9.32 – [Effective AY 18/19] Faculty Promotion and Tenure: Purpose and Guiding Principles

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Scope: NMSU System

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

Responsible Executive: Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Responsible Administrator:

Last Updated: 05/10/2017



ARP 3.00 - ARP 3.13

ARP 3.25 – Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct on Campus

ARP 6.61 – Assignments – Teaching Load

ARP 9.31 – [Effective AY 18/19] Annual Performance Evaluation – Regular Faculty

ARP 9.33 – [Effective AY 18/19] Faculty Promotion and Tenure: The Professorial Ranks

ARP 9.34 – [Effective AY 18/19] Faculty Promotion and Tenure Committees; Common Elements Required in the Principal Unit Policies

ARP 9.35 – [Effective AY 18/19] Faculty Promotion and Tenure Reviews: Procedural Guidelines and Timeline

Combined P & T Rules Through 08/12/2018 (PDF)

Combined P & T Rules After 08/12/2018 (PDF)

Revision History:

09/01/2023 Title change from "provost and senior vice president for academic affairs" to "provost and chief academic officer" 
2017 Recompilation, formerly part of Rule 5.90
05/10/2017 Adoption approved by Chancellor with 08/13/2018 Effective Date
10/21/2015 former Policy 5.90 replicated by Board of Regents as initial Rule 5.90
07/15/2008 Amendments to Policy 5.90 ratified by Board of Regents, with 08/01/2008 effective date
Prior revision history as Policy 5.90 not available


Promotion and tenure decisions are the means by which NMSU rewards and retains its most valued scholars, sustains excellence in its instructional disciplines, and fulfills its mission to advance knowledge.  The quality of faculty accomplishments in teaching and advising, scholarship and creative activity, extension and outreach, and service, (collectively referred to as the Four Areas of Faculty Effort), largely determines the quality of the university as a whole.  The processes involved in promotion and tenure must be fair, transparent, and participatory. For additional rules and principles relating to promotion and tenure, See Cross References listed in the box at end of this Rule.



  1. The integrity of the promotion and tenure processes relies upon consultation by and between groups and individuals with successively broader views of the mission of the university, participation by the involved faculty member, who has an opportunity to seek redress for perceived violations of policy, rules or procedure which might unfairly affect the outcome. (See  ARP 9.34, Part 1 – Principal Unit Committees; ARP 9.35, Part 5 – Roles and Responsibilities in Promotion and Tenure Reviews and Part 9 – Right to Seek Redress for Violation of Faculty Evaluation, Promotion and Tenure Rules.) In order to achieve fairness, transparency, and broad-based participation, all of the parties must base decisions on the documentation described in the NMSU Rules on Faculty Evaluation, Promotion and Tenure.
  2. The NMSU Rules on Faculty Evaluation, Promotion and Tenure are based in large part on the four types of scholarship defined by Ernest L. Boyer[1], namely, the scholarships of discovery, of teaching, of integration, and of engagement. At NMSU, Boyer’s definition of scholarship has been broadened to reflect the changing roles of faculty members in teaching and advising, scholarship and creative activity, extension and outreach, and service. See ARP 9.31 Part 3.D. (Scholarship and Creative Activity)
  3. Applicants for tenure or promotion must be reviewed on their performance of the duties assigned to them, following agreed-upon allocations of effort. (See ARP 9.31 Part 2; ARP 6.61 Faculty Assignments – Teaching Load)



The selection and retention of faculty members are of utmost importance to the quality of the university, the achievement of university goals, and the future of the institution.  In order to ensure a fair process for recognition of excellent faculty, it shall be the policy of the university to allow faculty members to vote on the promotion or tenure of departmental colleagues, exercising collegial judgment based on criteria established for promotion and tenure by the Principal Units and consistent with the NMSU Rules on Faculty Evaluation, Promotion and Tenure.



Faculty members are entitled to know what is expected of them, how they will be evaluated, and the rules of each applicable process.

  1. Promotion and Tenure Information to be Provided to Eligible Faculty: Upon hiring of a regular faculty member, the department head or head of the Principle Unit, will provide the faculty member with electronic copies of applicable promotion and tenure policies, including departmental, college (or comparable equivalent) and university (See Combined P & T Rules Through 08/12/2018 or Combined P & T Rules After 8/12/2018). The department head, or head of the Principle Unit, will provide, electronically, a similar packet of materials to faculty members eligible to be considered for promotion and/or tenure during the spring semester prior the academic year in which the application for promotion and/or tenure will be made.
  2. Notice of Principal Unit Functions and Criteria Statement or Equivalent: Each departmental Principal Unit shall post on its website its current statement of goals, objectives, and expectations as these relate to promotion and tenure (sometimes called a functions and criteria statement).  These shall be agreed upon by the faculty in each department and approved by the responsible dean or comparable administrator.
  3. Notice of Principal Unit Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedures: Each Principal Unit shall post on its website its written promotion and tenure policy document, which must be in alignment with the NMSU Rules on Faculty Evaluation, Promotion and Tenure.  In addition, they must post the link to the Office of the Provost’s website.
  4. Notice of NMSU Rules on Faculty Evaluation, Promotion and Tenure: The Office of the provost and chief academic officer will post the current and previous editions of the NMSU Rules on Faculty Evaluation, Promotion and Tenure on its website.  It will also post other relevant information pertaining to the annual promotion and tenure review processes, including but not limited to forms, to explain and facilitate the process for candidates and academic administrators alike.



University faculty and academic administrators involved in the review and recommendation or decision making processes relating to an application for promotion or tenure shall not have any conflict of interest that would render them unable to perform their duties in a fair, impartial and equitable manner. See Also conflict of interest rules ARP 3.00 – 3.13 and ARP 3.25 Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct on Campus.



NMSU values the richness that inquiry based upon intellectual and cultural differences brings to the university community. NMSU administrators recognize that all employment decisions must be made without regard to race, national origin, gender, gender identity, age, disability, political beliefs, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, special friendships, or animus towards candidates, taking care to avoid conflicts of interest, structural, institutional, or habitual thoughts and patterns that could lead to disparate treatment, including prohibited discrimination and undue preferential treatment. (See Also conflict of interest rules ARP 3.00 – 3.13 and ARP 3.25 Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct on Campus.)



The mission of the NMSU community colleges is to provide open access to quality education and support economic and cultural life in prescribed service areas.  Community colleges provide traditional liberal arts education, vocational and technical training, contract training, community interest classes, and developmental education.  Every effort is made to keep programs and curricula flexible, in order to accommodate varied and expanding community educational needs.  Since the community college’s primary role is the dissemination of information, more emphasis is placed on teaching and advising, in the evaluation process.  Due to their size, the organizational structure for tenure review at the Alamogordo, Carlsbad, and Grants campuses consists of one tenure committee instead of two.  (See ARP 9.34)



University library faculty are expected to meet university requirements for academic appointment and promotion and tenure considerations.  For these purposes, the category of librarianship is equivalent to the teaching and advising category.  The University Library places the highest value on the element of librarianship.  Librarianship includes, but is not limited to the organization of knowledge, the understanding and use of technology as it relates to the information field, teaching, library management, service delivery, and building collections.



College and Research faculty may hold ranks as described in ARP 9.33 and are eligible to be considered for promotion.  The distinct roles of the College and Research Faculty should be recognized in the promotion process, and the standards and criteria for promotion should be appropriately adjusted.   Committees for promotion of College and Research Faculty must include college faculty representation. (See ARP 9.34 Part 1 C. “College Faculty Representation”)