Faculty Governance and Policies

Promotion and tenure


  • SMU policy manual. Section 2 is dedicated to Academic Affairs with 24 sub-sections covering topics ranging from faculty research leave to descriptions of faculty appointments.  
  • Faculty recruitment and hiring. Guidelines for recruiting and hiring faculty can be found at this site, which includes relevant procedures and forms. The Office of Faculty Success partners with the Office of Equity and Access, the deans, and the departments to recruit and retain a diverse and talented faculty community.
  • Faculty leave. A single faculty leave form is used for all leave requests, which are covered in Policy 2.3 Faculty Leave Programs and include research leave, junior faculty research leave, special research leave, leave without pay, administrative leave, and secondment leave.
  • Childbirth/parental/medical leave. Requesting childbirth, parental, or medical leave is a two-step process and follows Policy 2.14 Additional Faculty Family and Medical Leave Benefits. The first step is to notify Human Resources (contact: Anitra Walker) in line with the FMLA leave requests. The next steps follow the same process described above using the same faculty leave form.

  • Faculty transitioning into retirement. Faculty who are considering retirement should visit with HR to learn about the resources available to them as SMU employees. HR hosts many workshops, and faculty can also request individual and confidential appointments to learn more. Once faculty have made the decision to retire, they should inform their dean in writing. Faculty are honored with a Provost-hosted Retirement Party, as well as recognition at the May graduation ceremony. The FAQ here for faculty transitioning into retirement answers commonly asked questions about email, technology services, future employment as adjunct faculty, and key transition dates.  


SMU uses a number of platforms with single-sign on authentication that provides secure faculty access:

  • Annual Faculty Activity Reports. FAR’s are managed through the Digital Measures interface. Questions about requirements should be directed to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs within each School/College.
  • Interfolio. Interfolio is the system used for two main functions: search committees for faculty recruitment and promotion and tenure
  • Faculty Insight in Academic Analytics. This offers a tool for faculty development, including searching for collaborators, funding opportunities, and suggested awards and honorifics.
Aerial Photograph of SMU campus.

Promotion and Tenure

The SMU Promotion and Tenure Policies are found in Policy 2.11 Guidelines for the Award of Rank and Tenure.


  • School/college- and department-level promotion and tenure guidelines are housed within the academic units of the respective schools. Faculty can use this contact list to request the most updated version.
  • COVID-19 responses related to promotion and tenure. Two key communications were sent to faculty from the Provost to clarify the university responses to the pandemic, including an automatic one-year extension for all pre-tenure faculty, including faculty who joined in the AY 20-21:

o   COVID-19 response memo from April 20, 2020

o   COVID-19 response memo from March 17, 2021

General Faculty Meeting

General Faculty Meetings


General Faculty meetings are held each spring and fall semester.  Information about the most recent meetings are archived at the links below.



Related Areas and Useful Information

Several areas at SMU are deeply tied to the faculty governance and policies. These areas maintain websites where you can find detailed information about any of the related topics:


  • Office of Institutional Access and Equity. Some of the main areas covered include concerns and complaints on discrimination from a protected basis, employee accommodations on the basis of a disability, and a variety of trainings and workshops.
  • Office of Curricular Innovation and Policy. This office promotes curricular innovation and collaboration. It involves close collaboration with Associate Deans of the Schools and Dedman College, the SMU Abroad Office, the SMU Intersessions Office, the SMU-in-Taos Office, the Council on General Education, and the Educational Programs Committee, which is compromised of faculty.
  • Office of Student Academic Engagement and Success. This office works to make sure that SMU students are aware of the academic opportunities and support systems that operate across campus to ensure their academic success and enrich their experiences inside and outside the classroom.