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B1: Professional Activities of Faculty and Criteria for Evaluation


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



(a) All members of the faculty - tenured and non-tenured, full-time and part-time, on main campus and branch campuses - are entitled to academic freedom.

(b) The University endorses and adheres to the principles expressed in the following statements approved by the American Association of University Professors: The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure with 1970 Interpretive Comments (as revised 1990 / Appendix I); 1958 Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings (as revised 1990 / Appendix II); 1989 Statement on Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Nonrenewal of Faculty Appointments (Appendix III); 1990 Statement on Recruitment and Resignation of Faculty Members (Appendix IV); 1987 Statement on Professional Ethics (Appendix V); 1971 Committee "W" Statement on Faculty Appointment and Family Relationship (Appendix VI); and the 1989 Committee "A" Statement on Extramural Utterances (Appendix VII). UNM policy closely follows the principles set down in these documents and in certain respects surpasses them in guarantees of due process and other safeguards to faculty members. The procedural requirements of the foregoing statements are superseded by the procedures set forth in the Faculty Handbook.

(c) The University strives for inquiry, learning, and scholarship of a breadth and depth that will result in excellence in all of the University's major functions: teaching, scholarly work, and service. Each academic unit has an obligation to contribute to each of the three functions of the University. Faculty members play a central role in the realization of these functions and help fulfill the obligations of their academic unit by contributing their unique expertise and competence.


(a) The categories in which faculty performance will be evaluated are the following:

  1. Teaching
  2. Scholarly Work
  3. Service
  4. Personal Characteristics

The University's general expectations in each of these categories are set forth below.

(b) In order to earn either tenure or promotion or both, faculty are required to be effective in all four areas. Excellence in either teaching or scholarly work constitutes the chief basis for tenure and promotion. Service and personal characteristics are important but normally round out and complement the faculty member’s strengths in teaching and scholarly work. (The criteria for clinical faculty in the Medical School, however, are defined in the tenure and promotion guidelines for the Medical School and are somewhat different in that clinical faculty are expected to be excellent in at least two of the three categories of teaching, scholarly work, and clinical service/administration. The criteria for faculty at the branch campuses are defined in the statement on "Academic Freedom, Tenure, Appointment, and Grievance Procedures" for branch colleges in the Faculty Handbook.)

(c) In those cases in which specific assignments limit the faculty member's involvement in some major area of faculty responsibility, a written understanding to this effect shall be made by the department, approved by the dean and the Provost/VPHS and filed in the office of the Provost/VPHS at the time the assignment is made. (If the faculty member holds a probationary appointment, see Sec. 3.2.4.)

1.2.1 Teaching

(a) Due to the variety of subject matter and student populations at the University, teaching occurs in various settings and via a diversity of forms of instruction, such as didactic lecturing, small group seminars, problem-based learning, and clinical practicums. The term teaching as used here includes, but is not restricted to, regularly scheduled undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, and professional instruction, and the advising, direction and supervision of individual undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, and professional students. Library faculty, in the discharge of their professional duties, shall be regarded as engaged in teaching. Teaching also includes the direction or supervision of students in reading, research, internships, residencies, or fellowships. Faculty supervision or guidance of students in recognized academic pursuits that confer no University credit should also be considered as teaching.

(b) Effective teaching is one of the primary qualifications for promotion and tenure. The educational experience provides a student with an increased knowledge base, an opportunity to develop thinking and reasoning skills, and an appreciation for learning. An effective teacher is best characterized as an individual who successfully promotes these goals. Although individual teachers bring to bear different sets of talents in pursuit of these goals an effective teacher, at a minimum, should:

  • Demonstrate effective communication skills.
  • Show evidence of strong preparation.
  • Present material that reflects the current state of knowledge in the field.
  • Demonstrate effective management skills.
  • Organize individual topics into a meaningful sequence.
  • Demonstrate an ability to interact with students in an encouraging and stimulating manner.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the discipline.

(c) Teaching is evaluated by students and faculty. Evidence to be evaluated for teaching during mid-probationary, tenure, and promotion reviews must include student course evaluations, descriptions of courses taught and developed by the faculty member, and written reports of peer observations of teaching.

1.2.2 Scholarly Work

(a) The term Scholarly Work, as used in this Policy, comprises scholarship, research, or creative work. Scholarship embodies the critical and accurate synthesis and dissemination of knowledge. The term research is understood to mean systematic, original investigation directed toward the generation, development, and validation of new knowledge or the solution of contemporary problems. Creative work is understood to mean original or imaginative accomplishment in literature, the arts, or the professions.

(b) The faculty member's scholarly work should contribute to the discipline and serve as an indication of professional competence. The criteria for judging the original or imaginative nature of research or creative work must reflect the generally accepted standards prevailing in the applicable discipline or professional area. To qualify as scholarship or creative work, the results of the endeavor must be disseminated and subject to critical peer evaluation in a manner appropriate to the field in question.

(c) Evidence of scholarship or creative work is determined by the faculty member's publications, exhibits, performances, or media productions and may be supplemented by evidence of integration of the faculty member’s scholarly work and teaching. Written evaluations from colleagues and experts in the field, both on campus and at other institutions, may be used at the discretion of the department for the mid-probationary review (Sec. 4.5 and 4.6). Such evaluations must, however, form part of the dossier for both the tenure review and the review for promotion to the senior ranks (Sec. 4.5, 4.7, and 4.8).

1.2.3 Service

(a) There are two broad categories of faculty service: professional and public.

(1) Professional service consists of those activities performed within the academic community that are directly related to the faculty member's discipline or profession. Within the University, it includes both the extraordinary and the routine service necessary for the regular operation of departments and colleges and the University as a whole, including, for example, facilitating the day-to-day operations of academic life, mentoring students and colleagues, and, in the Health Sciences Center, providing patient care. Universities, and their component colleges and departments, rely to a great extent for their operation and advancement on the active participation of faculty members in their administration and governance. Although service is not weighted as heavily as teaching and research or creative works, "service" is an essential element of faculty performance and duties. Faculty members, particularly senior faculty members, have a responsibility to contribute to the government of the University through timely participation on committees and other advisory groups at the department, college, and University levels. Beyond the University, professional service includes service to professional organizations and other groups that engage in or support educational and research activities.

(2) Public service consists of activities that arise from a faculty member’s role in the University. These activities normally involve the sharing and application of faculty expertise to issues and needs of the civic community in which the University is located.

(b) Service to the University, to the faculty member's profession and to the local, national, and international communities beyond the University is reviewed in this category. Evidence of performance in this area includes committee work at the University, college and department levels, and participation in professional organizations of the discipline and in the community in the faculty member's professional capacity.

1.2.4 Personal Characteristics

This category relates to the personal traits that influence an individual's effectiveness as a teacher, a scholar, researcher, or creative artist, and a leader in a professional area. Of primary concern are intellectual breadth, emotional stability or maturity, and a sufficient vitality and forcefulness to constitute effectiveness. There must also be demonstrated collegiality and interactional skills so that an individual can work harmoniously with others while maintaining independence of thought and action. Attention shall also be given to an individual’s moral stature and ethical behavior, for they are fundamental to a faculty member’s impact on the University. Information used in the objective appraisal of personal traits may be acquired from peer evaluations (e.g., letters of recommendation for new appointees, or written evaluations prepared by colleagues for promotions or for other departmental reviews) and must be handled with great prudence. By necessity, the category of Personal Characteristics requires flexibility in its appraisal.

*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.