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C60: Visiting Scholars

Approved by: Faculty Senate
Effective: April 26, 2016
Responsible FS Committee: Policy Committee
Office Responsible for Administration: Office of the Provost or 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

As a matter of academic tradition and courtesy, the University of New Mexico (UNM) welcomes on its campus scholars from other universities who, because of sabbatical or research opportunities, wish to spend a period of time on campus and to have an official affiliation with UNM during that period.

Policy Statement

When such affiliation takes the form of lectureships or visiting professorships, appointment procedures follow regular administrative channels. When a visitor wishes not to teach, but to conduct independent research, another form of appointment becomes appropriate. It is important to establish a clear understanding of the prerogatives and obligations of such visitors; therefore, this Policy Document provides procedures and guidance for the appointment process.


Visiting Scholars to UNM.

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 the Policy Statement.

Who should read this policy

  • Faculty
  • Department Chairs, academic deans and other academic administrators and executives

Related Documents

None at this time.


Direct any questions about this policy to the Office of Academic Personnel or the HSC Faculty Contracts Office.


For the benefit of visiting scholars and faculty members who are asked or wish to promote such visits, the following procedures apply.

1. Appointments. Suggested titles are Visiting Scholar, Visiting Research Scholar in . . . (department or field). The visitor or the department should initiate the negotiations and work out the specific arrangement, subject to approval by the dean and Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and the issuance of a letter of appointment by the latter.

2. Auditing of Courses. With the consent of the classroom teacher, Visiting Scholars should be allowed freely to audit UNM courses. At the discretion of the teacher or the department, such scholars may be invited to participate in fields of their competency, but no formal teaching or lecturing arrangements should be entered into without consideration having been given to the question of adequate compensation.

3. Departmental Affiliation. Traditionally, visiting appointments are made in academic departments. While other forms of affiliation are feasible (for instance with a college, the School of Law, or the School of Medicine), the chairpersons or deans most closely interested in such an arrangement should always have the opportunity of weighing the merits of the appointments. Therefore, they should be consulted, and if they concur, should have the privilege of writing the official letters of invitation. Depending on the inviting department's inclinations, such a visitor may be included in departmental activities, consistent with established UNM policies and regulations.

4. Financial Arrangements. It is important to specify in writing what the financial arrangements under a visiting appointment are to be, if any. Typically, if a scholar comes to UNM on sabbatical with that professor's own university's normal support, or with partial support from a foundation (such as a Guggenheim Fellowship), UNM should absorb the costs of making library resources or desk space available. If, on the other hand, the visitor is in a scientific or engineering field and expects to use UNM equipment for their research, other equitable arrangements should be mutually agreed to. If the visitor is officially sponsored by a government agency or foundation such as the National Science Foundation, the Conference Board of Associated Research Councils, or the Commonwealth Fund (the latter two bring foreign scholars to U.S. universities), then UNM should attempt to recover some of the administrative and other costs it incurs in having the scholar on campus. A contribution of perhaps $500 might be solicited from the sponsor, to become available principally to the department of affiliation. Agencies and foundations are increasingly aware of the fact that such arrangements are equitable in the case of visiting scholars sponsored by them. The Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences should be responsible for negotiating such financial arrangements.

5. Foreign Visitors. The UNM Global Education Office should be involved from the very start in any plans for appointments of foreign scholars so that misunderstandings and embarrassments arising out of visa and immigration status can be avoided.

6. Housing. It is presumed that UNM will bear no responsibility for housing arrangements, and that dormitory space will not be made available to visitors.

7. Insurance. Prospective visitors should understand the importance of having health and accident insurance coverage in force while visiting UNM. Presumably their own home-campus coverage would extend to a stay here, but the appointing person at UNM should assure themselves that reasonable arrangements exist. This is particularly critical in the case of foreign visitors.

8. Records. It is beneficial that simple records of such appointments be centrally kept by the Office of Academic Personnel or the HSC Faculty Contracts Office. Where this is neglected, embarrassment may ensue. Visitors have been known to have stated, in good faith, that they spent Semester I of academic year "X" at University "Y," but when a prospective employer or a federal agency checks, no record of affiliation emerges.

9. Time. Typically, such appointments should only be considered where the stay is planned for a period longer than one (1) month. It might be for one (1) semester, but should not exceed one (1) academic year.


  • August 25, 2022 - Updated titles of offices and administrators per FHB Policy A53 procedures
  • April 26, 2016 — Revised policy approved by the Faculty Senate.