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C170: Endowed Chairs and Named Professorships

Approved by: Faculty Senate
Effective Date: October 15, 2013
Responsible FS Committee: Operations
Office Responsible for Administration: Office of Faculty Contracts

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 Chancellor for the Health Sciences Center (HSC), 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 HSC Chancellor, 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 of Equal Opportunity (see Section III, OEO Faculty Hiring Guidelines). The search committees will be constituted in the usual way, except that the Faculty Senate, Provost or HSC Chancellor, 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 Campuses.


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 his or her 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 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 Equal Opportunity:


Direct any questions about this policy to your chair and/or dean or the Office of Faculty Contracts.


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 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 he or she is tenured, retaining his or her 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 HSC Chancellor, the UNM Foundation, and the Regents upon request.


  • October 7, 2013 — Approved by the UNM Faculty Senate in an online ballot.