1.10 – NMSU System Policy Framework

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 1 | Institutional Governance

Responsible Executive: President

Responsible Administrator:

Last Updated: 10/27/2021



Regents Policy 1.00 NMSU Structure of Governance 

Regents Policy 1.10, NMSU Policies and Rules

Administrative Procedures for ARP 1.10 – NMSU System Policy Framework

Revision History:

10/27/2021 Major Revision effective 12/01/2021 approved by Chancellor

05/08/2018 Amendment approved by Chancellor

2017 Recompilation

12/07/2015 Major Revision approved by Chancellor

10/21/2015 Former Policy 1.10 replicated by the Board of Regents as initial Rule 1.10


1.1 Authority: The NMSU Board of Regents has delegated to the president the authority to promulgate, amend and repeal Operational Policy for the NMSU System. RPM 1.00 and 1.10

1.2 Purpose: The purpose of this rule is to establish the criteria for NMSU System Operational Policy, and to set the framework by which it will be developed, vetted, approved, published, implemented, administered, and reviewed on a cyclic basis. Additionally, it identifies the University Policy Administrator as the official to facilitate and support the work of the Policy Steering Committee, including maintenance of the NMSU Policy Hub.


2.1 Policy Framework: This rule describes the types of Policy Action which may amend NMSU System Operational Policies maintained in the Administrative Rules and Procedures of NMSU.  The type of Policy Action proposed will determine the vetting groups, timeline, and applicable approval process. The Responsible Administrator, in consultation with Stakeholders and Responsible Offices, is authorized to issue corresponding Administrative Procedures to provide clarification and interpretation of the rule, to facilitate implementation. For example, the Administrative Procedures associated with this Operational Policy will illustrate policy flow and provide instructions (template forms, policy format) regarding initiation of a proposal for Policy Action.

2.2 Policy Support Services: The Policy Steering Committee, led by the University Policy Administrator, is assigned an integral role in the administration of this rule, consistent with the principles of Shared Governance. The Policy Steering Committee and University Policy Administrator will promote best practices relating to policy development, review and approval; including being responsive to Stakeholders and acting in the best interest of the institution. The Policy Steering Committee confirms the type of Policy Action proposed to determine the applicable vetting groups, timeline, and approval process, as well as collaborates with the proposal sponsors, vetting groups and provides the final recommendation to the president.


The following terms will be capitalized to denote they are defined terms for purposes of this rule.  In the future, all defined terms may be relocated from the individual policies to a centralized glossary in the NMSU Policy Hub.

3.1 Administrative Rules and Procedures of NMSU: The online compilation of NMSU Operational Policies, accessible through the NMSU Policy Hub.

3.2 NMSU Board of Regents: The governing board for New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.

3.3 NMSU Community: NMSU officials, students, and employees, as well as visitors to NMSU campuses and properties.  A visitor includes and is not limited to affiliates, contractors, vendors, and the general public.

3.4 NMSU Policy Hub: Located on the web at https://policy.nmsu.edu, this site contains links to the various tiers of policy directives applicable throughout the NMSU System:  1) Regents Policy set by the NMSU Board of Regents; 2) Operational Policy enacted by the president, and 3) Administrative Procedures issued by the relevant Responsible Administrator.  See also Part 5.5 C. below.

3.5 NMSU System: Property and operations under the control of the NMSU Board of Regents throughout the state, including the academic and administrative support units and their respective faculty, staff, students and visitors.  The NMSU System includes all NMSU community colleges, educational centers, agricultural experiment stations, cooperative extension offices, and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. 

3.6 Operational Policy: Policy statements (rules) or key process elements (essential procedures) adopted by the president that apply throughout the NMSU System and meet one or more of the criteria set forth in Part 4.1.

3.7 University Policy Administrator: An NMSU official designated by the University General Counsel to facilitate and support the Policy Steering Committee and the Office of the President with administration of this policy.

3.8 Policy Action: The type of action sought by a Proposal Sponsor pertaining to Operational Policy: 1) new, amended or repealed policy, 2) interim policy, or 3) non-substantive correction or update. (See Part 4.3 below.)

3.9 Proposal Sponsor: The initiator of a proposal for Policy Action. The Proposal Sponsor will often be the Responsible Office or Responsible Administrator, but may also be an individual or campus constituency (e.g. Associated Students of NMSU, Faculty Senate and Employee Council).

3.10 Policy Steering Committee: A collaborative university board charged to oversee the policy development, and applicable vetting and approval process. The Policy Steering Committee is comprised of executive leadership and/or other NMSU representatives appointed by the president, and Faculty Senate leadership (chair and vice chair or their designees). The University Policy Administrator and other support staff as designated by the Office of the President will attend in a non-voting, ex officio capacity.

3.11 Regents Policy: Policies enacted by the NMSU Board of Regents, accessible through the NMSU Policy Hub. Regents Policy provides direction relating to the mission and goals for the NMSU System, as well as regarding the Board’s delegation or reservation of authority.

3.12 Responsible Administrator: A NMSU administrative position designated by the University Policy Administrator, with concurrence of the university general counsel, to oversee the development, vetting and applicable approval process, implementation, administration, and cyclic review of Operational Policy under the administrator’s purview.

3.13 Responsible Executive: The supervisor of the Responsible Administrator.

3.14 Responsible Office: The NMSU unit supervised by the Responsible Administrator which coordinates the day-to-day responsibilities involved with the implementation, administration, and cyclic review of Operational Policy, which may also involve policy development as indicated.

3.15 Shared Governance: Shared Governance as it pertains to this rule refers to participation by Faculty Senate leadership on behalf of all faculty in the various phases of policy making, including policy development, vetting, recommendation for approval, implementation, and cyclic review. (See Regents Policy 1.00)

3.16 Stakeholder: A member of the NMSU Community, including representative constituencies, departments or other units that may be impacted by a proposed Policy Action. Examples include the Faculty Senate, the Associated Students of NMSU (ASNMSU) and the Employee Council.

3.17 Administrative Procedures: Supplemental guidance issued by the relevant Responsible Administrator, in consultation with Responsible Offices and Stakeholders, which may include step by step procedural detail to help the user understand the intent, application, or administrative processes required by the policy objective.


4.1 Operational Policy Criteria: Operational Policy is promulgated by the Office of the President, designed to foster transparency, consistency, and accountability throughout the NMSU System.

      A. Operational Policy must meet one or more of the following criteria:

      1. Provides operational direction to advance NMSU’s mission, goals and strategic plans;
      2. Aligns functions to promote operational efficiency and effectiveness;
      3. Requires or prohibits specific actions of NMSU employees, students and external individuals who use NMSU resources or services.
      4. Is necessary to implement Regents Policy or to mitigate institutional risk, including support for adherence to applicable accreditation standards, regulatory and legal requirements.

      B. Operational Policy does not include:

      1. NMSU unit directives that apply only within the unit;
      2. Regulations promulgated by the NMSU Board of Regents in its capacity as the governing body for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture pursuant to the State Rules Act, NMSA 1978, § 14-4-1 et seq or
      3. Regents Policies approved by the NMSU Board of Regents.

4.2  Fundamental Principles:

A. Policy Priorities: Through Operational Policy and associated Administrative Procedures, NMSU administration protects the health, safety, and welfare of the NMSU Community members, and safeguards and preserves NMSU finances, property and resources. Consideration should be given to how a specific policy proposal aligns with the NMSU mission, vision, and goals; regional and programmatic accreditation standards; and the potential impact of a proposed Policy Action to the various Stakeholders and to NMSU property and resources.

B. Policy Hierarchy: NMSU policies exist within the ranked hierarchy of authorities set forth below.  If a conflict or inconsistency arises, the provisions of the policy with the higher ranked status will govern.

      1. Federal law, statutes, and regulations;
      2. State law, statutes, and regulations;
      3. Policy and procedures of the NMSU Board of Regents (Regents Policy, found at https://rpm.nmsu.edu);
      4. NMSU System Operational Policy (Operational Policy, found at https://arp.nmsu.edu);
      5. Administrative Procedures (reflective of regional accreditation standards where appropriate), found at https://policy.nmsu.edu/ap and
      6. Unit-Level (college, division, department) internal directives and protocols (reflective of programmatic accreditation standards where appropriate).

 C.  President’s Authority: Nothing in this policy shall be construed to limit the president’s authority to issue, amend, suspend, or repeal an Operational Policy or unit-level policy to respond to a public health emergency or other unforeseen disaster, time sensitive external directive or emerging risk, or other extraordinary circumstance.  (See Interim Policy Action at Part 4.3 B).

 D.  Engaging Stakeholders: NMSU is committed to Shared Governance and engaging with relevant Stakeholders.

 E. Duty to Abide by NMSU Policy: All members of the NMSU Community are expected to review and abide by Regents Policy, Operational Policy and associated Administrative Procedures applicable to their duties, responsibilities, or activities.

 F.  Approach in Drafting: Proposal Sponsors, Responsible Administrators and Responsible Offices should maximize practicality and minimize burdens of time, cost or other resource expenditure, training, and complexity in their approach when drafting Operational Policy and associated Administrative Procedures.

 G.  Resolution of Conflicts in Policy Documents: Should a conflict or inconsistency arise, the Operational Policy approved and signed by the president will govern.

 H. Cross Referencing: NMSU webpages referencing NMSU policy should link directly to the appropriate source policy document (e.g. Regents Policy, Operational Policy, Administrative Procedures). Unit handbooks, guidebooks, procedures, and similar resource materials should also link directly to the source policy document rather than copy/paste or duplicate the material.

4.3 Types of Policy Action: Proposal Sponsors and Responsible Administrators may request one of the following types of Policy Actions relating to Operational Policy:

    1. New, Amended or Repealed Policy: Policy action that repeals current policy, proposes new initiatives or programs, or amends with operational impact. Proposals for new policy, amended policy or repeal of policy that will have a significant operational impact will be enacted after vetting with the Stakeholders, as indicated by the Policy Steering Committee.
    2. Interim Policy: Policy action for which there is a compelling reason to expedite, approved directly by the president. Interim policy will be enacted after consultation with the University General Counsel.  Interim Policy will be effective for a period of six months up to a year, during which time it will be formally vetted.
    3. Non-Substantive Corrections and Updates: Policy action which merely corrects errors in the ARP (grammatical or typographical errors, broken hyperlinks), updates job titles or office names, or other similar non-substantive change that has no operational impact. Non-substantive policy action will be enacted by the University Policy Administrator after consultation with the Responsible Administrator.

4.4 Analysis of Impact of Proposed Policy Action: When a proposal has the potential for significant operational impact as determined by the Policy Steering Committee, it will be assigned for formal vetting by the appropriate Stakeholders.  

4.5 Authorization of Administrative Procedures: This rule authorizes the respective Responsible Administrators, in consultation with Responsible Offices and Stakeholders, to issue Administrative Procedures, which must be consistent with Regents Policy and with Operational Policy. The Administrative Procedures will be linked from the relevant Operational Policy to help the user understand the intent, application, or administrative processes relevant to the policy objective and may include timelines, flow charts, FAQs, templates, forms, interpretative clarification etc.  Responsible Administrators must provide a copy of each official edition of their respective Administrative Procedures to the University Policy Administrator for publication and records maintenance purposes.

4.6 Roles of the Policy Steering Committee and University Policy Administrator: The Policy Steering Committee provides guidance, promotes transparency and awareness, facilitates communication, and provides informative recommendations to the president regarding the proposals for Policy Action.  The University Policy Administrator is charged with supporting the Policy Steering Committee, serving as a resource for Proposal Sponsors and Responsible Administrators, and for maintaining the electronic NMSU Policy Hub. The University Policy Administrator works with the Policy Steering Committee to prioritize and guide Policy Action proposals through coordination, facilitation, and monitoring, including cyclic reviews.

4.7 Cyclic Review: To stay current with the legal, political, and environmental changes which affect institutions of higher learning, Responsible Executives are charged with the cyclic review and update of the Operational Policies within their purview.  (See Part 5.7 below.)


Key Process Elements provide essential procedural steps which may be required by the Operational Policy. In contrast, the Administrative Procedures provide detailed information in distinct formats to facilitate understanding and compliance. The Key Process Elements relating to the development, vetting, approval process, publication, implementation, administration, and cyclic review of Operational Policy are set forth below:

5.1 Initiation of Policy Action: Proposal(s) for Policy Action may be initiated by any member or constituency of the NMSU Community.  The Proposal Sponsor consults with the relevant Responsible Office(s) and/or Responsible Administrator(s) to complete the form required for proposed Policy Action.  The Responsible Administrator signs the form to acknowledge that the proposed Policy Action will be submitted to the Policy Steering Committee as the first step in the review process.

5.2 Review by Policy Steering Committee: Proposals are submitted to the Policy Steering Committee through the University Policy Administrator or designee(s). The Policy Steering Committee confirms the type of Policy Action proposed and the corresponding operational impact, to determine the applicable vetting group(s) and approval process.

5.3 Vetting: Review of proposals is conducted in accordance with principles of Shared Governance and an inclusive process.  Once the Policy Steering Committee determines the vetting groups, the Proposal Sponsor in coordination with the Responsible Administrator manages the vetting and finalization process.  The University Policy Administrator will coordinate posting the proposal at the appropriate policy website for university wide review and comment. University General Counsel may provide comment on any proposal at any stage in the policy development, vetting and approval processes.

    1. Routing to Vetting Groups: Vetting groups include Stakeholders including any unit deemed appropriate by the Policy Steering Committee. Academic proposals will be submitted to Faculty Senate. Stakeholders who do not respond during the vetting period will be deemed to have abstained.
    2. Finalization Based on Feedback: The Responsible Administrator and Proposal Sponsor will review the feedback and make revisions consistent with interests of the institution.  Substantially modified proposals may be re-posted by the University Policy Administrator or re-routed based on guidance from the Policy Steering Committee.

5.4 Approval Processes:

A. Expedited Review/Approval: The following Policy Actions are subject to abbreviated vetting and approval processes.

    1. Non-Substantive Policy Updates: Requires action by the University Policy Administrator and notice to the Responsible Administrator.
    2. New, Amended or Repealed Policy: When a proposal will not have a significant operational impact, it requires an informative recommendation from the Policy Steering Committee and approval from the President to enact.
    3. Interim Policy Actions: Requires approval from the president to address situations where there is a compelling reason justifying an expedited policy change.
      1. Examples of Interim Policy Action include revisions for compliance with accreditation standards, state or federal law, regulation, executive order; or needed to address time sensitive issues (e.g. for risk management purposes).
      2. Interim Policy Actions will be announced to campus in similar fashion as other approved Policy Actions and the formal proposal and vetting process will be commenced at an appropriate time, as decided by the president, in consultation with the Policy Steering Committee.
      3. Interim Policy Actions will be effective for six months, with the potential for a time extension by the President which should not exceed one year. Interim Actions, including extensions of their effective dates, if any, must be formally documented as approved by the president.

B. Vetted Proposals for New, Amended or Repealed Policy: After a proposal with the potential for a significant operational impact has been vetted, the Policy Steering Committee will issue its collective recommendations to the president. In making the final decision to approve or disapprove a proposed Policy Action, the president will balance the needs and interests of the involved units and Stakeholders with the best interest of the institution.

5.5 Publication, Communication and Reporting: Policy Actions approved by the president and non-substantive corrections and updates to Operational Policy will be routed to the University Policy Administrator for publication and maintenance within the NMSU Policy Hub.

    1. New, amended or repealed policy, including Interim Policy, will be announced via the NMSU mass communication channel(s) and appropriately disseminated.
    2. The University Policy Administrator will submit a summary of approved Policy Actions, with exception of the non-substantive corrections and updates, as an informational item for inclusion in the record of each regular meeting of the NMSU Board of Regents.
    3. The approval and amendment history for each type of policy in the NMSU Policy Hub at https://policy.nmsu.edu should be included together with effective dates.

5.6 Implementation and Administration: Performed by the Responsible Office designated by the Responsible Administrator, policy administration includes training of staff, initial implementation and day to day application and adherence to the policy.

5.7 Cyclic Review: Cyclic Review will occur within a range of three to five years from the date of adoption or from the most recent date of modification.   If an Operational Policy is reviewed for potential update, but does not require amendment, this will be indicated in the revision history.  When Cyclic Review indicates an update is appropriate, the Responsible Administrator will coordinate with the University Policy Administrator to submit a proposal for Policy Action.


Cross references include sources of authority, related authorities and the associated Administrative Procedures which assist with policy implementation and administration.

Regents Policy 1.00, NMSU Structure of Governance

AP_1.10_2 (Administrative Procedures for ARP 1.10 – NMSU System Policy Framework)