Personal Conduct

It is the policy of the University that its employees maintain professional standards of conduct and appearance and that they be held accountable for these personal attributes. This applies to all full-time and part-time employees, as well as others who may be engaged in providing services to the University, such as temporary personnel, consultants and independent contractors

Public Relations:

Every employee has a public relations role. The University needs the support and understanding of the general public. The employee's actions, general conduct, and appearance have an effect on public relations. This is true on the job and off the job where the employee's name is linked to the University.

Dress and Hygiene:

There are no strict rules as to what employees may wear. They are required to use good taste in line with the position each fills at the University. Certain departments require uniforms due to the nature of their work. It should be remembered that all employees are on display each day to students and visitors to the campus.

Serious Offenses:

Although there is a degree of discretion in deciding severity and sanctions, the following represent some, but not all, activities regarded as serious offenses that warrant immediate suspension of employment, and possibly dismissal, without the usual Corrective Action (see Policy 7.24):

  1. Allowing the use of alcoholic beverages or narcotics in any way to interfere with the performance of one's work (e.g., absenteeism occasioned by such use; coming to work under the influence and/or in possession of alcoholic beverages or illegal use of narcotic substances; use of narcotics on University premises; and consumption of alcoholic beverages at any time in public areas on campus, including offices and classrooms, unless otherwise authorized). 
  2. Using profane or obscene language toward a supervisor, fellow employee, subordinate, or others.
  3. Threatening another person with physical violence or inflicting physical violence upon another.
  4. Deliberate damage to or theft of property.
  5. Submitting false information or knowingly making false certification.
  6. Embezzlement of funds or other criminal activity.
  7. Possession or use of explosives, fireworks, or incendiary devices on University property.
  8. Misuse of computing/telecommunications facilities and resources.
  9. Failure to report to the appropriate SMU office, any incident of violent or threatening behavior (as defined in SMU Policy 9.8, Violence and Threat Assessment, or, failure to report to the Title IX, or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator, any incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment which involve an individual who was an SMU employee or student at the time of the incident (pursuant to Texas Education Code, §51.251-259, as amended).

Personal Telephone Calls:

There may be times when it is necessary for employees to make or to receive personal calls when work schedules permit. Employees should exercise discretion in the number and length of personal calls so that business calls may be serviced with minimal interruption.


To maintain a productive work environment that is respectful of all employees, the University expects employees to be reliable and punctual in reporting for scheduled work. Absenteeism and tardiness place an unnecessary burden on other employees and on the University. Unapproved absences or tardiness may result in disciplinary action or termination of employment from the University.

Any employee who fails to report to work without notification to his or her supervisor for a period of three (3) consecutive days or more will be considered to have voluntarily terminated the employment relationship.