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B3: Faculty Appointments and Contracts

University of New Mexico Seal

Policy

(*Approved by Regents December 8, 1998)
(**Approved by Faculty December 7, 1998)

SECTION 3: FACULTY APPOINTMENTS AND CONTRACTS

3.1 TYPES OF FACULTY APPOINTMENTS
(a) Faculty appointments may be probationary, tenured, continuing non-tenure-track, or temporary. Prior to awarding of tenure, tenure-track faculty appointments are probationary appointments; following the award of tenure, such appointments are tenured. All faculty members holding probationary appointments at the rank of assistant professor or above are eligible for consideration for tenure. (For a definition and discussion of tenure, see Sec. 4.7.1 and Appendix I.) Non-tenure-track appointments do not lead to tenure. However, the presumption with continuing non-tenure-track appointments is that they will be continued if the faculty member is not duly notified to the contrary. Non-tenure-track appointments where there is not a presumption of continuation are temporary.

(b) The precise terms and conditions of every new appointment to the faculty shall be stated in writing and given to the faculty member before the appointment is made. A copy of this Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure shall also be given to the faculty member before appointment of the individual.

3.2 PROBATIONARY APPOINTMENTS
(a) The probationary period is the time during which an individual’s fitness for tenure is under consideration. Probationary appointments are given only to individuals who are believed to have potential to achieve tenure in the appointing department. Only time spent in a faculty rank in a tenure-track position shall be considered as probationary employment leading to tenure. A mid-probationary review of a faculty member’s progress toward tenure will be conducted as provided in this Policy.

(b) Probationary faculty members serve on one-year faculty contracts, following the procedures specified in this Policy.

(c) Notification of the decision of the Provost/VPHS to discontinue a probationary faculty member must be given to the faculty member by March 31 of the first year of appointment, Dec. 15 of the second year of appointment, and June 30 of the third and subsequent years of appointment. Probationary members notified in their third or subsequent years of their discontinuation are offered a one-year terminal contract.

3.2.1 Full-time Faculty
(a) When initial probationary appointments are made at the assistant professor level, the new assistant professor shall normally be appointed on year-to-year contracts on the assumption of a probationary period no longer than six full academic or fiscal years with a mid-probationary review in the third year. When initial probationary appointments are made at the associate professor level, the maximum probationary period is four years and when initial probationary appointments are made at the professor level, the maximum probationary period is three years. For initial appointments commencing after Dec. 31, the remainder of that academic or fiscal year is not included in determining the length of the probationary period.

(b) By written agreement between the appointee and the chair of the department and with the approval of the dean and the Provost/VPHS, the probationary period may be reduced below these maximum periods. When the probationary period is reduced below the maximum periods by agreement, the agreement will identify specific times for the mid-probationary and tenure reviews. If the probationary period is established to be two years or less, there shall be no mid-probationary review. The duration of the probationary period will not be extended beyond six full academic or fiscal years. However, if a faculty member goes on leave of absence without pay, family leave or paid medical leave for a semester or more during a year of probationary service, the probationary period will normally, upon timely request of the probationary faculty member, be suspended for the duration of the leave, and subsequent mid-probationary and tenure reviews will be one full year later. A faculty member shall be reviewed for tenure only once.

3.2.2 Part-time Faculty
(a) Part-time probationary appointments are made in exceptional cases and such appointments may be made only with the approval of the department, the dean, and the Provost/VPHS. If approval is granted, an agreement will be drawn up and signed by the faculty member, the department chair, the dean, and the Provost/VPHS stating that the individual is working toward tenure in a part-time faculty position. Part-time probationary appointments may be made for positions that are less than 1.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) but not less than one-half (0.5) FTE. At the time of appointment to any part-time probationary position, the appointee and the University must reach an understanding that clearly defines the terms of the appointment.

(b) The performance expectations for a faculty member on a part-time probationary appointment will be the same as those set forth for faculty holding full-time probationary appointments, but the probationary period shall be longer. The probationary period shall be pro-rated based upon the fraction of full-time equivalent and rounded-up one year for fractional-year calculations. A part-time probationary faculty member appointed as an assistant professor may, by agreement upon appointment, serve up to a maximum of 12 years in probationary status. A part-time probationary faculty member appointed at the senior ranks (associate professor and professor levels) may, by agreement upon appointment, serve up to a maximum of 8 years in probationary status if initially appointed to the rank of associate professor, and serve up to a maximum of 6 years in probationary status if initially appointed to the rank of professor. When a part-time probationary faculty member is awarded tenure, there is no presumption that the faculty member will ever be placed on full-time status at the University.

(c) A part-time probationary faculty member may move to a full-time probationary position and a full-time probationary faculty member may move to a part-time position, with appropriate adjustments of the probationary period and expectations, only with the approval of the faculty member, the department, the dean, and the Provost/VPHS.

(d) Part-time probationary faculty and tenured faculty with part-time appointments shall be considered regular members of the voting faculty of the department, the college/school, and the University. Part-time probationary faculty shall be subject to the performance reviews and procedures specified in this Policy for full-time probationary faculty.

(e) Tenured faculty with part-time appointments are eligible for sabbatical leave. Such leave benefits may be earned on the same timetable as those for full-time faculty members, but the sabbatical salary shall be proportionately reduced.

3.2.3 Appointments in Two or More Units
(a) Appointments in which the services of a full-time faculty member are shared by two or more academic units or colleges are not only possible but encouraged when they benefit the University. A joint appointment must:

  1. not total more than 1.0 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) and
  2. be approved, in writing, by the faculty member, all the departments and colleges involved and the Provost/VPHS.

(b) Before a faculty member receives a joint appointment, the appropriate academic units must jointly specify in writing, and secure written administrative approval for, all conditions of the appointment. The resulting agreement shall address matters such as probationary period, criteria for tenure and promotion and procedures for recommending salary increases and reappointment or non-reappointment, promotion and tenure. The agreement shall specify the academic unit that shall have primary responsibility for promotion and tenure. Any such agreement shall conform to the provisions of this Policy pertaining to promotion and tenure.

3.2.4 Appointments with Administrative Duties or Other Special Assignments
It is not expected that probationary faculty members will assume significant administrative duties. However, in a case in which administrative or other specific assignments limit the probationary faculty member’s involvement in some major area of faculty responsibility (Sec. 1.2 (b)), a written understanding to this effect shall be made by the department, with the consent of a majority of the tenured faculty of the department, and approved by the dean and the Provost/VPHS at the time the assignment is made. The resulting agreement shall address matters such as probationary period, criteria for tenure and promotion, and procedures for recommending salary increases and reappointment or non-reappointment, promotion and tenure. Any such agreement shall conform to the provisions of this Policy pertaining to promotion and tenure. Copies of the agreement shall be filed with the Provost/VPHS and with the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (the Committee). The Committee shall review the agreement for conformity to Faculty Handbook policies. Similarly, if an administrator is given academic rank at any time following the initial appointment, these requirements will apply. The policies of this section do not apply to library faculty whose teaching responsibilities may be defined to include administrative duties (see Sec. 1.2.1 (a)).

3.3 TENURED APPOINTMENTS

3.3.1 Appointments with Tenure
An initial appointment with tenure may be recommended to the Provost/VPHS for exceptional cases in which an ad hoc tenure review of the candidate has been conducted in accordance with the standards and procedures of this Policy. Otherwise, a tenured appointment may be granted after a favorable tenure decision made in accordance with the standards and procedures of this Policy subsequent to a period of probationary service.

3.3.2 Changes in Appointments
(a) A faculty member with tenure may at his or her request, either permanently or temporarily for a specified time, change to part-time service while retaining tenure status, provided that the department, the dean, and the Provost/VPHS approve the terms in advance.

(b) A faculty member with tenure who resigns from the University:

  1. and is rehired within three years as a full-time member of the same department shall have tenure upon return.
  2. and is rehired by the same department after more than three years’ absence may be required to serve a probationary period of not more than one year at the discretion of the department.
  3. and is rehired as a full-time member of another academic department may be required to serve a probationary period of not more than one year at the discretion of the department.

3.3.3 Appointments with Administrative Duties
It is understood that a faculty member who has been granted tenure and, thereafter, accepts an administrative post within the University, retains tenured status in the original academic unit. No tenure may be granted with respect to an administrative post or administrative duties.

3.4 CONTINUING NON-TENURE-TRACK APPOINTMENTS

3.4.1 Clinician-Educator Faculty
Clinician-educator appointments are for a fixed term, subject to renewal at the discretion of the dean, following policies and procedures adopted by colleges in the Health Sciences Center.

3.4.2 Lecturers
Lecturers are initially appointed to annual terms renewable at the discretion of the University. Written notice regarding the status of a lecturer shall be given according to the following minimum periods of notice: (1) not later than March 31 of the first academic year of service or (2) not later than December 15 of the second or subsequent academic year of service. Lecturers who have completed at least three academic years of continuous service are eligible for renewable two-year term appointments. Senior Lecturers serve on renewable two-year term appointments, and Principal Lecturers serve on renewable three-year term appointments. Two- and three-year term appointments are renewable at the discretion of the University. Notice of the status of these term appointments will be given no later than December 15 of the final year of the term appointment.

3.4.3 UNM-National Laboratory Professors
UNM-National Laboratory professors are chosen by academic departments, with approval of the dean, and serve renewable terms of varying duration.

3.4.4 Professor of Practice
Professors of Practice are chosen by academic units or departments in School of Architecture and Planning and the College of Fine Arts, with approval of the dean, and serve renewable terms of three years.

3.5 TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS
Temporary appointments of one year or less may be made to faculty titles listed in Sec. 2.3.4 through Sec. 2.3.13 for various reasons, including to appoint faculty members as visiting professors, to fill positions funded by other than State-appropriated funds, to replace faculty members on leave, or whenever an appointment has to be made so late that normal search procedures cannot be followed. With the exception of appointments made without a normal search procedure, faculty members on such appointments may be reappointed for a second or third year if mutually agreeable to the faculty member and the department and college involved. Temporary appointments shall not lead to tenure. They shall not exceed a total of three consecutive years except in the case of faculty with research, adjunct, or clinical titles.

3.6 STANDARD CONTRACTS
Standard faculty appointments are for the academic or fiscal year. For academic year appointments, faculty members will be notified of the date they are expected to be available for duty. The appointment period for the first semester ends Dec. 31, even though the semester may end at a different time.

3.6.1 Probationary Faculty
Probationary faculty members receive an annual contract, issued each year by the Provost/VPHS. This contract provides information about their tenure status, rank, salary and term of service. It is signed by the faculty member and returned to the Faculty Contracts Office.

3.6.2 Tenured Faculty
Faculty members receiving tenure (or being appointed with tenure) receive a contract, issued by the Provost/VPHS, establishing their status as tenured faculty members. Thereafter, tenured faculty members receive an annual contract that provides information about tenure status, rank, salary and terms of service (e.g., sabbatical leave, departmental administrative service, etc.).

3.6.3 Senior Academic Officers
Academic officers holding the title of associate or assistant provost, associate or assistant vice president, dean, program director and other similar titles, receive a contract, issued by the Provost/VPHS, each year that reflects their administrative duties. It is within the University’s discretion whether or not to renew such administrative appointments, subject to the University’s Policy on Contract Employees.

3.6.4 Temporary Faculty
Temporary faculty are issued contracts for a limited period of time. It is within the University’s discretion whether to renew such contracts, subject to the provisions of this Policy.

3.6.5 Term Teaching Faculty
Term faculty appointments are greater than .25 FTE and faculty in this category are issued contracts for a limited period*. It is within the Universitys discretion whether to renew such contracts, subject to the provisions of this Policy.

*Note: The Faculty Contracts Office has administratively defined a limited period as at least two consecutive semesters.

3.7 SPECIAL CONTRACTS

3.7.1 Notice Contracts
A notice contract is a one-year contract issued to an untenured probationary faculty member who the University has determined is qualified for retention, but who cannot be retained at the moment, for financial reasons or the restructuring of academic units. If circumstances change, faculty members with notice contracts may be offered more permanent appointments. In this event, the year served on notice contract shall be treated as if it were included in the faculty member’s original appointment.

3.7.2 Terminal Contracts
A terminal contract is a one-year contract that follows a negative decision, made at or following the mid-probationary review, on the retention of a tenure-track faculty member. A terminal contract is the last faculty contract a faculty member may receive at this University unless the decision to terminate is overturned.

3.7.3 Special Conditions Contracts
Under conditions that would otherwise lead the President to propose termination for cause of a faculty member with tenure, the President and the faculty member may agree to a contract containing special conditions. The terms of such a contract, including performance standards, dates of periodic review, review procedures, possible remedies in case standards are not met, etc., are subject to mutual agreement between the faculty member and the President.


*Approved by Regents: January 11, 1964; January 18, 1969; March 15, 1969; November 8, 1969; January 9, 1971; April 16, 1971; December 20, 1974; February 1, 1975; September 27, 1975; June 13, 1977; August 29, 1978; June 1, 1979; August 12, 1983, August 6, 1985; December 8, 1998.

**Approved by Faculty: February 11, 1964; December 10, 1968; March 11, 1969; September 23, 1969; December 8, 1970; April 20, 1971; December 10, 1974; September 9, 1975; May 11, 1977; May 11, 1978; May 9, 1979; October 14, 1980; March 8, 1983; January 18, 1985; December 7, 1998.