9.01 – Staff Probationary Period

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 9 | HR - Performance Evaluation, Promotion and Tenure

Rule Administrator:

Last Updated: 08/10/2020



ARP 10.10 – Staff Disciplinary Action/Involuntary Termination

ARP 7.01 – Staff Compensation

Revision History:


08/10/2020 Amendment approved provisionally by Chancellor 

2017 Recompilation, formerly Rule 8.50 Parts 1–5 
06/21/2016 Recompilation approved by Chancellor
10/21/2015 Policy 8.50 approved as initial Rule 8.50 by Board of Regents
07/21/2015 Amendment to Policy 8.50 approved by Board of Regents
04/27/2015 Policy 8.50 provisionally amended by Chancellor
07/29/2009 Amendment to Policy 8.50 ratified by Board of Regents
09/09/2008 Amendment to Policy 8.50 approved by Administrative Council
10/22/2007 Amendment to Policy 8.50 ratified by Board of Regents


A.  Probationary Status: The probationary period is an essential part of the employment process and is used as an assessment period for employees and supervisors. Probationary employees have no entitlement or expectation to continued employment during the probationary period. During the probationary period, an employee may be terminated with or without cause and without recourse to the pre- or post-action grievance procedures, except in cases alleging discrimination.  Probationary employees may be terminated by providing at least 24 hours’ notice after having obtained approvals from the assistant vice president for human resource services and the appropriate dean or vice president, as provided in ARP 10.10, Part 5.   A probationary employee may also resign without notice at any time during the probationary period.

B.  Length of Probationary Period: The length for each probationary period served is the first 6 months of employment with NMSU for regular nonexempt employees, and the first 12 months of employment with NMSU for regular exempt employees. Time served in a non-regular hire status does not apply towards completion of the initial probationary period.


Exempt employees who voluntarily accept a new job, a promotion or a transfer within NMSU will serve an additional probationary period and are subject to the terms in Part 1. The length of the subsequent probationary period will be the same as defined above, unless adjusted pursuant to Part 3.


  1. NMSU System Wide Extension of Probationary Status: The length of the initial probationary period for all staff employees may be extended when deemed necessary by the Chancellor during times of planning for significant budget reductions or other financial uncertainty.  Notification will be made through the Office of Human Resource Services at the direction of the Chancellor and may be effective immediately2
  2.  Individual Extension of Employee Probationary Status: The director/department head may exercise discretion to request an extension of the initial or subsequent probationary period when an employee’s performance demonstrates a need for additional time to acquire the skills required for the job.  Requests to extend a subsequent probationary period should be submitted in writing two weeks prior to completion of the probationary period, supported by a performance evaluation, and forwarded to the Office of Human Resource Services for consideration.
  3.  Early Completion of Second or Subsequent Probationary Period: The director/department head may request an adjustment to the length of an exempt employee’s second or subsequent probationary period.  There may be cases in which employees demonstrate exceptional qualities that would permit reduction of the probationary period.


Prior to completion of the probationary period, the supervisor must complete the Performance Evaluation Form and forward it through channels to the Office of Human Resource Services for inclusion in the employee’s personnel file.  A Personnel Action Form should accompany the evaluation report if the employee is a new hire and was hired at the entry level.  Normally evaluations with outstanding marks are reserved for employees who have consistently, over a period of time demonstrated outstanding performance.