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Section III: Teaching

Approved Spring 2018

A. Syllabi

Instructors can obtain copies of syllabi previously used for their courses from the Dean of Instruction’s office or from their Department or Division Chair. Instructors are required to submit their own syllabus for each course taught at UNM-Valencia Campus. Each student enrolled in the course should receive a copy of your syllabus by the end of the first week of classes so that they know:

  1. What material the course will cover, and
  2. What is expected of them in your course.

A PDF electronic version of your syllabus should be sent to the Academic Affairs Office, Unit Administrator by the first week of class.

A sample syllabus is given in the Appendix. Please contact your chair or coordinator with any questions or problems in preparing your syllabus.

B. Textbooks

Faculty members who are teaching different sections of the same course are encouraged to adopt a single primary text (or texts) in consultation with their Chair or Coordinator.

In program courses such as English and Math, instructors are required to use the adopted text(s). Additionally, faculty members are discouraged from changing texts too frequently so that our students may purchase used textbooks and may resell their texts. This should ensure that textbook costs are kept to a minimum.

Chairs or Coordinators will consult with faculty about text selection and may actually choose a course text or texts for a new instructor who has been hired after text-order deadlines or help a new instructor choose course texts as part of new-faculty orientation.

Faculty members will submit textbook orders to the bookstore manager on the "UNM-Valencia Campus Book Request Form" (see Department or Divisional Chair, or Bookstore Manager). The Dean of Instruction or the chair or coordinator will supply these forms to the instructor.

Every course assigned to an instructor should be listed on the "Book Request Form" with the appropriate information or the notation "NO BOOK REQUIRED."

C. Class Meeting Times and Places

It is expected that classes will be taught at the times and in the places listed on the UNM-Valencia printed schedule of classes each semester. Any permanent changes must be requested in writing and approved by the appropriate Chair and Dean of Instruction before they are made.

Should any changes in meeting times and places become necessary (this includes changes for final exams or other assignments that are part of the course grade), an instructor must make sure that such changes are:

  1. convenient for all registered students, or accommodation can be made for registered students;
  2. unanimously agreed to without pressure, by all registered students in the class, rather than simply those present on the day the changes are discussed;
  3. approved by the appropriate Chair and Dean of Instruction before they are instituted;
  4. does not conflict with other regularly scheduled classes.

D. Class Caps or Maximum Class Enrollments

In order to provide a quality educational environment in line with our stated mission, enrollment in many courses is often limited. For current enrollment limitations, consult your Division Chair. Do not exceed class caps without seeking permission.

E. Proposing New Courses and Academic Programs

Instructors interested in designing new courses or revamping established ones are urged to submit their suggestions in writing to their chairpersons or the Chair of the Curriculum Committee. These suggestions should be submitted as early as possible in the academic year, as it may take at least one year for the Main Campus to process and approve the forms. Instructors should not petition students to propose particular courses.

Suggestions on curriculum changes and new academic programs are welcomed at any time, however, they need to go through the appropriate functional department and to the UNM-Valencia Campus Curriculum Committee.

F. Course Assignments

  1. Instructors are notified of their next semester's assignments when course plans are made. Notification of future assignment is in the form of a memo to be signed and returned to the Dean of Instruction to confirm acceptance.
  2. Instructors are strongly encouraged to recruit students for their upcoming class(es) by:                                                               
  • talking to their current students about upcoming classes,
  • talking to other potential students about these classes,
  • posting notices about the classes on campus bulletin boards, and
  • submitting information to Valencia Campus’ Public Information person for news releases to the news media.

     3. Normally, instructors are notified a week before the start of classes if their course(s) has/ve sufficient enrollment to offer the         course(s). Most cancellation decisions are made during the week prior to the start of classes. In a few cases where the enrollment is "close," a cancellation decision is not made until the first day of class or sometime later. Instructors with "at risk" enrollments in their course(s) will be notified as to the status of their course(s) as soon as that information becomes available. Instructors may periodically check on the enrollment status of their upcoming classes through LoboWeb, and they are free to contact the Academic Affairs Office or Registrar's Office.

     4. The Adjunct Faculty Letter of Understanding form, which is issued by the Office of Faculty Affairs and Services, states, “You acknowledge that cancellation of classes due to under enrollments, significant mid-year budget rescissions (as determined by UNM administration) or other necessary changes in the work schedule of the department, may result in revision or cancellation of this agreement. Please check with your department, college, or branch campus administrators for specific policies they may have regarding minimum enrollments and/or class cancellations related to online or other specialized courses.”

G. Online, Hybrid, and Web-Enhanced Course Teaching Policies17

For the purposes of these policies and procedures, the following definitions for online, hybrid/blended, and web-enhanced courses will be used.

  • Online: A fully online course is one that is at least 95 percent online, with few, if any, face-to-face meetings.  The online components of the course use pedagogically sound design elements that are appropriate for learning in the online environment.  Synchronous meetings held online or in person must have meeting time(s) clearly stated in the schedule of classes.
  • Hybrid/Blended: A hybrid/blended course is one that is 25 to 94 percent online.  The course is expected to meet at regular times in a face-to-face classroom as clearly stated in the schedule of classes.  A hybrid/blended course is designed to integrate face-to-face and online activities so that they reinforce, complement, and elaborate one another.  The online component should not be an “add-on” or duplicate of what is taught face-to-face, and the face-to-face component should be an integral part of the course.
  • Web-Enhanced: A web-enhanced course is a traditional face-to-face course that uses UNM’s official Learning Management System or another online platform for communication, posting assignments, and other teaching materials.  The online components are not pedagogically integrated for learning online.

We will adhere to the standards set forth and published by the Higher Learning Commission as presented below:

 Provided below are the policies concerning qualifications of faculty teaching online or hybrid/blended courses, and processes used for periodic and continual review of online courses and programs.  Online Teaching Best Practices Guidelines will be updated regularly by the UNM-Valencia Faculty Online Teaching and Review Committee and are given in Appendix 7.

 Faculty Qualifications, Support and Certification:

  • The UNM-Valencia Faculty Online Teaching and Review Committee (FOTRC) must review and approve online teaching qualifications of all faculty who plan to teach online or hybrid/blended courses.  This will be done before a faculty member is regularly scheduled to teach a course.  In the case of extenuating circumstances, such as emergency hires or last minute changes in schedule, a faculty member not yet approved by the FOTRC may be assigned to an online or blended course, but will need to be approved before being regularly scheduled to teach the course.
  • The minimum qualifications for faculty to teach online or hybrid/blended courses are listed in the Online Teaching Best Practices Guidelines in the Appendices.  Continued professional development in online teaching is encouraged and opportunities for continued professional development will be provided by the FOTRC.
  • The FOTRC will coordinate training of faculty in best practices and pedagogically sound integration of web tools in the design of online and hybrid/blended courses.
  • The Teaching and Learning Center will coordinate training of faculty in the use of the online tools.

 Course Development and Review:

  • Faculty who design a new online or hybrid/blended course will work with a member of the FOTRC to ensure quality design of the course.  The instructor is expected to use an approved review rubric during the design phase for the course (see Online Teaching Best Practices Guidelines).
  • The FOTRC will conduct periodic internal design reviews of all online and hybrid/blended courses and programs.  An online or hybrid/blended course will not go through a complete review until it has been taught at least twice.

 Evaluation and Assessment of Online and Hybrid/Blended Courses:  Hybrid/Blended and online courses are subject to the same evaluation procedures and criteria as face-to-face courses in terms of core course assessments, supervisor or peer observations, and student course evaluations.

 Student Assessment and Authentication:  Faculty members are expected to exercise due diligence in authenticating that the student receiving a grade for a course is in fact the person who completed the work for the course.  Some options are listed in the Online Teaching Best Practices Guidelines.

 Accessibility:  During the design of an online or hybrid/blended course attention will be given to student accessibility issues.  The course design should follow Sections 504 and 508 of the Federal Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility and Compliance Act and state guidelines  (see,, and ).

H. Team Teaching

Given the potential benefits to faculty and students alike, instructors are encouraged to develop courses to be offered in a team teaching environment. In order to be cost effective, a minimum number of students in team-taught classes will be determined by the Dean of Instruction. If this enrollment goal is not realized, the team may have to be split, with all but one of the originally assigned instructors being reassigned to teach other courses as available.

Moreover, in order to share this teaching opportunity, instructors are usually limited to two team-taught courses per academic year.

I. Faculty Attendance and Emergency Dismissal of Classes

It is expected that instructors will meet their students at every assigned class time for the entire class period. However, should emergencies, such as an illness, an accident, or a family crisis, prevent attendance, instructors should contact their chair or the Dean of Instruction through the Academic Affairs Office at 505-925-8600 as soon as possible so that the students can be notified of the canceled class.

Non-emergency absences are permissible only with approval of the faculty member’s supervisor and the Dean of Instruction at least one week prior to the non-emergency absence. Dismissal of Class forms are available in the Academic Affairs Office.

Occasional emergencies, ranging from inclement weather to bomb scares, may force the college administration to dismiss classes for some or all of a teaching day. Messages will be sent via email as possible. Also check the Valencia Campus web site and local television or radio stations for closure notices, or you may call the Inclement Weather line at 505-925-SNOW(7669).

In general, individual instructors must not dismiss class in such emergencies without prior approval from the administration. These canceled classes will not usually have to be made up unless their total numbers become excessive.

J. Class Lists, Student Attendance, and Class Drops

Class lists will be available via UNM LoboWeb at the beginning of each semester.

Students on class rosters are expected to attend all class sessions, unless otherwise excused by their instructors. Instructors are therefore urged to take attendance at each class meeting. This is especially important for students receiving government funding from the Veterans Administration and JTPA. Attendance should regularly be electronically submitted in the approved/required program.

SAGE: This program is used to make attendance and performance information about students available to Student Services’ advisors. Contacting students by the third week greatly enhances their chances for success in the class. However, intervention at any time is critical. Using SAGE to flag students with low performance is not intended as a substitute for the instructor informing students of their academic progress. Advisors will encourage students to speak with their instructors, as well as refer them to campus services for assistance (see Academic Affairs Office or Advising Center).

Instructors may drop students with excessive documented absences, but the instructor must have included a statement about this policy in the syllabus for the course. Student absences greater than 15% of course content hours have historically been used as a guideline for excessive absences.

Instructors can process drops themselves through LoboWeb.

K. Typing, Duplicating, and Other Support Services

Faculty are provided with access to computers and can produce their tests, syllabi, and other course materials on campus. Faculty should not duplicate entire articles or long readings for each member of his/her class. Instead, one or two copies of these readings may be put on reserve for your students in the UNM-Valencia Campus library, or they may be scanned and made available through UNM Learn. This will help us to conserve copying resources. The faculty should be aware of the "fair use" copyright laws and can consult with the librarian about the best way to make these materials available to students.

Instructional support staff in the Academic Affairs Office can provide the following services:

  1. making copies of course materials with advanced notification
  2. ordering supplies and equipment for instructional use
  3. making arrangements for transportation and use of university vehicles for field trips
  4. taking phone messages
  5. coordinating the administration of UNM designated course evaluation tool (CET) as well as the simplified versio of CET
  6. coordinating travel vouchers for instructors
  7. assigning mail box for instructors each semester
  8. supervising work-study students
  9. assigning copy codes to faculty.

L. Instructional Equipment

All classrooms come equipped with Audio-Visual equipment in the form of “Sympodiums.” The Teaching and Learning Center staff can provide assistance in the use of this equipment and provides keys for access to Sympodiums.

Classroom Capture (recording of class lectures) is also available in many classrooms. Contact the Teaching and Learning Center for information about using this technology and about training workshops.

The library has a catalog of videos (DVDs) for checkout. Contact the librarian for a current list and for films online that are available on demand.

M. Information Systems and Computer Usage

All computer systems on Valencia Campus are managed by a Systems Administrator and technical staff (925-8911). The Systems Administrator is responsible for maintenance of all computers and the campus' network system. Maintenance of the computers includes the installation of additional software and hardware by the technical staff in the open labs and on faculty computers. Additionally, the Systems Administrator serves a consultant role determining future information systems needs for our campus and connectivity to systems on the Main Campus and other institutions.

Each full-time faculty member is issued a personal computer for instructional and administrative use. Adjunct faculty are issued computers in the Academic Affairs Office adjunct office area. Purchases of software or additional hardware must be made using funds in the instructor's academic unit. It is recommended that the Systems Administrator be consulted before purchasing software to ascertain compatibility and hardware expansion and software license issues.

All computers at the Valencia Campus are connected to a campus-wide network system. Faculty are encouraged to use this network for a variety of reasons that include, but are not limited to:

  1. sending/receiving electronic mail
  2. sharing printers and other equipment
  3. sharing data in files and databases
  4. electronic collection of student assignments
  5. accessing various applications programs

To gain access to the network system, the instructor will need to contact the Systems Administrator to be issued a login ID and password. Once the login ID and password are issued, the instructor will have access to the network system from any of the campus computers.

Equipment in the Business and Technology open labs is primarily intended, although not exclusively, for classroom-related use by UNM-Valencia students who have been given proper authorization. Faculty, staff and students may use the equipment according to the following guidelines (listed in order of priority)

  1. Usage directly related to classroom assignments. Instructors should coordinate with the Systems Administrator to ensure proper software is installed.
  2. Usage directly related to UNM functions. These include clerical work, formulation of reports, faculty dossier, in-house equipment training, etc. Usage for these purposes is both acceptable and encouraged.
  3. Personal usage. Included in this category are classroom assignment papers, reports, theses, or dissertations as well as any other personal usage. For-profit use is definitely prohibited. For any usage where material resources are expended, use is limited to a maximum of 10 hardcopies per person per month.

Use of other computer labs must be scheduled as any other classroom in the Academic Affairs Office.

Computer support staff can provide instructional assistance to faculty and students in the open computer labs.

Ethics Policies for Computer Use: The University Business Policies and Procedures Manual of the University of New Mexico, policy 2500.6, lists regulations for the ethical use of computer systems ( ).

Open lab hours in the Business and Technology building change from one semester to another and are available upon request from the Business and Industrial Technologies office (925-8700). A lab may be closed without prior notice in the rare event that a lab attendant is not available to supervise. Business and Technology building staff and work studies may not be used by any faculty, staff or student for any services outside of their normal duties (e.g., helping to enter a report or other paper into the word processor, repairing a computer, helping with software, etc.) except with prior approval from the Division Chair or on the staff or work study's own time (preferably with compensation).

Except by special permission from the Systems Administrator, Business and Industrial Technologies Division Chair or higher administration, individuals who are not affiliated with UNM-Valencia Campus will not be given access to Business and Technology building open labs.

An open lab is available in the Learning Commons; hours available through the Learning Commons (925-8907). Computers are also available in the UNM-Valencia Library for use by students and community members, though student use takes priority.

N. Faculty Office Hours

Full-time faculty will post and hold seven (7) office hours per week with the following provisions:

  1. Instructors are encouraged to make every effort to meet with their students.
  2. Whenever feasible, faculty will schedule office hours directly before and after classes and always endeavor to set office hours most convenient for students; faculty are also encouraged to meet with students outside of posted office hours, by appointment.
  3. All posted office hours should be followed by the phrase "or by appointment.”
  4. If instructors must be away from their offices during posted office hours, they should arrange for student messages and quickly respond should any student call or drop by their offices.
  5. 5 Any course load below 15 credit hours per semester reduces required office hours for that semester. For full-time faculty teaching a reduced load:

           i. 3 to 6 credit hours course load = 2 office hours per week;

          ii. 7 to 9 credit hours course load = 4 office hours per week;

         iii. 10 to 12 credit hours course load = 6 office hours per week

Adjunct faculty should hold office hours for a half-hour per week for each three-credit-hour course taught.

6. Faculty should submit office hours to his/her supervisor and to the Academic Affairs Office as soon as possible after each semester's course schedule is finalized.

7. Faculty should post their office hours on their office doors and in their syllabi by the second week of the semester.

O. Teaching Environment

          1. UNM regulations prohibit smoking, drinking, or eating in classrooms and teaching laboratories before, during, and after class sessions.

          2. Tables and chairs should be returned to their original positions at the end of each class.

          3. The whiteboard should be cleaned after your class so that the room is ready for the next group assigned to use it.

          4. Classroom lights should be turned off after class to conserve energy.

          5. Projectors and computers should be tuned off when you are finished with the equipment and sympodiums should be locked.

          6. Please inform your Chair or the Dean of Instruction or the Academic Affairs Office if there are problems, defective heating or cooling, or inadequate seating arrangements, in your classroom. If technology problems occur with the sympodium or projector, please notify the Teaching and Learning Center.

P. Guest Speakers

1. General

Departments may pay an honorarium to an individual of special achievement or renown, in return for that individual's willingness to visit the University and participate in a University event of short duration (such as speaker, reviewer, seminar participant, etc.), with the understanding that the payment does not constitute compensation commensurate with the actual services provided. An honorarium check should be presented to the recipient on completion of the service and requests for payment of honoraria should be approved before the event. An honorarium is not intended to be a payment for services rendered by either an independent contractor or an individual working in an employment relationship. Honoraria cannot be paid to employees.

2. Payment Procedures

To request an honorarium payment, the department must complete a request in Chrome River Expense. A detailed description of the purpose or function of the honorarium payment must be included in the request. The requestor should provide some biographical information on the payee, to establish how the payee met the criteria noted in section 1 above. All honorarium requests must be approved in Chrome River by the applicable dean, director, or department head (or delegate).

3. Taxability Reporting

The University must report honorarium payments on form 1099; therefore, a social security number from the recipient is required. The entire amount of the honorarium will be reported on the recipient's 1099 unless the recipient chooses to include a signed itemization of travel expenses or submit original receipts related to the service. These expenses will be deducted from the total amount of the honorarium.

4. Foreign Nationals

There are restrictions on honorarium payments and expense reimbursements to foreign nationals. Contact the appropriate accounting office prior to making any commitment for an honorarium payment or expense reimbursement to a foreign national.

Q. Keys

Classroom buildings are unlocked by 7:00 am and locked by 10:00 pm during the week, so instructors do not normally need keys to enter their buildings and classrooms. However should a faculty member need access to a classroom or lab at a different time, they can do so by contacting security.

Keys to offices or storage areas in cubicles in the Adjunct Faculty area are issued via the support staff in the Academic Affairs Office.

Lockers are provided for Adjunct Faculty but require a personal lock.

Sympodium keys can be requested at the beginning of each semester through the Teaching and Learning Center.

R. Disciplinary Procedures

Instructors who experience disciplinary problems with their students should

  1. refer to the Student Disciplinary procedures section of the UNM-Valencia Catalog
  2. refer to the UNM code of conduct
  3. discuss the issue with your Chair, the Dean of Instruction, and/or the Director of Student Services as soon as problems develop and before they become serious.

If threatening student behavior occurs during class or office hours or other times on campus do not hesitate to call campus security at 925-8570.

S. Security and Parking

Instructors who experience immediately threatening security problems while on campus, or otherwise notice disruptions on campus, should immediately alert the Academic Affairs Office. If there is no one in the office, please contact the security guard. The security guard's campus extension is 925-8570. Instructors who teach off campus should inquire about the security rules at each off-campus site.

All faculty members are required to display a current and numbered UNM-Valencia parking permit on the vehicle(s) they bring to campus. Parking stickers should be ordered online at and picked up at the security office at the Student Center (office in the northeast corner of the Student Center). Any vehicle parked in a Visitor’s parking spot will need a permit from the Security office. Vehicles displaying UNM-Valencia Campus parking permits that are parked in Visitor spaces will be ticketed.

Faculty who must park at UNM main campus while representing Valencia Campus may request a parking permit ahead of time from the Administrative Office. The cost of the parking permit will be charged against the department or division the faculty member is representing, or against the Faculty Assembly account if the faculty member is representing the Faculty Assembly.

T. Promoting Your Courses

Instructors are encouraged to submit information about newsworthy aspects of their courses to the Public Information person so that press releases may be distributed to the local media. Articles in the press are extremely important for our image in the community and letting the public know how we are serving the community. The Public Information office is located in the Administration Building.

Instructors are encouraged to use the display case in the Arts and Sciences Building to display class projects, promote upcoming classes, and so on. Reservations to use the case can be made in the Academic Affairs Office for various lengths of time, although it will be reserved on a first come, first served basis, and a limit of three weeks will be used as a guideline. If no other requests are made for the space, additional time beyond the three weeks will be considered. Please see the Administrative Assistant in the Arts and Sciences Building to reserve the display case.

U. Instructor of the Year Awards

The UNM-Valencia Instructor of the Year Awards are sponsored by the UNM-Valencia Student Government. These are highly prestigious award created to honor instructors who are recognized for teaching excellence and college service by our students. There are two awards for faculty in each academic division: one for a full-time instructor and one for a part-time instructor.

V. Student of the Month Award

Each month a top student is honored as the UNM-Valencia’s Student of the Month. This student is selected by the Student of the Month Committee based on recommendations made by the faculty and staff using Student of the Month Nomination forms (see chair of the committee). Instructors are strongly encouraged to make nominations from month to month so that we may honor our best students in this important way.

W. Student Retention

UNM-Valencia instructors are expected to be actively involved in the retention of our students each semester (to prevent drops) and from semester to semester (to prevent drop-outs). The following is a partial list of the ways in which instructors can assist in retention efforts:

  1. Use the currently approved electronic submission reporting system (SAGE) to report the names of students who have poor attendance records to Student Services so that advisors can contact these students.
  2. Urge students who are doing poorly to make use of the extra help available at the Learning Commons.
  3. Urge particularly good students to apply for UNM-Valencia Scholarships.
  4. Use the Student of the Month Nomination form to nominate your best students for recognition.
  5. Fair and timely grading and help in explaining mistakes.
  6. Be accessible to your students by faithfully keeping office hours from week to week, have an "approachable" attitude, and respond to emails in a timely manner.

17 Section G was amended and approved by the UNM-Valencia Faculty Assembly, and updated by the Handbook Committee on March 23, 2016.