The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has accredited the University of New Mexico continuously since 1922. The HLC accreditation provides assurance to the public that an institution meets stated requirements and criteria. Additionally, accreditation affects the University’s ability to access Title IV funding (financial aid for students). Learn more about UNM’s HLC accreditation here.
As the University prepares for the 2019 HLC Accreditation review, special attention has been given to the University’s aggressive goals to increase retention and graduation rates. This extends to a review of advisement personnel, who contribute significantly and directly to student success. In 2016, former Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, Greg Heileman, issued a notification to the campus community that the Division for Human Resources was engaged to evaluate advising units and ensure that each school/college has consistent organizational structures and support, and that we are meeting our students’ needs while also being budget conscious.
The project slowed after multiple changes in leadership occurred; however, in 2018, Associate Provost for Curriculum and Assessment, Pamela Cheek reinitiated the Advisement Structure Study.
Purpose and Goals
To align job classifications performing duties that directly impact student success
To retain and recognize advisors across the institution, acknowledging the vital role they play in the University’s retention and graduation goals
Internal evaluation of classification structure
Sampling of on-the-job expectations via structured questionnaires
External evaluation of peer institutions and industry standards
Evaluation of salary practices, resources and options to enhance staff retention
Determination of classification structure
Detailed communication to departments regarding changes
Evaluation of department feedback
The University anticipates implementing the new classification structure within the first quarter of 2019. Notifications will be sent to employees regarding changes to their specific positions prior to implementation.
If an employee is identified to crosswalk into a classification that does not accurately reflect the expectations of the position, departments are encouraged to utilize the Abbreviated PRQ form. This form will help HR Compensation determine which classification in the new structure most accurately reflects the duties and responsibilities of the position. When completed, send to firstname.lastname@example.org for review no later than Friday, January 18, 2019.
In cases where an employee is not currently captured in the structure, but should be at the completion of the study, departments are encouraged to contact HR Compensation to discuss options and timing. HR Compensation can be contacted at email@example.com or 505-277-6947.
If an employee is currently classified in one of the titles listed above, but should not move into the new structure, departments are encouraged to complete a full Position Review Questionnaire (PRQ) and submit to your HR Consultant for review as soon as possible. Contact your HR Consultant if you have any questions regarding this process.
Data collected from peer institutions, the marketplace, employees and their supervisors demonstrated a need to better align and simplify the classification structure for advisement positions. Additionally, by better aligning the classification structure, the University will be well equipped to demonstrate to the Higher Learning Commission the nature and quality of advisement services and student support programs across the institution.
Many positions play an integral role in student success without providing direct advisement. For instance, many positions serve to help connect students to resources, programs, services, and tools that enrich the academic experience without directly advising on a student’s course track or program completion. The Project Team identified the classifications listed above based on the nature of support provided to students within the role.
With that said, from time to time employees may become misclassified as the nature of work changes and adapts. In these cases, departments are encouraged to complete a Position Review Questionnaire (PRQ) for Human Resources to evaluate the best classification aligned with the expectations of the position. To learn more about reclassifications, review the guidelines on the HR website and contact your HR Consultant if you have questions regarding reclassification.
As the classification structure for advisement positions is finalized, departments are encouraged to evaluate whether the duties and responsibilities expected of their staff align with the classifications established. To reclassify an employee, a department should request the employee complete a Position Review Questionnaire (PRQ) and submit the request to your HR Consultant for review. Review the reclassification guidelines on the HR website and contact your HR Consultant if you have questions regarding reclassification.
No. The study is designed to ensure better alignment between advisement classifications and to support the University’s efforts to retain high-performing personnel. The study is not intended to result in layoffs for any staff.
The Provost Office has requested the Division of Human Resources evaluate the pay practice for advisement employees. An evaluation of salaries is currently underway and next steps have not yet been identified.
Graduate advisors are included in the evaluation of the study. The evaluation of graduate advisor classifications is underway. Additional classifications may be added to the list above as more information is collected.