Regents' Policies


UNM_Policy_Office-L communicates important policy announcements (such as policy approvals, revisions, or campus review-and-comment periods).

UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-2069

Regents' Policy Manual - Section 5.16: Post-Tenure Review

Adopted Date: 09-12-1996
Amended: 05-16-1997
Amended: 03-09-2023


This policy applies to all tenured faculty members at the University.


Section 1. General Principles. A tenured professor who performs well should be rewarded, and one who performs inadequately should seek or accept help and improve or be subject to dismissal. The purpose of the University of New Mexico's post-tenure review is to determine levels of performance efficiently, equitably, and in conformity with tenure rights expressed in the Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure and guaranteed by the Contract Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Section 2. Data Collection. Biographical updates, student evaluations of teaching (supplemented by periodic but not necessarily annual peer evaluations of teaching), and (with necessary exceptions, as in the Medical School) evaluations for salary recommendations shall be required annually of all faculty, including tenured professors. Some departments and divisions may also wish to require information more detailed than in the current biographical update form. The biographical update shall include space for objectives for the coming year.

Section 3. Performance Criteria. Deans shall require each department or division to file a statement of criteria and procedures for annual evaluation of the performance of tenured faculty members. The criteria and procedures shall be consistent with the Faculty Handbook; reflect the standards of excellence and appropriate balance of teaching, research or other creative activity, and service prevailing in the discipline and the department or division; and have the approval of the department or division faculty and the dean. At a minimum, the procedures shall include an annual written evaluation, as described below. The "Bases for Appointment and Promotion" and suggested "Sources of Information" in the Appointment and Promotion Policy describe good teaching and good research at some length, including the importance of one's original research in imparting new ideas in the classroom and inspiring students to engage in original research. They also stress the need for service in the department, the University, and one's discipline, particularly by senior members of the faculty. (Reviews from outside the University, suggested in the "Sources of Information," shall not normally be included in annual and more formal post-tenure reviews described in Secs. 4 and 6 below.)

Section 4. Annual Reviews. Each department shall conduct an annual review of each tenured faculty member's teaching, research or creative work, and service. This review, which may be combined with salary review and may be performed by the chair or the chair and a committee of tenured faculty, shall be in writing (normally 50 to 100 words for most faculty, more for those with special achievements or identified deficiencies) and contain a description and critique of performance during the past year and performance goals for the coming year. It shall be discussed with the faculty member if there are deficiencies. Two copies of the annual review, signed by the chair, shall be given to the faculty member, one to be signed as acknowledgement of receipt and returned to the chair. A faculty member who disagrees with the review may add a comment or rebuttal. The review and any such statement shall be placed in the faculty member's personnel file. The faculty member, in addition, may appeal the chair's evaluation to the dean. At any point in these or subsequent proceedings, the faculty member shall have access to aggregate information concerning the teaching evaluations, publications, grants, etc., of the department as a whole for purposes of comparison.

Administrators who hold tenured faculty rank shall also be reviewed on the performance of their faculty duties (teaching, research, service). The manner in which the chair and other administrators are reviewed shall be decided by an agreement between the dean and tenured faculty in the unit, in a manner consistent with the intent of this document. Administrators who have no assigned faculty duties within the department will not be reviewed under this policy.

Section 5. Reports to Deans. Each department shall annually provide the dean with summaries of the reviews of all faculty members (normally no more than 50 words for most faculty, more for those with special achievements or identified deficiencies) and the full text of any comment or rebuttal. The summaries shall include the special achievements or identified deficiencies of individual faculty members. Merit, as determined in annual salary reviews, shall be the primary criterion for raises. In the case of special achievement, the summary shall state the rewards to be provided. The dean or a college committee shall participate in the merit award for special achievement. In the case of deficiency, the summary shall suggest remedies, and the chair and the dean shall monitor improvements. If the dean disagrees with the chair's evaluation, the dean shall so inform the chair and the faculty member.

Section 6. More Complete Reviews. If in the judgment of the chair the annual review for any faculty member shows a serious deficiency that has continued for two consecutive years, the chair shall inform the faculty member. One of two possible courses of action shall follow: 1) The faculty member may request that the chair submit their findings to the other tenured faculty members for consideration in a more complete review during the following year. OR 2) If the faculty member does not request the review, the chair may initiate such a review with the concurrence of a majority of the tenured faculty in the department. The more complete review shall be similar to the mid-probationary review described in the Handbook, with the aim of identifying strengths and weaknesses. This review shall be undertaken by the chair with a committee of at least three tenured faculty members chosen by the tenured faculty. If they find that the faculty member's performance is not seriously deficient, the member shall be so informed and a statement of the decision placed in the file. If serious deficiency is found, a specific remedial program shall be developed in consultation with the faculty member, including procedures, criteria for evaluating progress, and a reasonable timetable. The results of the program shall be reported by the chair to the dean. If the dean concludes, after consulting the college promotion and tenure committee, that serious deficiencies persist, the dean shall so inform the Provost or the Vice President for Health Sciences.

Section 7. Enhancement Programs. Whether or not a tenured faculty member accepts a recommendation to participate in a teaching or research enhancement program, and whether or not the member performs well in the program, they shall be judged, after a reasonable period of time, on subsequent classroom and research performance.

Section 8. Individual Request for Review. Any faculty member who feels that two or more consecutive annual reviews have inaccurately conveyed their professional accomplishments or have contained other substantial deficiencies shall have the option of initiating the more complete review described above.

Section 9. Frequency of Review. The more complete review shall not be initiated for any faculty member more frequently than once every five years.

Section 10. Review by the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure. If a tenured faculty member's professional deficiencies are considered by the Provost or the Vice President for Health Sciences to be very serious and to have been uncorrected at the conclusion of the agreed time period, and, further, if there is evidence that the faculty member's performance has deteriorated since the award of tenure and that their academic performance is now typically unsatisfactory, the President of the University shall initiate the process specified in the Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure for removing a faculty member for cause. ["If the faculty member's academic competence is questioned, the proof before the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure shall be insufficient unless it includes testimony of teachers and other scholars, either from the University or from other institutions, and it shows that: (1) the faculty member's academic performance has deteriorated since he received tenure; and (2) his academic performance is now typically unsatisfactory." Sec. 12(b)(viii). ". . .[The University Administration has the burden of proving its case." Sec. 13(a).]

Section 11. Limitation on Applicability. This policy does not apply to proposed terminations of tenured faculty for alleged misconduct or violation of University policy or law which is provided for in the existing Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure.