Academic Planning

Academic planning at the department level can be broken down into three levels: program level planning about what goes in the NMSU catalog, course level planning (course modifications, deletions, and new courses), and course scheduling. Currently course scheduling is done per academic term, and course and curricular revisions are done once per year. Program revisions and new program proposals are made less frequently as needed, sometimes in response to an academic program review. Each needs to be done in consultation with your faculty and requires further approvals. Information about the systems used to make and track changes of each type, and timetables, and be found on the following NMSU Records pages:

Approving Leave Reports/Time Sheets

Common Challenges

  • Become “the department”
    • Understand all the capabilities of the department
    • bility to represent the department to the rest of the institution and the community
  • From Individual to Collective
    • Manage a collection of individuals into an organic unit
    • Create consensus and shared visions
    • Manage activities involving teams
  • Balance loyalty to the department with loyalty to the college/institution
    • Advocate for the department
    • Understand the bigger picture and the needs of the college and institution
    • Communicate in both directions

Conflict of Interest

Conflicts of interest occur when there is a competition between a member of the university community’s private interests and the member’s professional obligations to the university such that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the member’s professional actions or decisions are determined by any considerations other than the interests of the university Faculty and staff complete forms upon hire and when situation changes. The Department Head approves all CoI forms (electronic), sent for second level approver in case of declared conflicts. The Deapartment Head should also discuss how to manage activities to avoid conflicts (e.g., recusing from committees) and make sure that everything is disclosed.

Examples of Conflicts:

  • Maintaining full-time paid employment at another institution/organization that interferes with work performance and/or attendance.
  • Excessive private consulting or advisory committee service, even if it is in the public interest or pro bono.
  • Taking a significant management role in a non-NMSU entity as part of consulting activities
  • Holding an elective political office
  • The presence of a real or apparent incentive for the faculty/staff member to decide an issue in such a way as to have the opportunity for financial interest in the result
  • Using NMSU resources or staff for non-NMSU projects or granting external entities access to the same, in more than an incidental way, unless permission has been given and the activity benefits the university.

Examples of Permitted Activities:

  • Faculty consulting for private companies not in excess of one day per week during that portion of the year when drawing an academic or summer salary.
  • Serving on advisory committees of public or private concerns for the benefit of the university, even if an honorarium is paid for such activities, as long as it does not interfere with work performance and attendance.
  • Acting as an editor or reviewer for a professional society journal
  • Preparing chapters, textbooks or monographs related to teaching, research or service activities, even if paid royalties as an author or editor
  • Occasional lectures, colloquia or seminars to disseminate results of university-related teaching, research or service activities
  • Holding an office in a professional society

Link to more information about conflict of interest

Course Evaluations

To access EvalutionKit, to set up departmental teaching evaluations, click here

Course Scheduling and Funding

Department Head Appointments

A department head serves at the discretion of the dean/director, with the concurrence of the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. All academic departments are administered by department heads under the cognizance of the college dean, graduate dean, if appropriate, and the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Link to ARP 6.71

Department Head Reassignment and Retreat

Due to the larger scope of responsibility of most administrative positions, the reassignment of an administrator with faculty rank to a faculty position normally results in a reduction of salary. Several factors are considered in making the salary determination, including the level of faculty salaries in the department where the reassignment occurs. Normally, department heads who have less than 4 complete years return to 75 percent of their base salaries (not including department head increment), and department heads who serve 4 or more years return to 80 percent of their base salaries. Again, several factors are considered in making the salary determination, including the level of faculty salaries in the department where the reassignment occurs.

Link to ARP 7.35

Department Head Review

Department Head Leaves

Duties and Responsibilities

The department head is expected to be the academic leader of the departmental faculty. The department head is responsible for ensuring that highly qualified faculty are employed. Also, the department head ensures that official transcripts, including highest degree earned are obtained for every new faculty member’s official personnel file (routed through the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs). Insofar as possible, the kind of atmosphere in which the faculty can do their best work in teaching, research, and service should be maintained.

This section discusses Academic Leadership, Faculty Development, Professional Contacts, Teaching Support, Effective Management, Departmental Advocate/College and University Steward, Liaison to Dean, Policy Compliance, Role in Recruitment, Supervision of Graduate Assistants, and Department Head Teaching Requirements.

  • Dean: Head is communication channel, implementer of rules and policies, member of the College team
  • Faculty: They are the instigators of change, Head is an enabler/provider
  • Staff: They are the “department heads”
  • Head: You are the responsible party for curriculum, planning, budget, department / office management, personnel, students. You have authority. You have responsibility.
  • Department Governance: Admin duties, manage staff, shared governance, curricula/programs, courses, instruction, requirements, planning/scheduling, and assessment
  • Faculty: Performance, assessment, recruitment, hire, promotions, tenure, discipline
  • Students: Recruitment, retention, training, learning outcomes
  • External audiences: Donors, alumni, community, funding agencies, foundations, accrediting agencies, legislators
  • Financial management: Budgeting, planning, scheduling, requests
  • Facilities: Space allocation, labs, equipment, resources


Employee & Labor Relations

Employee & Labor Relations serves as a trusted resource to all NMSU employees, as well as a strategic partner to supervisors, managers, and department heads. We promote an environment of fair treatment and respect, in which all employees can be productive and successful. We ensure university policies are followed consistently. In all of our work, we are guided by our desire to exemplify Human Resource Services core values of Accountability, Customer Focus, Excellence, Continuous Improvement, Collaboration, High Performance, and Diversity & Inclusion.
ELR is a resource for conflict resolution and disciplinary issues. Please visit their website for detailed information to assist you when needed.

Helpful Links:



FMLA is a law that protects an employee’s job when the employee needs to be away from work due to their own serious health condition or that of a family member, for the birth (including prenatal care) or placement for adoption/foster care of the employee’s child, or for a qualifying exigency for military deployment. It entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take up to 12 work weeks (26 for military exigency) of unpaid leave for themselves or specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. More information regarding FMLA can be found on the Department of Labor website at.

Link to more information about FMLA

New Course Proposal Principals and Criteria

  1. What is the source of need for the new course? What programs will the course serve? How have those programs been consulted and expressed support?
  2. Is this a growth course, reflecting overall growth both in terms of faculty and students, or is it a replacement course as aspects of the program will be phased out?
  3. If replacement, which course(s) are being phased out?
  4. Is the course required or elective (explain if neede)
  5. How often will the course run? What is the anticipated enrollment? Please be explicit.
  6. Who will teach the course? (If upper division/graduate)
  7. In your department, how many unique courses (not including xlsted/tuaght together classes) will the average faculty member teach over a two-year cycle?

Justification and description: broad enough to allow course to evolve, specific enough to explain how it fits in the overall curricula it serves.

Office of Institutional Equity

The mission of the Office of Institutional Equity is to support this commitment by promoting an inclusive, diverse and supportive environment for the NMSU System community, with the goal of enabling our employees and students to excel regardless of their age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, serious medical condition, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, spousal affiliation, or protected veteran status, consistent with NMSU policy and state and federal laws.

OIE takes all complaints seriously and strives to facilitate accountability to promote an equitable, diverse and inclusive working and learning environment for all members of the NMSU system and the greater community. They can assist with: Discrimination & Equal Opportunity cases, Title IX & Sexual Misconduct, Accommodations & Accessibility, Affirmative Action, and Advocacy, Response & Education.

Performance Evaluations

Specific information related to due dates/timelines can be found here.


Promotion and Tenure

Additional information regarding specific P&T due dates/timelines can be found here.


Overview for Managers.

Click here for a helpful link to get started.

  • Seek advice (often)
  • Care about people
  • Avoid (perception of) favoritisms
  • Be fair in your evaluations, explain
  • Develop (and follow) written procedures
  • Keep written records (decisions, discussions, incidents)
  • Plan ahead, keep continuous control of budgets, be ready for contingencies
  • Encourage change and innovation
  • Hold regular meetings, agendas, minutes
  • Be open and available
  • Cannot please everyonet”
    • Consider all options and discuss them
    • Make your decision and be transparent about your motivations
    • It is ok to compromise and to admit mistakes
  • Learn to communicate
    • Manage a collection of individuals into an organic unit
    • Not just circulating emails – explain, discuss, persuade
  • Be a good role model
    • Excel in teaching, research, service
    • Be positive
  • Learn to work effectively with your College
    • Open communication
    • Take advantage of opportunities
    • Be part of the team
  • Be inclusive
    • Ranks, tenure vs. college-track
  • Monitor performance, be open but direct
    • Be Proactive
    • Implement Mentoring plans
    • Meet often

Student Systems: Access and Functions

The primary systems for accessing individual student information are Banner, accessed through the launchpad in, and STAR audit. The primary system for accessing information about your majors and your courses is Cognos, also accessed through the Banner launchpad. Other systems you may wish to access for student information and scheduling information include: ADASTRA (scheduling), SLATE (graduate applications), and EAB (student advising). When accessing these systems from off-campus you will need to access them through the VPN.

Student system access requests are made through NMSU System Access Request. Once logged in, click the “View edit access” link, then click on the system tab, and check the appropriate boxes – click here for sample.

Click here for a guide about registering students in Banner.

Click here for various manuals about Banner and Cognos screens.

The following is a list of some of the types of access a department head might need:

Banner Student:

  • STUDENT – View
  • Update – Registration processing
  • JOB – Classlist
  • Update – Registration overrides

Cognos Student:

  • Class list
  • Advising documents
  • Class schedule

Cognos General Student Reports – STU_CONSUMER:

  • Campus: MA – NMSU – Las Cruces (Main)
  • Colleges at NMSU – Las Cruces (Main): select AS and GR (if applicable). Same for UO (if applicable)
  • Select your majors that appear


  • Web Advisor

Once all the desired access is checked, complete the non-disclosure agreement and submit the request. Please note that the data provided through these systems is subject to FERPA, HIPAA, etc. If you are not sure whether or not you need access to a particular system, we recommend checking with us or waiting to request it. It will take several days for approval and setup. You should get an acknowledgement once the request is in place. Please check with us if there seems to be a delay.

The following are lists of specific Banner screens and Cognos reports that you might find helpful for accessing and gathering student information. Please work with your admin or contact the Dean’s office if you need assistance accessing or working in these screens or reports or if you would like to request information that is not available on an existing report.

Recommended Banner student screens:

  • SFAREGS – Register student for classes
  • SFAREGQ – Student schedule with details
  • SOAHOLD – Registration holds and who placed them
  • SFASTCA – Registration audit history (helpful for questions about who registered someone for a class)
  • SFASLST – Class roster (also in Cognos; also useful for checking missing grades as grading deadline approaches)
  • SFASRPO – Registration overrides
  • SPAIDEN – Obtain 800 number via student name and vice versa

Recommended Cognos student reports:

  • ST-MJR-LIST(WS) – list of majors by program and term
  • ST-R0008-ACAD-INTEREST – For additional majors and minors that have been declared
  • ST-R0224-DEGREE-LIST(WS) – List of degrees award with student info by degree type and term]
  • ST-R0236-ACTIVE-STUDENTS – Good for checking continuing students who have not yet enrolled for coming semester
  • ST-R0018-WAITLIST-SUMMARY – Numbers of students on waiting lists
  • ST-R0562-WAITLIST-BY-CRS – Actual students currently on waiting lists, by course or section
  • ST-CRS-SCHD – List of courses offered by semester, including numbers enrolled. Useful for tracking enrollment
  • ST-R0020-CLS-ROSTER – Current roster, course or section level

Student Forms