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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-6531

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Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 1100: Development and Approval of Institutional Policy

Date Originally Issued: 06-05-2009

Authorized by RPM 3.1 ("Responsibilities of the President")
Process Owner: Director of University Policy and Administrative Planning

1. General

Institutional policies are designed to provide the University community with unifying statements that describe fundamental principles, the reasoning behind the principles, and institutional procedures necessary for implementation. Policies in the University Business Policies and Procedures Manual serve as a resource for faculty, staff, students, and other University constituencies. These policies contain governing principles that mandate or constrain actions and have institution-wide application. They help ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, enhance the University's mission, promote operational efficiencies, or reduce institutional risk. Policy statements include two important elements: institutional policy and any institutional procedures necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the intent and application of the policy.  The development of effective policy statements requires both input from individuals who have extensive knowledge on the subject matter of a particular policy and input from individuals affected by the policy.  The University of New Mexico (UNM) Policy Office develops policy statements under the purview of the Executive Vice President for Administration/COO/CFO with the exception of faculty policies which are developed by the Faculty Senate through the University Secretary's Office.

All policy statements in the University Business Policies and Procedures Manual are approved in advance, in writing by the University President prior to distribution. Subsequent changes to institutional policy must also be approved in advance, in writing by the President.  This policy describes the process used to develop or revise policy, solicit input, and obtain approval of institutional policies and procedures.

2. Development of New Policy

Anyone wishing to propose an institutional policy statement should send their request to the UNM Policy Office.  When a specific policy is identified and deemed necessary by the President's Executive Cabinet, the UNM Policy Office will work with the departments and/or individuals most closely involved with the subject matter of the policy and a small group of individuals representing areas impacted by the policy to develop a preliminary draft. The draft is then circulated to key areas for review. The areas selected differ depending on the nature of the policy; however, certain areas are usually included, such as the Faculty Senate Operations and Policy Committees, Staff Council Executive Committee, and Deans Council. Based on comments, the policy draft is refined and submitted to the Executive Vice President for Administration/COO/CFO for subsequent review.

3. Review of New Policy

The refined policy draft is submitted to the President’s Executive Cabinet for review and endorsement.  Recommendations are included in a final draft which is made available to the campus for review and comment via UNM's website. The comment period is normally thirty (30) days, but may be shorter if there is a compelling legal, administrative, or business need. The comment period is announced on the UNM Policy Office website and in the UNM News Minute.  The UNM Policy Office, in conjunction with the core group involved in the development of the draft, will review the comments received and propose changes to the Executive Vice President for Administration/COO/CFO and the President. If significant changes are proposed, Executive Cabinet will review the recommended changes before a final version of the policy is sent to the President for approval.

3.1. Process Owner

The UNM Policy Office will assign a dean or director to serve as the process owner for the functions covered by the policy.  The process owner is responsible for policy implementation and for notifying the UNM Policy Office of any proposed changes in practice that will require a policy change prior to implementing such a change. Because changes to institutional policy require approval by the President, the process owner should provide enough notice to allow for adequate review by affected areas, comment periods, and approval.  In addition, on a rolling three-year schedule, the Director of University Policy and Administrative Planning will ask process owners to review applicable policies and report any necessary changes.  

4. Approval and Distribution of New Policy

All new policies in the University Business Policies and Procedures Manual must be approved by the President in writing before distribution. Upon approval by the President, the policy is placed on the UNM Policy website ( and announced in the UNM News Minute.  University policy statements are published on the UNM Policy Office website to ensure wide access to policies, enable electronic searches, and allow for linkage to applicable policies, procedures, and related information.     

4.1. Dean, Director, and Department Head Responsibilities

Deans, directors, and department heads, or their designees are responsible for:

  • informing their employees of new policies or changes to existing policies; and
  • ensuring that all related departmental processes, procedures, and/or documents are updated to reflect new or revised policies.

Departments are strongly discouraged from maintaining printed copies of the University Business Policies and Procedures Manual, but instead should use the electronic version on the UNM Policy website.  This will ensure that departments always refer to the most recent policy and will not run the risk that a printed copy is not up to date.  However, if departments choose to maintain a printed copy of the manual, they are fully responsible for keeping the manual up-to-date by printing applicable pages from the UNM Policy website

5. Development and Approval of Revisions to Existing Policies

Individuals wishing to propose a change to an existing policy should send their request to the UNM Policy Office.  Proposed changes will be reviewed based on the development history of the policy and current University practice to determine what action is needed, and the UNM Policy Office will work with key areas to develop a revised draft. If either the Director of University Policy and Administrative Planning or the policy process owner determines that the requested change is significant, the proposed changes will be sent to the campus for a thirty (30)-day comment and review period. All changes to policy must be approved by the President in writing.

6. Administration of Policy

The Director of University Policy and Administrative Planning is responsible for administering this policy.