COVID-19 policies and resources for UNM faculty

Updated September 3, 2020

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.


The daily COVID-19 Dashboard, reporting number of tests, people coming to campus, and COVID cases is here.


COVID-19 Updates: What to do If….

Several questions have come up in various orientations and pre-semester meetings. Here are the current answers: 

  •     If you need to care for a family member who tests positive for COVID-19, you are eligible for emergency paid leave.


Recent updates in Faculty Policies and Processes

The  automatic tenure-extension now  applies to the faculty who are starting this year. The policy (which now applies to all assistant professors) and an FAQ document can be found on the OFAS home page and on our COVID-19 Policies and Resources for Faculty page. A key element of this policy is that you don’t have to decide about the extension until the Spring before you are scheduled to come up for tenure.


Provost Holloway also announced “Fall 2020 student evaluations of teaching will not be used for annual performance, mid-probationary, and tenure and promotion milestone reviews, and can be omitted from the associated reports and dossiers. Fall 2020 EvalKit course evaluations will be issued, but they will not be used as an evaluative tool by departments, colleges, or the provost. Instead, the course evaluations will be implemented for the purposes of a faculty member’s personal growth and development.”

Reopening and COVID-19 Responses 

The most current updates are posted on the Bringing Back the Pack webpage, here.  You can now find out if any buildings are closed due to COVID-19 here. Information on what to do if a student tells you they have tested positive for COVID-19 has been updated.

The most recent information from the Office of the Vice President for Research is here, including COVID-19 research opportunities.

The On-Campus Worksite Protocols are here, and include information on both work spaces and research and creative works facilities. 

The Facilities Reopen Request process has been announced. This involves review and possible inspections by SRS and review by Facilities Management, in addition to approval by academic leaders. A number of buildings and facilities are now open to a limited extent. In general buildings and facilities will require key or card entry. 


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.


New computing resources webpage

UNM’s computing resources have been consolidated at This new site facilitates learning about campus-wide software licenses, computer purchases, wifi access, the student computer loan program and other resources available through IT, University Libraries and HSC. 


Preparing for fall 2020

The August 11 memo from the Provost to faculty on instructional issues is here, and the suggested syllabus language is here.

The Provost has released a memo that provides extensive information on instruction, safety, and health guidelines for the fall semester. Please note that the memo includes syllabus language regarding wearing of masks and guidance for faculty if students challenge the mask requirement.

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.



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.

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.


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, and the workshop schedule is here.

The Sandia Labs Academic Alliance 2019 Collaboration Report is now available here. UNM is one of 5 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.


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.


Mental health resources

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

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.

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. 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

 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.