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F90: Academic Freedom, Tenure, Appointment and Grievance Procedures

Policy

The principles upon which the University's present Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure is based shall apply to the branch colleges as well as to the main campus in Albuquerque. In the implementation of this policy at the branch colleges, however, it will be necessary to use some slightly different criteria for the achievement of academic tenure.

A. As at the main campus, types of appointment at the branches may include three-year term appointments, probationary appointments, and appointments with tenure; and the basic terms of such appointments, with the specific provisions for review, as described in the Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure (Sections 2, 3, 4, and 5), shall be observed. Because of the differences and changing nature of instructional requirements at the branches, however, some faculty will be appointed on a year-to-year or semester-to-semester basis as part-time or full-time lecturers, with no presumption of tenure.

B. As on the main campus, the standard ranks for term, probationary, and tenured appointments are Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. However, due to differing professional requirements in the vocational-technical areas, branches may also use the following series of ranks for these areas: Technical Instructor I, Technical Instructor II, Technical Instructor III, and Technical Instructor IV. Faculty in this sequence of ranks shall be evaluated for tenure and promotion by the same procedures (see paragraph E below) applied to those in the traditional ranks.

C. Probationary appointments made at a branch college shall lead toward academic tenure in a particular academic discipline at that branch only. While transfers of faculty among branches and main campus may be desirable in some cases, tenure and tenure-track appointments are not meant to be interchangeable.

D. The four bases (teaching; scholarship, research, or other creative work; service; and personal characteristics) for appointment, promotion, and tenure used on the main campus shall apply also at the branch campuses. The University recognizes, however, that conditions of employment, such as heavy teaching loads, travel requirements, budget limitations, and a lack of research facilities may require that the implementation of traditional requirements and criteria of research and publication used on main campus need to be applied differently. While emphasis shall be placed on academic qualifications and excellence in teaching and service, research, and publications will still be considered.

E. In making recommendations concerning tenure for a faculty member at a branch college, the Branch Executive Director shall first consult for a recommendation with all tenured faculty at the branch, and in making recommendations concerning promotion, the Branch Executive Director shall consult with all faculty at the rank for which promotion is being considered and at any higher rank. The Branch Executive Director may also consult for a recommendation with full-time non-tenured faculty at the branch and with appropriate faculty from the main campus or other branches. The Branch Executive Director's recommendation, accompanied by a full, written evaluation report including at least a summary of the evaluations of all faculty members consulted, shall then be made directly to the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. A recommendation shall then be made by the Associate Provost to the Provost-Vice President for Academic Affairs, who shall make the final decision.

F. If the Branch Executive Director makes a negative recommendation concerning tenure or promotion, or in the case of promotion makes no recommendation, an aggrieved faculty member has the right of appeal to the Branch Executive Director, Associate Provost and the Provost-Vice President for Academic Affairs. If this appeal is denied and the faculty member thinks that academic freedom has been violated, appeal then should be directed to the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, according to the procedure for adjudication prescribed in Sections 4-6 of the Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

G. The faculty of each branch college shall establish a grievance committee to hear grievances connected with issues of academic freedom. The size and composition of this committee shall be determined by the faculty, part-time plus full time. Grievances of any faculty, part-time or full-time, must first be presented to this committee, which shall conduct an inquiry and make a recommendation to the Branch Executive Director. If this recommendation is not satisfactory to the faculty member or if the Branch Director does not accept and implement it, the faculty member may then appeal to the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and the Provost-Vice President for Academic Affairs. If still not satisfied at these levels, the faculty member then may request a hearing with the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, as prescribed in Section 6 of the Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

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