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Total Orientation Process (TOP)


Total Orientation Process for New Employees

Staff, Faculty, and Post-Doctoral Fellows

Staff, Faculty, and Post-Doctoral Fellows

The Total Orientation Process (TOP) for new employees (Staff, Faculty and Post-Doctoral Fellows) is the best way for newcomers to SMU to get to know the University and become familiar with its' many resources.

The orientation process begins with the new employee online tutorial, which provides an overview of the University's history and culture, along with summaries of the many benefits our staff and faculty enjoy. This tutorial is customized with a specific version available for staff, faculty and post-doctoral fellows. 

SMU welcomes many students, employees, and visitors to campus every day and seeks to maintain an inviting, safe, and secure environment for those working on campus or engaged in SMU-sponsored activities. To this end, new employee required training includes two online tutorials: Stop Harassment and Discrimination and Eliminate Campus Sexual Violence.  These tutorials help all our new employees understand their roles in maintaining a respectful and productive workplace. Additionally, SMU has adopted a Protection of Minors Policy to promote the well-being and safety of minors who participate in programs or activities run by or associated with SMU.  Per the policy, all employees are required to complete the training on SMU Blackboard.

For more information refer to the specific employee roles in the tabs above.


New staff members typically spend their first morning in Human Resources completing new employee and payroll paperwork, learning about benefits enrollment, obtaining an SMU identification card and parking sticker.  Additional information regarding the total orientation process is reviewed to support the employee through the 90-day probationary period and beyond.

The following on-line courses are required for all new employees (Staff, Faculty and Post-Doctoral Fellows).

New Staff Resources

For those employees who are required to report their time:


New faculty will receive information from the Provost's office and their department administration.  HR invites new faculty to attend a benefits orientation and Q&A session prior to the start of the fall semester.  New Faculty are asked to complete the elements of their within their first 90 days of employment. 

In addition, new faculty are expected to attend the Teaching Effectiveness Symposium offered in August prior to the start of the semester.  Your department will provide information regarding the date and time.

The following on-line tutorials are required for all new employees (Staff, Faculty and Post-Doctoral Fellows).

New Faculty Resources

Human Resources

Provost Office

*New faculty are expected to attend both these programs prior to the start of the year.  The Center for Teaching Excellence will provide additional information directly.

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Post-doctoral fellows complete the online tutorials, the Blackboard course, and any additional orientation required by their school.

The following on-line courses are required for all new employees (Staff, Faculty and Post-Doctoral Fellows).

New Post-Doctorate Fellow Resources

New Manager Orientation

New employees who are entering the University in a managerial position, or who are promoted to a managerial role, will also be required to complete New Manager Orientaiton within their first year.  This series of 3 required and 3 elective workshops will futher support managers in their new roles by providing an overview of University resources and processes.  You will receive an email approximately two weeks after your first day or promotion with more information and enrollment instructions.

New Manager Resources

For managers of exempt and/or non-exempt employees: