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A61.3: Senate Graduate and Professional Committee (SGPC)

Approved by: Faculty Senate
Effective: April 28, 2020
Responsible Faculty Committee: Senate Graduate and Professional Committee
Office Responsible for Administration: Office of the University Secretary

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

Policy Rationale

The Senate Graduate and Professional Committee (SGPC) is one of four (4) committees that comprise the Faculty Senate Academic Council, which provides leadership to and coordination of Faculty Senate Committee efforts that deal with academic issues.

Policy Statement

The SGPC, in consultation with College (School or Division) Graduate/Professional Committees, the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences is responsible for maintaining and enhancing the quality of graduate/professional education at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and its graduate/professional centers by:

(1) making recommendations on proposals for major changes in graduate/professional programs (Forms C and D), including new degrees and certificates, new programs, new majors and minors and concentrations, name changes, substantive changes in existing programs and suspensions or abolition of degrees or programs, and transmitting them to the Faculty Senate Curricula Committee (FSCC);

(2) participating, together with members of the FSCC, in periodic reviews of instructional units and programs;

(3) providing feedback to graduate/professional programs throughout the Academic Program Review process;

(4) supporting coordination in monitoring and providing feedback on graduate/professional academic experiences throughout UNM;

(5) presenting to the Faculty Senate recommendations concerning general policies for graduate/professional education, including the creation, suspension and termination of graduate/professional degrees and programs;

(6) recommending to the Faculty Senate the granting of graduate, professional and honorary degrees; and

(7) hearing and resolving disputes involving policy or quality control issues pertaining to University-wide regulations and standards for graduate and professional students and graduate and professional education following procedures as will be found in appropriate sections of the Faculty Handbook and the UNM Catalog.

The membership shall consist of fourteen (14 faculty and one (1) student: one (1) faculty member selected by each of the following College/School/Division Graduate/Professional Committees from its membership: Architecture and Planning, Education and Human Sciences, Engineering, Fine Arts, Law, Anderson School of Management, Medical Sciences, Nursing, Pharmacy, Population Health, the University Libraries and Learning Sciences, three (3) faculty members selected from its Graduate Committee membership by the College of Arts and Sciences, one (1) representing each of the (3) three divisions within the college [sciences, social sciences, humanities]. One member each from the Graduate and Professional Student Association. The Dean, Associate and Assistant Deans of Graduate Studies, the University Registrar, the Extended Learning Administrator, the Center for Teaching & Learning Administrator, and the Provost or his/her designee shall be non-voting ex-officio members.

The selection of faculty members is made in the spring semester of the preceding year. The terms of office for faculty members shall be for three (3) years, set up on a staggered basis so that the terms of approximately one-third (1/3) of members will expire each year. Student terms are usually one (1) year. All representatives will serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms.

Late in the spring semester of each odd-numbered year, the committee membership elects a chair-elect who assumes the chair the fall semester of the next even numbered year. The chair serves a three-year term, but does not represent his/her College (School or Division). Rather the College (School or Division) Graduate/Professional Committee whose representative assumes the chair will choose a new representative to serve out the chair's term or begin a new three-year term, as appropriate.

The Honorary Degree Committee is a subcommittee of the SGPC (Refer to A61.3.1 for the subcommittee charge.)

Charge to College Graduate/Professional Committees

  1. Within the college/school/or division, the graduate/professional committee, in consultation with the dean or director of that unit, supervises and coordinates graduate/professional activity and maintains UNM’s policies regarding graduate/professional affairs and recommends to the college/school/or division faculty supplementary policies appropriate to the unit in question, as well as recommending to the SGPC whatever revisions in basic UNM policy it deems necessary to maintain and improve the quality of graduate/professional education.

  2. Within the policies established by the Faculty Senate, the SGPC, and the faculty of the college/school/or division, the committee in consultation with the dean or director of the college/school/or division shall be responsible for: (a) endorsement of new courses and programs at the graduate/professional level; (b) approval of regular full-time graduate/professional faculty for courses receiving graduate/professional credits; (c) endorsement of standards for appointment of graduate/professional, teaching, research and project assistants; (d) receiving and processing petitions on behalf of individual graduate/professional students dealing with changes in programs, requirements related to that graduate/professional unit, or any other appeal of an academic nature; and, (e) maintenance of quality control processes including admission of students to graduate/professional programs, endorsement of the membership of examination committees, dissertation committees and program of studies committees. Final approval (except 2b) rests with the SGPC in conjunction with the Dean of Graduate Studies or appropriate Professional Program equivalent as noted above in the charge to the SGPC.

  3. The graduate/professional committee of each college/school/or division in consultation with its dean or director and acting within the general faculty policies of that unit shall recommend to the SGPC the internal arrangement and procedures deemed most appropriate to the implementation of 1 and 2 above. Approval of the implementation proposals from each college/school/or division rests with the SGPC acting in consultation with the Dean of Graduate Studies or appropriate Professional Program equivalent.


All UNM faculty, including the Health Sciences Center.

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.


There are no specific definitions required by this Policy.

Who should read this policy

  • All UNM faculty.
  • Academic administrators and staff.
  • Administrative staff responsible for policy development.

Related Documents

Faculty Handbook: Note: Committee Charges Policy numbers are being changed to align with their respective Council per the new Faculty Senate Restructure


Direct any questions about this policy to Office of the University Secretary.


The SGPC will schedule regular meetings. The Committee Chair will report Committee recommendations through the Academic Council for consideration by the Faculty Senate.


  • April 28, 2020—Amended by the Faculty Senate