University Holidays

Policy number: 7.22

Policy section: Human Resources

Revised Date: June 22, 2021

1. Policy Statement

Official University-observed holidays will be designated each fiscal year by the President of the University.

2. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide eligible employees with paid leave for designated holidays.

3. Applicability

Employees in the following categories will be paid for designated holidays:

  1. Full-time Benefits-eligible employees;
  2. Part-time Benefits-eligible employees; and
  3. Partial-year employees with benefits during their working months

4. Department Administrative Rules, Procedures, and Guidelines

The Department of Human Resources and the Payroll Department, under the purview of the Vice President-Business and Finance, have oversight and administrative responsibility for this policy. Holiday designation and religious holidays are addressed in Appendix A below. Rules and guidelines for Holiday Pay are outlined in University Policy 4.14, Holiday Pay.

5. Holiday Designation

On or about the first of every May, a memo will be sent from the Office of the President designating the dates of official SMU holidays. The holidays are designated within the academic calendar. In those instances where all holidays are not so designated in the academic calendar, the President will permit floating days or assigned dates when classes are not in session.

6. Religious Holidays

The University, as a nonsectarian institution of higher learning founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and the citizens of Dallas, recognizes and welcomes the diversity of religious traditions represented on campus. The Official Academic Calendar (responsibility of Faculty Senate) will be published for each year. An addendum to that calendar will list religious holidays (responsibility of the Provost's Office through the Chaplain's Office). University policy authorizes members of the SMU community to request alternative accommodations for required activities when observation of a religious holiday (specified in the addendum) requires an absence.

  1. Faculty must notify their department chair (or otherwise appropriate person within their department) of any such absences that will occur as a result of this policy and explain alternative accommodations that will be made for missing a class such as holding a make-up class, a guest speaker, etc.
  2. Staff must notify their supervisor not later than two weeks prior to the occurrence of any such absence that will occur as a result of this policy. The staff member may take an accrued vacation day or unpaid leave for this excused absence.

7. Questions

Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Department of Human Resources at


Revised: June 22, 2021

Adopted: March 30, 1998