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Office of the University Secretary

MSC05 3340
Scholes Hall, 103
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-4664
handbook@unm.edu

A51: Faculty Constitution

University of New Mexico Seal

Policy

Article I. The University Faculty

Sec. 1(a) Membership: The University Faculty shall consist of the Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, Lecturers, and Instructors, including part-time and temporary appointees. The President of the University, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs, Vice President for Research, Vice President for Business and Finance, Associate Vice President for Computer and Information Resources and Technology, Director of the Medical Center, Deans of Colleges and Schools, Dean of Graduate Studies, Dean of Students, Dean of the University College, Dean of Admissions and Records, Registrar, Dean of Continuing Education and Community Services, Director of the Center for Graduate and Upper Division Programs Studies at Los Alamos, Director of the Center for Graduate Studies at Santa Fe, Dean of Library Services, Commanding Officers of the ROTC Units, and the Secretary of the University shall be ex-officio members of the Faculty whether or not they are actively engaged in teaching.

(b) Voting Faculty: Members of the University who are eligible to vote shall include all full-time members of the University Faculty holding professorial rank (instructors, assistant professors, associate professors, and professors) or lectureships. No person holding an interim or temporary appointment on the teaching staff shall be a member of the Voting Faculty unless he or she be a member ex officio or on an initial term appointment. The ex officio members of the University Faculty as listed in Sec.1(a) shall be ex officio members of the Voting Faculty.

(c) Questions of eligibility for voting which may arise shall be settled by the presiding officer of the Faculty. Any appeal from the decision should be taken to the Voting Faculty. The officers shall prepare at the beginning of each academic year the official list of the membership of the Faculty and of the Voting Faculty as defined above.

Sec. 2 Responsibilities: The University Faculty shall have the right of review and action in regard to the following: (1) formulation of institutional aims; (2) creation of new colleges, schools, and departments and divisions; (3) major curricular changes and other matters which in the opinion of the President of the University or his delegate affect the institution as a whole; (4) requirements for admission and graduation and for honors and scholastic performance in general; (5) approval of candidates for degrees; (6) policies of appointment, dismissal, and promotion in academic rank; (7) research; and (8) general faculty welfare. However, actions taken by the University Faculty shall be subject to the authority of the Regents in matters involving finance, personnel, and general University policy.

Sec. 3 Organization: The President of the University or in his absence the Vice President for Academic Affairs, shall be the presiding officer of the University Faculty. The Secretary of the University shall be the secretary of the faculty.

Sec. 4(a) Procedure: The University Faculty shall conduct business according to Robert's Rules of Order, except as modified by Faculty vote.

(b) The agenda for University Faculty meetings shall be prepared by the University Secretary under the direction of the Committee on Governance. The proceedings of each meeting shall be recorded on tape. Every member of the University Faculty shall receive a summary of the minutes, and the tapes shall be kept on file in the Secretary's office for reference by any member.

Sec. 5(a) Meetings: Special meetings of the University Faculty may be called (1) by the presiding officer at his or her discretion, (2) by the Committee on Governance, (3) by no fewer than five percent (5%) of the Voting Faculty on active duty at the beginning of the academic year whenever a request is made in writing, or (4) by a majority vote of any college faculty.

(b) Those members of the Voting Faculty present, but no fewer than ten percent of the Voting Faculty on active duty at the beginning of the academic year, shall constitute a quorum for business at a faculty meeting. Members not on active duty may, however, attend meetings and vote. Voting shall be by a simple majority of those present, except on procedural matters, which shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order, and on amendments to this Constitution, which shall be voted upon in the manner prescribed in Article IV, Sec. 2. (On April 8, 1975, the Faculty approved a proposal that members of the Voting Faculty not on active duty i.e., those on leave be permitted to vote on any issue submitted to the Faculty in a mail ballot.)

(c) A committee of five voting members of the general faculty to be known as the Committee on Governance who are not members of the Faculty Senate shall be nominated and elected by mail ballot for overlapping three-year terms. Duties of this committee are to prepare, in conjunction with the Secretary of the University, the agenda of faculty meetings; to oversee elections, including referenda; to recommend adjustments, improvements and refinements in the faculty organizational structure; to represent the general faculty to the Senate; and to call meetings of the general faculty when necessary. The committee shall annually elect a chair.

NOTE: The following standing rules have been approved by the Faculty: (1) May 20, 1969: "Meetings of the University Faculty shall normally be scheduled for two hours. If the agenda of a particular meeting is not concluded within two hours, a motion to adjourn shall include provision for a subsequent meeting. Alternatively, a two-thirds vote of those present could extend the meeting for another thirty minutes." (2) October 27, 1970: "Discussion and debate of any item on the agenda shall be limited to forty-five minutes unless an extension of that time is approved by majority vote. No person may speak more than twice on any item, nor longer than five minutes at either time. The presiding officer will adjudge specific applications of this standing rule." (3) September 9, 1975:"Photography is permitted at faculty meetings, utilizing existing light only." (4) October 14, 1975: "Qualified members of the press are admitted to faculty meetings."

Sec. 6(a) Faculty Senate: There is created the Faculty Senate to which the responsibilities of the University Faculty set forth in Sec. 2 are hereby delegated, with the specific exceptions of (1) the responsibility of approving changes in the constitution, (2) the responsibilities assigned by Sec. 7(a) to the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, and (3) the right of the Faculty to hold special meetings as described in Sec. 8. All actions under this delegation are subject to the rights of review and referendum reserved to the University Faculty by Sec. 6(h).

(b) The Faculty Senate shall be composed as follows:

(i) There shall be one senator for each thirty full-time faculty members or major fraction thereof from each school, college, and/or the University Libraries or branch with a full-time academic faculty, elected by the members of that faculty. For purposes of calculating the number of full-time faculty members the actual number of full-time contracted faculty shall be used. Budgeted positions not filled and part-time faculty will not be counted. No school, college, and/or the University Libraries or branch with a full-time academic faculty shall have less than one senator.

(ii) A full-time faculty member holding appointments in more than one school or college and/or the University Libraries shall select his constituent school or college and/or the University Libraries for purposes of representation in and election to the Faculty Senate by filing a written notice of such selection with the Secretary of the University no later than the first day of the spring semester of each election year.

(iii) There shall be two senators elected by the non-school or college,and/or the University Libraries academic units which have full-time faculty.

(iv) There shall be eight senators elected at large.

(v) All vice presidents and associate vice presidents of the university and all deans of schools and colleges, and/or the University Libraries and directors from branch colleges shall be ex-officio, non-voting members of the Faculty Senate.

(vi) The President of the University, the Secretary of the University, and the Presidents of the Associated Students (ASUNM) and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) shall be ex-officio members of the Faculty Senate without vote.

(c) Eligibility, nominations and elections:

(i) All members of the Voting Faculty as identified in Article 1, Sec. I(b), with the exception of ex-officio members, shall be eligible for election as voting members of the Faculty Senate, except that vice presidents of the University and all deans of schools and colleges and/or the University Libraries shall not be elected to voting membership.

(ii) Procedures for the nomination of individuals eligible for election to the Faculty Senate under the provisions of Sec. 6(b)(i) and Sec. 6(c)(i) above shall be determined by the faculty members of each school or college and/or the University Libraries which procedures and any subsequent changes therein shall be filed in writing with the Secretary of the University; provided, however, that academic deans and vice presidents shall not be eligible. Elections of school and college, and/or the University Libraries senators shall be accomplished and the certified results shall be filed with the Secretary of the University no later than the last working day of the sixth (6th) week of the spring semester as it appears in the official calendar of the University.

(iii) Procedures for the nomination of individuals eligible for election to the Faculty Senate under the provisions of Sec. 6(b)(iii) and Sec. 6(c)(i) shall be determined by faculty members of non school or college academic units. The procedures and any subsequent changes therein shall be filed in writing with the Secretary of the University. Elections of non-school or college academic units shall be accomplished and the certified results shall be filed with the Secretary of the University no later than the last working day of the sixth (6th) week of the spring semester as it appears in the official calendar of the University.

(iv) Nominations of individuals consenting to stand for election to the Faculty Senate under the provisions of Sec. 6(b)(iv) above shall be made by written petition signed by at least five members of the Voting Faculty and submitted to the Secretary of the University no later than the last working day of the ninth (9th) week of the spring semester as it appears in the official calendar of the University. Academic deans, vice presidents, and other ex-officio members of the Voting Faculty shall not be eligible for nomination.

(v) Elections of half the members of the Faculty Senate shall be held annually in the spring semester of the academic year. Balloting by the Voting Faculty for those members of the Faculty Senate to be elected at large shall be conducted by mail, and no ballot shall be valid that is not received by the Secretary of the University by the close of the tenth (l0th) working day following the official date upon which ballots are mailed to members of the Voting Faculty by the Secretary of the University, which date shall appear on the ballot.

(vi) The Secretary shall notify all Faculty in writing of the results of the election of senators from all schools, colleges and/or University Libraries within five (5) working days of the deadline specified in 6(c)(ii). Final election results shall be reported by the Secretary of the University in writing to each member of the Voting Faculty prior to the last day of the spring semester as it appears in the official calendar of the University.

(vii) Voting members of the Faculty Senate shall be elected for terms of two years or until their successors are named, and shall take office on July 1 of the same year of their election. In order to allow for the implementation of staggered terms, in the elections of 1989, half the senators elected at large shall serve two-year terms and the other half shall serve one-year terms. Those receiving higher vote totals shall serve two-year terms, and those with lower vote totals shall serve one-year terms. Commencing in 1990 all elections shall be for two-year terms. No one shall serve more than four consecutive years as a voting member. Before regaining eligibility as a member, an interim of at least one year must elapse.

(viii) Schools, colleges and/or University Libraries shall provide their own procedures for filling vacancies in their delegations, which procedures and any subsequent changes in them shall be filed in writing with the Secretary of the University. When the positions of Senator-at-Large become vacant for any reason, the Committee on Governance shall make arrangements with the Secretary of the University for holding special elections to fill such vacancies.

(ix) Schools and colleges and/or the University Libraries and faculty from non-school or college academic units shall provide their own procedures for filling vacancies in their delegations, which procedures and any subsequent changes in them shall be filed in writing with the Secretary of the University.

(d) Organization and Procedures: The members of the Faculty Senate shall determine how the Senate shall be organized and what procedures shall be established to carry out the responsibilities delegated to it by Sec. 6(a) above; provided, however, that the presiding officer(s) of the Senate shall be elected by the voting membership from among their number, and provided that the Secretary of the University shall serve as the secretary of the Senate.

(e) Meetings: The Faculty Senate shall meet no less frequently than once per month during the regular sessions of the academic year exclusive of the summer session. Members of the University Faculty may observe the proceedings in a space provided for them. Individual faculty members may address the Senate by prior written request to the presiding officer or at the request of any senator. The Senate may provide reasonable limitations as deemed necessary.

(f) Attendance at Meetings: The Faculty Senate shall establish reasonable requirements for attendance at regularly scheduled meetings of the Senate and shall remove from office any member failing to meet those requirements.

(g) Committees: All standing committees of the University Faculty excepting the Faculty Policy Committee which is hereby expressly abolished and the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee which is expressly preserved in Secs. 7(a) and (b) below, shall become committees of the Senate and responsible to it. In order to discharge the responsibilities delegated to it by this Constitution, the Faculty Senate is empowered to create, abolish, merge, or otherwise redefine functions of standing committees of the Faculty Senate, except the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee. Each standing committee under the jurisdiction of the Faculty Senate as provided for in this subsection shall have at least one senator as member. Any member of the University Faculty is eligible for membership on standing or special committees. No member shall serve on more than two standing committees at a time.

(h) Review and Referendum: The University Faculty reserves the right of review over actions of the Faculty Senate in that the Senate is the agent of the University Faculty and exercises all authority by way of delegation. All actions of the Faculty Senate shall be reported in writing to the Voting Faculty regularly and within ten (10) working days of such action. Additionally, the approved minutes of the Faculty Senate shall be distributed to the University Faculty within three working days after the meeting at which they are approved.

(i) All actions taken and so reported shall be subject to review and reconsideration by the University Faculty upon written petition made to the President of the University by not less than five percent (5%) of the members of the Voting Faculty, provided such petition is received by the President no later than one month after the Senate action is taken. Senate action shall become effective after one month unless the President receives a valid petition within this period.

(ii) The President shall convoke the University Faculty within ten (10) working days following receipt of a valid petition. The agenda of such a faculty meeting shall be limited to debate on the petitioned matter(s) and the faculty may vote to have the Faculty Senate reconsider the action(s) involved, which reconsideration must be undertaken no later than the next regular meeting of the Faculty Senate.

(iii) If the Faculty Senate reaffirms the questioned and referred action(s), the question shall then be submitted to the entire Voting Faculty by mail referendum within ten (10) working days of the Faculty Senate's action of reaffirmation. If fifty percent (50%) of the Voting Faculty cast ballots, and if a simple majority of those voting disapprove of the Senate's action(s), the Senate shall be overruled. Ballots to be valid must be received by the Secretary of the University within ten (10) working days from the official date upon which the ballots were mailed.

Sec. 7(a) There shall be an Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee to discharge the functions assigned to it under the provisions of the Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure; from time to time to review the policy and recommend appropriate changes in it; to hear appeals regarding sabbatical leave applications; and to make recommendations for appropriate changes in the sabbatical leave policy of the University.

(b) The membership of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee shall be composed and elected as follows: thirteen members, all of whom shall be members of the Voting Faculty, with tenure (or whose tenure decision date has passed without adverse notification). Not more than one member of any department shall serve as a member on the committee at the same time. The Voting Faculty shall make nominations by mail addressed to the University Secretary. Election shall be by a mail ballot, accompanied by biographical sketches of the nominees, distributed by the Secretary to all members of the Voting Faculty who shall then indicate their choices up to a maximum of six in even-numbered years or of seven in odd-numbered years. The six nominees in even-numbered years or the seven nominees in odd-numbered years receiving the highest number of votes shall become members of the committee for a two-year term commencing at the start of the academic year following election. The remaining nominees shall be called on to serve, in order of the votes they have received, as replacements to complete the terms of any members of the committee who shall resign from the committee during the academic year following the election. No committee member shall serve more than two consecutive two-year terms. chairperson elected by committee. For a complete statement of the composition, functions, and duties of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, see Section 21 of the Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

Sec. 8 By written petition to the President of (5%) of the Voting Faculty, issues not raised by the Faculty Senate may be placed on the agenda of a special faculty meeting, debated, and submitted to a written ballot of the Voting Faculty for majority decision.

Article II. College and Departmental Organization

Sec. 1 College Responsibilities: The Faculty of each College, School shall be an autonomous unit in all matters relating to that particular College, School subject to review under the powers set forth in Article I, Section 2.

Sec. 2 Membership: Faculty membership in a college or department shall be as defined in Article I, Section 1(a) for membership on the University Faculty. For college and departmental voting purposes, such membership shall normally be as defined in Article I, Section 1(b). Those faculty members of a college or department whose eligibility to vote is defined in Article I, Section 1(b) may, upon formal motion and majority approval, establish a general policy extending voting privileges in that college or department to those - i.e., faculty members - holding temporary or part-time appointments in that college or department. Formal notification of such action shall be made to the Secretary of the University. Persons described in Article I, Section 1(a) and 1(b) as ex-officio members of the Faculty shall have voting privileges only in the colleges and departments in which they hold academic rank.

Sec. 3(a) Procedure: The Faculty of each College shall decide upon the procedure for the efficient functioning of the College.

(b) Regular meetings shall be held at intervals agreed upon by the College Faculty. Special meetings shall be called at the discretion of the presiding officer or whenever a request in writing is made by ten members of the College Faculty, or by a majority from a Faculty of fewer than twenty members.

Sec. 4(a) Departments: The Faculty of each Department shall, with the advice and consent of the Dean of the College, decide upon the organization and procedure for the efficient functioning of the Department.

(b) Meetings shall be called at the discretion of the presiding officer or whenever a request in writing is made by ten percent of the departmental faculty.

Article III. The Administration

Sec. 1 The President: The President of the University shall be the principal officer of the University and with the assistance of his administrative officers shall carry out the measures enacted by the Voting Faculty within the scope of its responsibilities, and shall perform those duties assigned by the Regents.

Sec. 2 Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents: The Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents shall perform such duties as the President may from time to time assign.

Sec. 3(a) Deans of Colleges and Schools: The appointment of Deans of Colleges shall be recommended to the Regents by the President after appropriate consultation with all Department Heads of the Colleges concerned, University Officers, and other interested persons. The appointment of the Dean of Graduate Studies shall be recommended to the Regents by the President after appropriate consultation with the Senate Committee on Graduate Programs and Standards, University Officers, and other interested persons.

(b) The Dean shall be the principal officer of the College or School and shall act as executive officer and representative of the College Faculty. With regard to educational policy, the dean shall prepare plans for consideration of the Faculty, shall carry into effect those plans which it adopts and shall perform such other duties as fall within the scope of the office.

(c) The Dean shall be the presiding officer at meetings of the College Faculty. In case of absence or inability to preside, a substitute shall be designated.

Sec. 4 Other Administrative Officers: The appointment of administrative deans (Dean of Students) and other chief administrative officers shall be recommended to the Regents by the President. They shall perform such duties as properly pertain to their offices.

Article IV. General

Sec. 1 Adoption of Constitution: This Constitution shall be effective when approved by a two-thirds vote of the University Faculty present and voting and ratified by the Regents.

Sec. 2 Amendments: This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those Voting Faculty members responding to a mail ballot after presentation twice to the Faculty for debate in meetings at least four weeks apart and subsequent ratification by the Regents.

Sec. 3 Distribution: The Secretary of the University shall keep on file a copy of this Constitution and the Bylaws as amended from time to time, and shall distribute copies to all members of the Faculty by publication in the Faculty Handbook or otherwise.

Approved by the University Faculty
April 11, 1949
Ratified by the Regents
May 14, 1949
Amended in 1957, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1985