COVID-19 policies and resources for UNM faculty

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNM administrators have made several changes to university policies including on grading, the tenure timeline and teaching evaluations. See our list below and drop us a line if you have a question that hasn’t been answered about these policies. Check out our list of teaching and working from home resources here. You can view the main UNM COVID-19 information page here.


Phased Reopening this Summer

A phased re-opening of UNM is underway. The campus leadership has announced that a careful, phased reopening will begin in June. Deans are currently working with the Provost to develop priorities and additional announcements will be coming quickly. We’ll post updates here, and the UNM Bringing Back the Pack webpage is here.  The most recent memo from the Office of the Vice President for Research is here.

All faculty, staff, and students need to take the on-line course “Pandemic: Slowing the Spread” before returning to campus. The course is available through Learning Central for most. Students who don’t have access through Learning Central can take it through a link on the Safety & Risk Services (SRS) Research Labs and Makers Space Reopening Inspections. This page also has a link to the COVID-19 Safety/Return to Work Checklist.

The Facilities Reopen Request process has been announced. This will involve review and possible inspections by SRS and review by Facilities Management, in addition to approval by academic leaders. Labs are starting to be inspected by SRS, but the Facilities Management review process was just announced.



Preparing for Fall 

The teaching modalities available for fall, and additional guidance on planning for the fall semester are now available here. The Center for Teaching Excellence has additional information and registration for workshops on their Preparing for Fall 2020 website, here.



Transcript of provost’s town hall with assistant professors

Provost James Holloway and Senior Vice Provost Barbara Rodriguez recently had a Town Hall with assistant professors who are scheduled for a milestone review in the next two years. They answered a range of questions including about the tenure extension policy, on-going support for current faculty, considerations in promotion & tenure decisions, and planning for the fall. Read an edited transcript here.



DEI panels on COVID-19 impact

DEI has had four panels on the impact of COVID-19, focusing on students, faculty & staff, UNM community members who are Asian & Pacific Islanders, and parents. Links to all of the panels can be found here. A link to the Town Hall “Addressing Anti-Blackness at UNM” is also available on page. 



Tenure clock extension

All probationary faculty automatically receive a one-year extension of their tenure-clock. The policy is here. Faculty who don’t want to use the extra year can opt out by filling out this form, which requires Department Chair and Dean signatures before May 1 of the semester before the faculty member was scheduled to come up for tenure without the extension. For more information, see this Frequently Asked Questions document.



Guidance on promotion and tenure

Advance usually hosts in person workshops on promotion and tenure. Instead, check out these presentations we made to help you along the tenure track.



Families First Response to Coronavirus Act (FFRCA)

The FFRCA provides for both emergency sick leave and extended family medical leave. The policies for faculty are here while the policies for staff are here.



Mental Health Resources

 UNM has consolidated information on mental health resources for faculty, staff, and students here. Extensive support is available during reduced operations.



Self-reporting of Coronavirus symptoms or diagnosis

UNM has implemented a policy for self-reporting either symptoms of or a positive test for COVID-19 in order to support efforts to slow the spread of infection. This is both to connect Lobos to resources that can support them, and to help the University assess the community impact of the virus.

This policy is specific to those individuals who are either currently working or residing on UNM main or branch campuses, or who have been physically on those campuses since April 3. It does not apply to the UNM Health Sciences Center, for which a separate HSC policy has been developed.




Updates from the OEO

This document from the Office of Equal Opportunity has a variety of support resources for the campus community. 




Research support and resources

The UNM IRB has prepared a plan to address the gradual resumption of in-person human research activities.  This guidance is meant to assist researchers with considering and preparing plans to address risks related COVID-19 exposure when conducting in-person study procedures.  The UNM IRB will neither consider nor approve any requests to resume UNM-affiliated in-person research until UNM Administration releases official guidance on restarting research on campus.  Once this occurs, the OIRB will prioritize the processing of amendment requests specific to resuming currently halted research. You can find the IRB plan here. 


The Sandia Labs Academic Alliance 2019 Collaboration Report is now available here. UNM is one of five academic institutions included in the alliance. As a reminder, you can find the video from our recent workshop on developing collaborations with Sandia here. This webpage includes a short guide on ways UNM faculty can initiate interactions with Sandia scientists and engineers.


The University Libraries have added carry-out services if you need materials that are not available on-line. Information on how to request materials and other current services is here.


The Faculty Research Development Office is open for virtual business and posting agency and institutional responses to COVID-19. If you are an early career faculty member and have not signed up for the Early PI Listserve, now is a good time to do so.



Research IT has announced a Research Technology Catalogue that includes information on data management, storage, and security; HPC services, getting an IT consultation, etc.



Credit / no credit grading

The home page of the Office of the University Registrar has a red box with COVID-19 links. The last item is a link to a pdf on the CR/NC process.



CR/NC for Faculty and Undergraduate Students: The COVID-19 Student Resources page of the Office of Advising Strategies has information on the pros and cons of switching to CR/NC and how to implement the grade change option.



CR/NC for Faculty and Graduate Students: The Graduate Studies COVID-19 information includes information on CR/NC for graduate students.



Spring 2020 student teaching evaluations

Faculty can opt out of implementing student evaluations of teaching by April 23rd. Faculty who chose to implement student evaluations of teaching can elect to not use them in annual and milestone reviews. The policy is here. 




Support and resources for graduate students 

Graduate Studies has made changes to deadlines and policies to support graduate students scheduled to graduate this spring or summer. They are found here. Note that there is a process for students who will defend during the first part of the summer to petition to have the summer registration requirement waived.



Graduate students who had health insurance from UNM in the Spring are covered through August 16, 2020 even if they have graduated.



The Advance workshop on mentoring graduate students, and related material, can be found here.



If your students will need IRB approval for their research, consider having them do their CITI training now or suggest an IRB workshop. There is extensive information available on the IRB Training website.



First or second year students eligible to apply for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in the Fall, can start working on their research and personal statements now. Although the 2021 RFP is not yet available, the requirements for the research and personal statements are unlikely to change much. Julia Fulghum and Jennifer Kavka will be doing a workshop early in the Fall semester. A video of an Advance workshop from 2017 is available here. Be aware that eligibility requirements have changed slightly since then.


An overview of the process and statements is hereTips from UNM faculty who have served as reviewers and UNM student GRFP winners are available here (but be aware that eligibility requirements have changed slightly since this workshop).



Support for undergraduate students

There are emergency scholarships available for undergraduates; the next deadline is May 1.



Undergraduate and graduate students with Coronavirus health concerns can find resources here.




It can be hard to find the UNM Zoom site including support documents. It is here.