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Exiting Process

SMU HR Resources

Exiting Process


Exiting Staff, Faculty, and Post-Doctoral Fellows have different exiting processes. Please click on the appropriate tab above for more information. If you are a manager of an exiting employee, please view the last tab for resources.

Exiting Staff 


Employees are required by policy to tell their supervisor in writing in advance of their decision to terminate. Once accepted, the termination remains unless the supervisor chooses to make alternate arrangements with the employee.

The supervisor must complete a Termination Form and submit it to the Department of Human Resources via fax or email to

An HR Benefits Representative will email the individual to arrange a time for the exit interview process. The interview will include a review of the Leaving SMU FAQ and briefly discuss any questions and/or concerns the exiting employee may have.


Termination During the Probationary Period

An individual's employment may be terminated at will if s/he is within the probationary period, typically the first 90 days of employment. The manager should email the Employee Relations Team to request termination during the probationary period.

The decision of termination and the termination itself must take place before the probationary period ends. If action is not taken before this date, the individual is considered a regular University employee and performance issues are managed through the Progressive Discipline process.

If necessary, a probationary period can be extended thus extending the evaluation process. Human Resources must be contacted in order to extend a probationary period and the employee must be informed in writing that his/her probationary period has been extended.

Terminations During an Extended Probationary Period

If the performance continues to fail to meet expectations, the individual can be terminated within the time limits of the extension. The manager should email the Employee Relations Team to request termination.
  • The supervisor must terminate the individual in person – a short explanation of reasoning to the individual is helpful.
  • The supervisor must then complete a termination form and send it to Human Resources.
If the individual has been with the University for ANY TIME LONGER than the probationary period, a different procedure must be followed.

Termination After the Probationary Period

Immediate termination may only take place per University policy for actions that threaten or endanger others or for the commitment of a punishable crime.

If the employee is not meeting performance expectations, then the Progressive Discipline process must be implemented with assistance from Human Resources.

The only exception to this rule is in the case of an employee who is absent from work for three consecutive days and has failed to contact anyone in his/her work area to communicate this absence. After good faith attempts to reach the absent individual have been exhausted, the individual can be immediately terminated from the University and should receive a written notice from Human Resources of their termination.

In all involuntary terminations, Human Resources must be informed.

Exiting Faculty 

The faculty member should submit a letter of resignation to the appropriate supervisor, who should then notify the Dean's office and the financial officer. The Financial Officer must complete the Faculty Termination Process via

If the faculty member has any immediate benefits-related questions, he/she should call the Department of Human Resources at 214-768-3311 or email questions to

All SMU property (e.g. ID cards, keys, computers, mobile phone, etc.) must be returned to the department chair or designee for that school.

Exiting Post-Doctoral Fellows

Coming soon.

Resources for Managers with Exiting Employees

Managers should inform the Department of Human Resources of any expected terminations as soon as possible. The University seeks to consistently apply its policies, procedures and practices during the termination process. The Department of Human Resources can assist you during the process and establish a smooth off-boarding experience whenever possible.

Staff and faculty have slight differences in their exiting processes, as do voluntary and involuntary exits, so please use the links to the right in preparation for a termination of employment in your area. Because the termination form is the primary document that serves as the start of the termination process, it is imperative that the form be completed as soon as possible and forwarded to the Department of Human Resources.