Rights and Responsibilities at the University of New Mexico

Adopted by the UNM Regents Oct. 1965, revised August 1970, Sept. 1975, Nov. 1981, July 1982.

The purpose of this statement is to help clarify relationships between the Regents and the Administration, Faculty, and Students of the University. "Management and control" of the University are vested in the Regents, and they are also charged with the authority and "duty to enact laws, rules, and regulations for the government of the University." Inevitably, the management responsibilities of the Regents must be delegated, and so is much of their authority to govern the affairs of the institution, subject to overall policy which they establish. In this situation, it may be helpful to have a statement of the position of the Regents on certain topics of current interest and concern.

1. The Regents recognize and approve:
a. The authority and responsibility of the Administration in all matters relating to the operation of the University;
b.The authority and responsibility of the Faculty, in cooperation with the Administration, to set educational policies, to select faculty personnel, and in general, in all matters relating to teaching and research;
c. The right and responsibility of the Students of the University to provide their own self-government with authority in the affairs of the student community.
2. There presently exist adequate procedures for determining most matters affecting University operation. In order that the University may function properly under the authority of those in direct charge of its activities, the Regents ordinarily will not interfere with actions of the Administration, the Faculty, or Student Government. The Regents cannot, however, ignore the responsibilities of management and control vested in them by the Constitution and laws of the State of New Mexico. Thus, they reserve unto themselves the right to consider and determine, if in the exercise of sound discretion it is deemed necessary, any matter relating to the University.
Appeals of Administration, Faculty, or Student decisions should be addressed in writing to the Regents via the president of the University. The Regents will consider such appeals as a body. In their discretion, the Regents may request written briefs or oral arguments, or both.
3. The Regents recognize and approve the right of free speech and honest expression of opinion on any subject by any member of the University community, whether the subject relates to on- or off-campus issues, but those who speak or act shall not do so in the name of the University or any of its organizations unless there has been specific authorization to do so.
4. Off-campus speakers, if approved in accordance with University regulations, should be allowed free expression of their views. Students with diverse points of view should permit such speakers to be heard without harassment.
5. Any member of the University community--student or member of the faculty or staff--is subject to discipline if he or she acts in such a way as to affect adversely the University’s educational function or to disrupt community living on campus. All authorized University activities are deemed to be part of its educational function. No member of the community has a right to interfere with another in the pursuit of an education or in the conduct of University duties and responsibilities.
The rights and responsibilities of each member of the University community, the same as every other citizen, are measured by the laws of our country. Respect for the law is fundamental and necessary for the preservation of our form of government. The Regents will take action to enforce this principle if it should be necessary.