vice president
    -Other non-work-study student worker jobs that are paid from a restricted source (fund 20 or higher) including grants/sponsored projects will continue to be routed for approvals required for the type of job/funding source
  • Work-Study Student Worker hire forms will follow the normal approval routing—regardless of funding source
    -If the student does not have work study funds as part of his/her financial aid package, the hire form will be recycled for the initiator to resubmit it as a non-work-study job; additional approval may be required. (See above)

Manage Student Worker Schedules to Remain Within Weekly Limits
The tax benefits student workers are eligible to receive are contingent on SMU limiting these recipients to no more than 20 hours of work per week. Hiring managers must ensure each student worker’s schedule abides by the 20 hour per week limitation. This applies to any student being paid under a student worker ePAF.

Training for Student Workers
Student workers are required to complete two (2) training tutorials via Everfi (SMU’s vendor for e-learning training). They are:

  • Youth Protection required under SMU’s Program for the Protection of Minors and
  • Data Security and Privacy

Data Security is a one-time assignment with no refresh required.  Youth Protection has a two (2) year refresh schedule.  If the student has not completed the training or if they are outside their refresh schedule, they will receive an email notification to their SMU email address announcing the assignments with a link to access the training. As with regular employees, students should use the SMU ID and password to log in via the single sign on portal at smu.edu/Foundry. Additional training may be assigned based on job responsibilities; for example, FERPA for those requesting access to student records or Golf Cart Safety if they will have access/use.

Those supervising student workers should manage training completion within the allocated timeframe. This may be confirmed by asking the student to provide a copy of their training summary in my.SMU or by providing a certificate that may be generated within the Everfi dashboard.

Engage Your Student Worker
Student workers are a vital resource to the University. Students should be on-boarded and orientated to work expectations similarly to the on-boarding our regular employees’ experience. Introduce your student workers to the work team, make sure they understand the role your team/department plays in achieving the University’s goals. Share dress codes and culturally specific information so they feel included. Set clear expectations for the work they will do as well as how and when to notify you when they are ill or have conflicts with their work schedule. Provide regular feedback about the work they are doing and the impact they are having. Doing so will ensure your student is engaged and providing maximum support to your team.


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SMU Vaccine Update

SMU recently received approval from the state to be a COVID-19 vaccination provider for the campus community through the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center. Plans are in place to offer the vaccine to all staff, as well as their partners and dependents as supplies become available in accordance to the guidelines set by the state of Texas.

The University has not received its initial allotment of the vaccine (Phase 1A). The first doses will be designated for campus health care workers and SMU police. More information on when the allotments will arrive on campus as well as how to register for the vaccine will be forthcoming. You may also want to check with your primary care provider, participating pharmacy, or visit the Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Locations site for additional vaccination sites and availability.

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Updated Process for Requesting SMU’s Tuition Benefit

The process to request Tuition Benefits in my.SMU for student as employee was recently updated.  Upon submission of the request by the employee, the manager will now receive an email from the my.SMU system and will have ten (10) days to approve or deny the request.

To ensure clarity around work expectations during the term, managers are strongly encouraged to have a conversation with their employee about balancing work and academic responsibilities. 

Summary of the Tuition Benefit

Under University Policy 7.11  SMU will cover the cost of tuition for up to 18 credit hours per academic year under the following guidelines:

  • Full-time, benefits-eligible employees must meet all of the standard requirements for admission to the University and be admitted to the University in a credit-bearing, degree-granting program.
  • Full-time, benefits-eligible employees are eligible for 100% tuition and a waiver of the general student fee for part-time undergraduate or graduate study.  Admission deposits, travel, materials and lab fees, or other costs of attending SMU are not covered by the benefit.
  • Tuition benefits may result in taxable income.  Employees are encouraged to seek advice concerning possible tax liabilities they may incur as a result of participation in the Tuition Benefits program.
  • No more than 18 semester hours of study for academic credit may be taken using this benefit during an academic year (fall through summer terms).
  • Supervisor approval is required in order for an employee to attend class during regular working hours.  Upon the supervisor’s approval, an alternative work schedule should be established.
  • The staff supervisor or head of the division for faculty appointments is notified of approval for each academic term of the employee’s eligibility and enrollment.
  • Staff must be employed in a position which requires at least nine (9) months of full-time service each year and must work at least 35 hours per week in order to be eligible for tuition benefit


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Holiday Caregiving Tips from Cariloop, an SMU Benefit Vendor

How to ensure your loved one’s well-being this holiday season

During this National Family Caregivers Month, we at Cariloop are particularly mindful of the upcoming holiday season. The holidays are an important time for many caregivers as you visit loved ones and realize Dad looks much weaker than the last time you saw him or Grandma’s house isn’t quite as tidy as she has always kept it for family gatherings.



Click on the graph to enlarge it.





In light of COVID, maintaining our loved ones’ safety and well-being during the holidays will be even more crucial. That’s why our Care Coaches are already discussing safety plans for family gatherings during the holidays with many of our members.

When it comes to ensuring your loved one’s well-being this holiday season, the questions listed below are important elements to consider while visiting. Especially during COVID, these tips will be crucial to ensure your loved one’s well-being is in check during these uncertain times.

While the holidays are meant to be a time of celebration, we also know bringing family together can sometimes mean bringing up conversations everyone has been avoiding. If you need to have a difficult conversation this holiday season with a loved one about their care situation, our Care Coaches have a few words of advice for you:

  • Be a compassionate listener – It can be easy to immediately begin trying to solve a problem without considering how difficult it is for your loved one to accept her evolving care needs.
  • Shift your loved one’s perspective – Instead of telling a loved one he needs to make changes for his own good, share with him how much the changes you’re proposing will help you feel more confident and less anxious about his well-being.
  • It’s okay if things get emotional – Caregiving is an emotional topic, so don’t get discouraged if your loved one gets angry or doesn’t listen to what you’re saying. It may take several conversations to really get your point through to your loved one.

Want to discuss a safety plan or looking for more advice about how to handle difficult family discussions during the holidays? Our Care Coaches are here to support you with these challenges. Connect with your very own Care Coach today at cariloop.com/smu.

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Resources for Flu Shots for SMU Employees

During the COVID-19 pandemic getting your flu shot is more important than ever, especially if you are in a high risk group. The influenza vaccine will not prevent the coronavirus, but reducing the overall burden of respiratory illnesses is vital to protect vulnerable populations at risk for severe illness, the healthcare system, and other critical infrastructure.

The higher dose flu shot for seniors is now available for SMU employees and family members at the drive-thru Urgent Care tent where COVID-19 testing is offered. Faculty and staff members and their dependents can get the regular flu vaccine and the senior flu shot for people age 65+ at Expressway Tower on SMU’s East campus.

Please schedule an appointment in advance here.  You can avoid a pre-visit medical consultation by typing in “flu shot” under the field titled: “Reason for visit.” Vaccinations are administered from the comfort of your own vehicle and a drive-in tent is available in case of inclement weather.

Free shots are also available with SMU insurance at Walgreens, Kroger, Costco, CVS and CVS-Target pharmacies.



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