University Administrative 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

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 1000: UNM History, Mission, and Organization

Date Originally Issued: 11-01-1991
Revised: 04-01-1994, 03-01-2006, 06-28-2019

Process Owner: University President

1. General

From time to time, University colleges and departments are called upon to provide general information about the University in the recruitment of faculty, staff, or students. Outlined below is general information about the University which may be helpful for such purposes.

2. History of The University of New Mexico

2.1. Origins

The University of New Mexico was created by an act of the Territorial Legislature in 1889, opened as a summer school on June 15, 1892, and began full-term instruction on September 21 of the same year. The original campus in Albuquerque was comprised of twenty (20) acres, with a single structure.

In creating the University, the Legislature designated it as a state university whose object should be to "provide the inhabitants of the state of New Mexico with the means of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the various branches of literature, science, and arts."

2.2. Accreditation

The University of New Mexico has been fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association since 1922. It is currently recognized by an extensive list of accrediting organizations in many fields.

2.3. The University Today

In 1989, The University of New Mexico celebrated its centennial year. Today, the University is the largest of the state's publicly-supported institutions of post-secondary education and includes a Health Sciences Center. In addition to the original Albuquerque campus, the University also operates branch colleges in Valencia County, Gallup, Los Alamos, and Taos. 

3. Mission of The University of New Mexico

The mission statement of The University of New Mexico, which was approved by the Board of Regents in 2001, states that:

The University will engage students, faculty, and staff in its comprehensive educational, research, and service programs.

  • UNM will provide students the values, habits of mind, knowledge, and skills that they need to be enlightened citizens, to contribute to the State and national economies, and to lead satisfying lives.
  • Faculty, staff, and students create, apply, and disseminate new knowledge and creative works; they provide services that enhance New Mexicans' quality of life and promote economic development; and they advance our understanding of the world, its peoples, and cultures.
  • Building on its educational, research, and creative resources, the University provides services directly to the City and State, including health care, social services, policy studies, commercialization of inventions, and cultural events.

4. Administrative Organization

The University President is appointed by The University of New Mexico Board of Regents and is directly responsible to them. As the chief executive officer of the institution, the University President directs the administration in carrying out University policy, and has the authority to assign and reassign administrative duties.

5. Additional Information

The UNM Fact Book provides updated information concerning enrollment statistics, employment, budget, etc.