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C170: Endowed Chairs and Named Professorships

Approved by: Faculty Senate
Effective Date: October 15, 2013
Responsible FS Committee: Operations Committee
Office Responsible for Administration: Office for Academic Personnel and HSC Office of Academic Affairs

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

Policy Rationale

Because the strength of a great university resides in its faculty, the identification, recruitment, appointment, and support of faculty members is a major priority of the University of New Mexico (UNM). Endowed chairs and named professorships enable UNM to attract and retain faculty members who have outstanding records of scholarly work and/or teaching. These positions, secured at least in part by an endowment, are recognized as the most prestigious honor UNM can award its best accomplished faculty.

Policy Statement

Endowed positions are established and named by the UNM Board of Regents after recommendations by the President, who will consult with the Faculty Senate and the Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences (EVPHS), as appropriate. These officers, in turn, will consult with the appropriate dean, department chair, and the faculty in the disciplinary area of the contemplated position. The parameters of the positions will be governed by standard UNM faculty personnel regulations as set forth in the Faculty Handbook, together with a donor agreement negotiated by the UNM Foundation and the donor or donor’s estate. Before accepting an endowment the Board of Regents, President, the Provost or EVPHS, and the relevant department chair or program director will carefully consider the appropriateness of the proposed position. Not all proposed gifts or names may be appropriate to accept.

The selection of external candidates for endowed chairs or named professorships will occur through nationally competitive searches or alternative procedures as allowed by the normal faculty appointment processes, overseen by the UNM Office for Academic Personnel or the HSC Office of Academic Affairs. The search committees will be constituted in the usual way, except that the Faculty Senate, Provost or EVPHS, and the donor may suggest one or more additional members. A majority of the members of the search committee must be full-time UNM faculty, and departments or units in which the appointment is made may vote to limit the number of non-faculty members. While a donor may suggest potential candidates, UNM retains the responsibility and authority to name the successful candidate and confer the rank and/or tenured status according to its existing standards and by its existing procedures.

For internal appointments, each college or school shall establish and utilize its own procedures for awarding endowed chairs and named professorships.


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


Full-time Service: Service time equivalent to that of a faculty member employed on a contract designated as 1.0 full-time equivalent (FTE). For example, a faculty member whose contract is designated 0.5 FTE would have to multiply their service by a factor of two or reduce the leave time taken by one-half to meet the full-time service requirements listed in this policy.

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

Who should read this policy

  • Board of Regents
  • UNM Foundation officers
  • Academic deans and other executives, department chairs, directors, and managers

Related Documents

UNM Regents’ Policy Manual:

Faculty Handbook:

University Business Policies and Procedures Manual:

Office of Academic Personnel Faculty Hiring Guidelines:


Direct any questions about this policy to your chair and/or dean, the Office for Academic Personnel, or the HSC Office of Academic Affairs.


Holding an endowed chair or named professorship does not affect the faculty member’s existing UNM appointment, which may therefore be permanent or visiting, probationary or tenured, at an appropriate rank. It is envisioned that most of these honorific appointments will accrue to tenured full professors, although certain temporary or rotating positions are also possible.

Unless the donor agreement specifies otherwise the initial appointment period for endowed chairs and named professorships will be for a specific term, not to exceed five (5) years. Faculty members holding these positions are subject to the normal faculty review procedures as described in the Faculty Handbook. If the cumulative reviews on multi-year accomplishments are satisfactory, the appointment may be continued for another agreed-upon term, which is eligible for further renewal. Otherwise the appointment may be transferred to a new occupant, with the previous occupant, assuming they are tenured, retaining their normal UNM appointment.

The holder of an endowed chair or named professorship is responsible for fulfilling the duties set forth in the donor agreement at the initiation of the appointment. This will in all cases at least include an annual report of scholarly and/or teaching activities which will be made available to the appropriate chair, dean, Provost or EVPHS, the UNM Foundation, and the Regents upon request.


  • December 9, 2022 — Updated titles of EVPHS and of responsible offices, according to Faculty Handbook Policy A53 procedures
  • October 7, 2013 — Approved by the UNM Faculty Senate