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C280: Leave Without Pay

Approved by Faculty Senate and Board of Regents
Effective Date: May 9, 2014
Responsible Faculty Committee: Policy Committee
Office Responsible for Administration: Provost and the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences

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

Policy Rationale

A University of New Mexico (UNM) faculty member may encounter a situation that is not covered by other faculty leave policies and may need to request leave without pay. This document describes which faculty members are eligible for leave without pay and the procedures for requesting and granting leave without pay.

Policy Statement

Any faculty member, except for adjunct appointments, is eligible for a leave of absence without pay after two (2) years of service at UNM subject to the following stipulations:

  1. Leaves without pay will be granted only when in the opinion of appropriate UNM officials such a leave will be of distinct benefit to this institution as well as to the individual concerned.
  2. Leaves without pay will not normally be granted to persons wishing to accept a regular faculty appointment at another institution. Such an arrangement usually puts UNM at a considerable disadvantage, since it would be required to keep the position here open on a temporary basis until the person on leave returns or decides not to return to UNM.
  3. Before the leave without pay is approved, the department chairperson and/or the dean concerned must have agreed that the assignments usually carried out by the person requesting the leave may and will be carried out satisfactorily by others—normally including one or more temporary employees from the outside— without any extra cost to UNM.
  4. It is to be understood that if a faculty member has not attained tenure, a leave of absence without pay will normally extend the probationary period.
  5. Leave of absence without pay is not counted toward retirement or toward years of service when figuring seniority for promotion.
  6. While a faculty member is on leave without pay, UNM will not continue to pay its share toward retirement or Social Security benefits.
  7. The faculty member’s insurance benefits will continue while the faculty member is on leave without pay, unless the faculty member actively cancels his or her insurance through UNM Human Resources. The faculty member will be responsible for paying his or her portion of the benefit premiums. UNM will continue its contribution to premiums. The faculty member should refer to UAP Policy 3600 “Eligibility for Employee, Retiree, and Dependent Benefit Plans” for requirements pertaining to continuation, cancellation, and reinstatement of benefit plans.


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

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.


No specific definitions are required for this Policy

Who should read this policy

  • Faculty
  • Academic staff
  • Academic deans and other executives, department chairs, directors, and managers

Related Documents

Faculty Handbook

University Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual:

“Request for Leave Without Pay” form available from the Office for Academic Personnel or the HSC Faculty Contracts Office.


Direct any questions about this Policy to the Office for Academic Personnel or the HSC Faculty Contracts Office.


  1. A leave without pay or any combination of a sabbatical leave and a leave without pay will not generally exceed one (1) year in duration, although when the best interests of UNM would be so served and with the concurrence of the department chairperson, the dean, and the Provost or the Executive President for Health Sciences (EVPHS), the President may approve a two (2)-year absence. However, except in rare cases, as approved by the President, a faculty member shall not be absent from UNM for more than two (2) of any five (5) consecutive years, and it is not contemplated that even such a proportion of absence shall be the norm.
  2. Requests for leaves of absence without pay or any combination of a leave without pay and a sabbatical leave, as described in item 1, should be submitted through the applicant's department chairperson to the dean as early as possible, but no later than four (4) months in advance of the date the proposed leave will begin. The dean forwards the request with their recommendation to the Provost or the EVPHS, who in turn submits all pertinent material to the President with their recommendations. The President makes the final decision.


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