Letters of Academic Title

Guidelines for Issuing Letters of Academic Title (LATs) on Main and Branch Campuses

Individuals who are not employed by UNM, but who participate in UNM’s teaching and/or research missions, e.g., as unpaid Instructors of Record or Principal Investigators/Project Directors or Co-PI/Co-PD[1], may be recognized with Letters of Academic Title (LATs).   UNM staff employees who also voluntarily participate in UNM’s teaching and/or research mission may also be recognized with LATs.   LATs grant the holder use of a UNM faculty title while they remain in effect.

At a minimum, holders of LATs are entitled to library privileges, to hold a UNM network account, and to be listed in the UNM Directory.  Additional rights and responsibilities may be extended to LAT holders who actively participate in the academic mission of UNM.   In those cases, academic units who seek to issue LATs for such purposes should develop internal policies and guidelines describing the responsibilities, rights and privileges of LAT holders.   LAT holders actively involved in the academic mission are subject to compliance with annual or other training requirements similar to UNM faculty employees, e.g., Clery Act, Title IX, Preventing Sexual Harassment, etc.

LATs do not confer a UNM faculty appointment; true faculty appointments are reserved for UNM’s faculty employees.   If the holder of a LAT is to be paid for their role in the academic mission, a formal employment relationship and faculty appointment must be established.[2]

Most faculty titles and ranks listed in Section B.2. are eligible to bestow on academic volunteers via LATs. Appropriate use of such a title would be, e.g., Assistant Professor of Biology (Letter of Academic Title), Research Assistant Professor (Letter of Academic Title), etc.  However, titles of particular distinction may not be given to someone via a LAT, e.g., Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, National Laboratories Professor.   Ad hoc titles (titles not recognized in Section B.2.) may not be used.[3]

Selection of an appropriate title and rank to be bestowed by a LAT should be consistent with the underlying criteria for holding the title and rank in general, e.g., written evidence of degrees and qualifications (C.V.), and consideration of the academic role to be fulfilled by the volunteer. 

All LATs must be approved by the relevant dean or director, and by the Senior Vice Provost to become effective.

LATs may be granted in renewable terms of up to three years.  LATs are non-continuing, meaning there is no expectation of renewal.  If the sponsoring academic unit does not actively seek renewal, LATs will automatically expire at the end of their stated term.

[1] See UNM Eligibility for Principal Investigator Status (Main Campus & Branches):http://osp.unm.edu/pi-resources/pi-eligibility.html

[2] SOM (HSC) gives LATs to UH and UNMMG employees who are employed by other UNM corporations, but not employed by the University itself, e.g., the hospital.  Please refer to separate HSC policies for appropriate North Campus LAT usage.

[3] Non-conforming titles issued in the past will no longer be recognized and a new conforming title should be identified.

Requesting/Renewing a LAT

To request a LAT, the department must:

  • Complete the LAT Request Form and obtain the appropriate approvals.
    • Employees of national laboratories must obtain manager approval on the LAT request form.
    • For requests to authorize the nominee to serve as Principal Investigator (PI), the “Proposed Academic Role” must describe the need for PI status.
    • For requests to authorize the nominee to serve as Instructor of Record, the “Proposed Academic Role:” must describe the nominee’s teaching responsibility. Additionally, the department must submit the Teaching Credential Validation Online Form along with the nominee’s official transcript in order to meet UNM accreditation obligations.
  • Obtain the nominee’s CV.
  • Submit LAT Request Form and CV to the Office for Academic Personnel (OAP) through Affiliate Request Form in HR Reports.
    • See the instructions for additional guidance on using the Affiliate Request Form.
    • The Affiliate Request Form replaces the Affiliate Demographic Form. For new affiliate request, you will need to obtain the demographic information specified the instructions.

Once the LAT has been submitted via the Affiliate Request Form, OAP will coordinate the Senior Vice Provost review and approval. Once a LAT request has been approved, departments can expect:

  • OAP will issue the LAT appointment letter to the nominee.
  • The nominee must sign and return the LAT appointment letter or OAP at  faculty@unm.edu within 10 days of receipt.

LAT Holder Privileges

Once approved, the LAT holder will have the following privileges for the duration of the LAT:

Net ID



Learning Central

Lobo Alerts

Lobo Cash

Lobo Card

Rec Services

Computer Pods Access

Library Access

UNMJobs Access















For new LAT holders, the nominee and department contact will receive an email with the nominee’s UNM ID number.

Once the new LAT holder receives their UNM ID, they may request a UNM NetID and email address through https://netid.unm.edu/.

Revised - 03/22/2022
Originally Issued - 10/13/14