A Message from President R. Gerald Turner on the Organization Design Initiative

Dear SMU Colleagues,

Through Operational Excellence for the Second Century (OE2C), we have been involved in a process to restructure administrative operations across campus to increase resources for our academic mission. Today, we will begin to implement these changes. Though we believe these decisions are necessary to ensure SMU’s long-term progress, we know this will be a challenging time for our campus community.

Driven by SMU leadership, the Organization Design Initiative was tasked to create an organization that is better positioned to invest in projects that advance the University academically. After addressing our slight structural budget deficit and one-time costs incurred by the OE2C project, annual savings identified will be reallocated from administrative functions to academic initiatives in order to fund strategic priorities.

Deans and vice presidents have reorganized their units with input from their leadership teams where appropriate. Their plans have been reviewed and approved by the OE2C Executive Committee. We have been diligent to ensure this process was objective and fair. During the next six weeks, approximately 100 employees, of more than 1,700 staff positions, will be notified that their positions are being eliminated. Over the past year, 50 additional positions became vacant through attrition or retirement and will not be filled. Your dean or vice president will notify you once all the changes have been made in your school or area.

By the end of February, the work of the Organization Design initiative will be complete. However, in the months ahead, as other OE2C initiative teams design solutions that streamline work processes, additional positions may be affected. These actions will be smaller in scope but treated with equal care.

We are grateful for the service of our community members who will be leaving us and will respect their privacy and dignity throughout their transition. Though the length of time affected employees will continue to be at SMU will vary, all staff leaving the University will receive the assistance, compensation and benefits described here. If additional questions arise, please visit If the information you are looking for is not there, please submit a comment or question through the site so we can provide more information.

As we go through this transition, I ask all staff and faculty to remain sensitive to the changes occurring and to those who are affected by them. It will take time for us individually and collectively to acclimate to these changes. I have every confidence that we will successfully navigate this time of transition as we establish new ways of working together to serve our community.


R. Gerald Turner

By Nick Rallo