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 3240: Contract Employees

Date Originally Issued: 05-20-1993
Revised: 12-08-1999, 05-02-2016, 07-08-2017, 08-14-2018

Authorized by RPM 6.9 (“Employment Contracts”)

Process Owner: Vice President for Human Resources

1. General

Certain administrators are designated by the University President from time to time to serve on periodic employment contracts approved by the President. The responsibility associated with these positions is judged to be such that the University must reserve the right to renew or not renew the contracts of the incumbents in these positions when such contracts expire. As used in this policy, "non-renewal" means discretionary non-renewal of an administrator's contract, as opposed to termination or dismissal for proper cause.

2. Contract Terms and Conditions

Contracts for administrators subject to this policy are normally written for one (1) year terms. Multi-year contract terms greater than one-and-a-half (1.5) years also may be used subject to prior approval of each multi-year contract term by the University President. Except for the University's right either to renew or not renew administrators' contracts, and except for matters specifically set forth in such contracts (including duties and salary), the benefits, terms, and conditions of employment of administrators on contract shall be governed by the University's personnel policies and procedures, found in Section 3000 of the University Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual. This includes the University's right to terminate or otherwise discipline such employees for proper cause during the term of their contracts, pursuant to the University's personnel policies and procedures. 

2.1. Deferred Compensation Plan

The University provides deferred compensation for certain high-level administrators and other contract employees.  The deferred compensation is provided at the discretion of an executive vice president or the University President.  The terms and conditions of the deferred compensation are specified in an addendum to an employee's contract.  The deferred compensation contributions are made in accordance with Internal Revenue Code provisions through the University of New Mexico Employer Sponsored 403(b) Plan with 415(m) Arrangement on behalf of the employee.  The plan documents are available upon request from the Human Resources Benefits Division.

3. Notice Requirements

3.1. Notice of Non-Renewal to Administrators from University

Administrators who have been employed by the University for less than five (5) years shall be notified, in writing, three (3) months prior to expiration of the contract if a decision is made not to renew their contract. Administrators who have been employed by the University for five (5) years or more shall be notified, in writing, six (6) months prior to expiration of the contract if a decision is made not to renew their contract. By mutual agreement, contracts may specify some other notice provision. These notice periods may be satisfied by extending the date of a contract's scheduled expiration in order to give the required notice. The term "employed," as used in this section, is meant to include continuous employment at UNM in a regular or contract position.

3.2. Notice of Early Termination to University from Administrators

Although administrators are expected to fulfill the terms of their contracts, the University recognizes that exceptional circumstances may warrant administrators leaving the University prior to the expiration of their contracts.  In such circumstances, administrators shall provide the University with notice, in writing, at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to their planned departure from the University. Under extraordinary circumstances, the 30-day notice requirement may be waived upon mutual agreement of the administrator and supervisor.

4. Reassignment

An administrator subject to this policy who has been given notice of non-renewal of his or her contract may be assigned to other duties or be required to take leave with pay for the balance of the contract period, at the University's discretion.

4.1. Opportunity for Reassignment

An administrator who has been given notice of non-renewal of his or her contract (as opposed to termination for proper cause) may request reassignment to another position within the University. Such reassignment may be made at the University's discretion on a non-competitive basis if another position is available for which the administrator is qualified, or if such a position becomes available within six (6) months of the effective date of the non-renewal. Such a reassignment may involve a change in salary and benefits and may or may not be to another position which is subject to an employment contract.

5. Position Announcements

Announcements for positions subject to this policy shall state that they are for fixed terms, subject to renewal at the University's discretion pursuant to this policy.

6. Faculty Status of Academic Administrators

Some administrators subject to this policy may also have appointments as members of the faculty and retain faculty rank and tenure status while serving as administrators. Termination of these individuals' administrative contracts does not affect their rights and privileges as faculty members, although salary and other benefits will usually be affected. The terms and conditions of employment of these individuals as faculty members are subject to the University's Faculty Handbook.

7. Coaches

Head coaches and assistant coaches in the University Athletic Department are also employed by means of periodic employment contracts, and they are subject to release by the University at the expiration of their contract terms pursuant to this policy and as stated in each employment contract. The University's personnel policies and procedures, found in Section 3000 of the University Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, shall apply to such coaches and assistant coaches only to the extent that they are not inconsistent with the specific terms of their contracts and this policy.

8. Reference

Delegations of signature authority for employment contracts are provided in Section 4.4 of UAP 2010 ("Contracts Signature Authority and Review") and in Delegation 5 of Exhibit B1 of that policy.