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A53: Development and Approval of Faculty Policies

Approved By: Faculty Senate 
Effective Date: January 19, 2016
Responsible Faculty Committees: Policy and Operations 
Office Responsible for Administration: Office of the University Secretary

Revisions to the Policy Rationale, Policy Statement, and Applicability sections of this document must be approved by the full Faculty Senate.

Policy Rationale

The Faculty Handbook provides University of New Mexico (UNM) faculty with a written record of faculty policies and procedures. Policies in the Faculty Handbook are unifying documents that describe academic principles, the reasoning behind the principles, and institutional procedures necessary for implementation. Faculty Handbook policies contain governing principles and procedures that mandate or constrain actions and apply to UNM faculty; therefore, the development of policies requires input from faculty members who have extensive knowledge on the subject matter and review by faculty members from a variety of academic disciplines at UNM.

Policy Statement

All UNM policies which pertain primarily to faculty and academic matters are placed in the Faculty Handbook and are subject to the review and approval requirements defined in this Policy Document, with the exception of Section B “Academic Freedom and Tenure” which follows a separate review and approval protocol. The scope of Faculty Handbook policies is established by the Faculty Constitution and the right to review and take action on these policies is granted to the faculty by UNM Board of Regents Policy 5.1 “The Faculty’s Role in the University's Academic Mission.” This policy describes the process used to develop or amend Faculty Handbook policies, solicit input, and obtain approval.

1. Proposing a New Policy or Changes to Existing Policy. Any faculty member or academic administrator wishing to propose a change to an existing Faculty Handbook policy or propose a new policy should send their request to the Office of the University Secretary, who will forward it to the Faculty Senate Policy Committee (FSPC) for consideration. This request should include a draft policy document which shows proposed changes to the existing policy with track changes, or in the case of a new policy the request will include a proposed policy draft addressing the concerns it is intended to address.  This request should also include a statement of the reason(s) for the proposed policy change(s) or the new policy.  Because faculty policy is a shared governance process, policy actions generally require one to two full semesters for appropriate review, approval, and implementation.   The FSPC will review the request and work with the appropriate Faculty Senate committee(s) to determine the most effective course of action.  The Office of University Secretary will notify the requestor of the action taken by the FSPC.

2. Approval. Proposed new faculty policy statements, in their entirety, and changes to the Policy Rationale, Policy Statement, and Applicability sections of existing policies will be posted on the Faculty Handbook website for review by UNM faculty members. The Office of the University Secretary in consultation with the Chair of the FSPC will address any comments received from faculty and will forward the final proposed draft to the Faculty Senate for approval. Due to the nature of the policy or previous approval history, specific policies will also require approval by University faculty, the UNM Board of Regents, and/or the UNM President and/or Provost or the Chancellor for Health Sciences. Proposed changes to definition, procedural, and information portions of a policy document will be reviewed by the FSPC in consultation with the responsible Faculty Senate Committee(s) listed in the Policy Heading. After review and consultation, the proposed changes can be made with approval by both the FSPC and the Faculty Senate Operations Committee.

3. Distribution and Notification of New or Amended Policy.

Upon approval, the new or amended policy will be placed on the Faculty Handbook website and announced to the campus. Deans and department chairs, or their designees, are responsible for:

  • informing their faculty members of new policies or changes to existing policies; and
  • updating all related departmental processes, procedures, and/or documents to reflect new or amended policies.

Applicability

All UNM academic faculty and administrators, including the Health Sciences Center and Branch Campuses.

Revisions to the remaining sections of this document may be amended with the approval of the Faculty Senate Policy and Operations Committee in consultation with the responsible Faculty Senate Committee listed in Policy Heading.

Definitions

Policy and Procedures are sections of each policy document.  Changes to the Policy Section require approval of the approving bodies listed in the policy heading; at a minimum this includes the Faculty Senate.  Changes to the procedures section requires approval of the Faculty Senate Policy and Operations Committees. 

Policy.  Provides the overall intention and direction of the policy and major mandated actions or constraints.

Procedures.  Provide the information and/or steps necessary for policy compliance and outlines how the policy’s requirements will be met.

To assist with implementation of the policy, standards and guidelines may be issued by the office responsible for administration of a specific policy, as identified in the heading of each policy.

Standards.  Required processes necessary for compliance with the policy document. 

Guidelines.  Recommended practices or processes designed to streamline particular processes according to a set routine or sound practice.  Guidelines allow some discretion or leeway in interpretation, implementation, or use.

Who Should Read This Policy

  • Board of Regents
  • Faculty
  • Academic staff
  • Academic deans and other executives, department chairs, directors, and managers

Related Documents

UNM Regents' Policy Manual Policy 5.1 “The Faculty’s Role in the University's Academic Mission”
Faculty Handbook Policy A50 “The Faculty’s Role in the University's Academic Mission”
Faculty Handbook Policy A51 “Faculty Constitution”
University Administrative Policies
University Catalog
Pathfinder
HSC Policy on Policies, which contains procedures specific to the HSC

Contacts

Direct any questions about this Policy to the Office of the University Secretary.

Procedures

Faculty Handbook policies are designed to ensure that policy level portions can only be changed with approval of the Faculty Senate, but also allow for a streamlined approval process for definition, procedural and information oriented sections of the policy to allow for timely updating to reflect new practices and/or information.

1.Faculty Handbook policies are composed of the following sections.

1.1 Heading. In addition to policy title and number, the heading of the policy identifies:

  • The approving bodies (i.e. Faculty Senate, Provost/Chancellor for Health Sciences, President, Board of Regents, and/or University Faculty). 
  • Responsible Faculty Senate committee(s). 
  • Office responsible for administration of the Policy.

1.2 Policy Rationale. Describes the reason for the policy, its relationship to UNM’s academic values and/or mission, and any philosophical, stewardship, legal, regulatory, or other requirements the policy aims to meet.

1.3 Policy Statement. Includes the overall intention and direction of the policy and major mandated actions or constraints. It does not include procedures, which are placed in a separate section to allow for greater flexibility when updating is necessary.

1.4 Applicability. Identifies which individuals and/or University units are subject to the policy. Some policies may apply to the entire academic community, while others may apply only to Main Campus, the Health Sciences Center, and/or Branch Campuses.

1.5 Definitions. Defines terms that have specialized or particular meaning in the policy.

1.6 Who Should Read This Policy. Lists individuals who must understand the policy in order to make decisions and/or do their jobs.

1.7 Related Documents. Lists related UNM policy documents and other UNM and external documents that provide helpful, relevant information.

1.8 Contacts. Contains information to assist faculty members in complying with the policy.

1.9 Procedures. Includes procedures necessary for policy compliance and outlines how the policy’s requirements will be met.

1.10 History. Lists dates of amendments and summary information on changes approved.

2. Approval process for Policy Level Portions of Faculty Policies. Changes to policy level portions of the policy (sections 1.2 –1.4, herein) require approval by the approving bodies listed in the policy heading. At a minimum this includes the Faculty Senate and depending on the impact of the policy, approval may also require action by the President or Provost/Chancellor for Health Sciences, Board of Regents, and/or University faculty.

3. Approval process for Definitions, Procedures, and Information Portions of Faculty Policies. Changes to definition, procedural and information portions of the policy (sections 1.5 –1.10, herein) can be made with approval by both the Faculty Senate Policy Committee (FSPC) and the Faculty Senate Operations Committee in consultation with the responsible Faculty Senate Committee(s) listed in the policy heading.

History

February 4, 2014 – Amended procedures approved by Faculty Senate Operations Committee

January 29, 2014 – Amended procedures approved by Faculty Senate Policy Committee
August 27, 2013 – Approved by the Faculty Senate
January 20, 2015 – Amended procedures section to remove AF&T and Research Policy Committees from process. 
January 19, 2015 – Amended definitions

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