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Student Handbook

Student Handbook

 

President’s Letter

Campus Directory

Academic Calendar

First Day of Class/College Life

Chartered Student Clubs and Organizations

NMHU Departments

Business Office Information

Financial Aid Information

Campus Computers and E-mail Information

Campus Housing Information

Suicide Prevention and Response

Highlands University Policies

Academic Amnesty

Class Attendance

Inclement Weather

Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Policies

NMHU’s Policy Statement Regarding the Prevention of and Response to Sex Offenses, Domestic Violence and Stalking 

NMHU’s Policy Statement on the Prevention of and Response to Students of Concern

Student Academic Integrity Policy

Policy on Emergency Contact

Policy on Self-Destructive Behavior

Sexual Harassment Policy

Tobacco Use Policy

Student Code of Conduct

Equal Educational Opportunity Policy Statement

Policies for Reporting and Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment

Worker’s Compensation Procedures

Student Educational Records

 

President's Letter

Jim Fries

Institutions do not make things happen, people do. Here at Highlands, that includes you. Thank you for deciding to be a part of New Mexico Highlands University, Northern New Mexico’s oldest and most distinguished public institution of higher education. Working together, we can make this a very special, exciting, and productive year for all of us.

Our primary goal is to provide you with the challenges and support necessary to ensure our mutual investment of time and money in your education is successful. I suspect that your college years will be an opportunity for more personal freedom, more socializing, more questioning of everything around you, and more exposure to ideas, concepts, theories, facts, and people of all backgrounds than you might experience at any other time in your life. It will likely be an experience that will nurture you for the rest of your life. We want it to be so.

Clearly, your first priority must be to attend class and pursue your studies to achieve the intellectual growth and the bachelor’s or master’s degree that brought you to Highlands in the first place. But I also encourage you to get involved beyond the classroom and the laboratory. Be a leader, join a student organization, participate on one of our intramural or intercollegiate athletic teams, be part of a fine arts production or group, help run KEDP 91.1, or form your own interest group if the right one doesn’t exist. This is your campus and getting involved will likely enhance your classroom experience as well as introduce you to new friends.

Please take the time to read this handbook; it is your guide to the programs and services that are available for you. And remember, our faculty and staff are dedicated to helping you achieve your fullest potential.  Contact them if needed.

On behalf of the Highlands family, I offer you our sincere wishes for a productive and safe year.

Sincerely, 

James Fries, Ph.D.
President

First Day of Class/College Life

On your first day of class, you’ll get some introductory information, but then it’s down to business. If you have any questions about the structure of the course, the grading systems, when papers are due, when tests will be given or anything else, this is the time to ask! Your instructors should cover the following topics on the first day of class. If they don’t, ask them about:

  • required textbooks,
  • other required class materials,
  • the syllabus (an outline of the material covered in the course),
  • the schedule of tests, papers and/or projects,
  • supplementary reading lists,
  • their grading system,
  • their office hours,
  • their policy on attendance and class participation, and 
  • check Desire2Learn to see if there are supplementary materials for any of your classes.
  • If you get ahead of the game on the first day, chances are you’ll stay ahead – and finish ahead.

Think of the student-professor relationship as a partnership with a common goal: your success. Here are a few tips to keep your relationship with the instructor on track:

  • Introduce yourself to your professor. The first day of class is sometimes as awkward for teachers as well as students.
  • Be on time for your class, and give your professor your full attention. Show you’re serious about your studies.
  • Participate in class discussions and volunteer answers to questions. Show you’re interested and willing to work.
  • Accept corrections and criticism as part of the learning process. We often learn more from our failures than we do from our successes.
  • Ask questions. Instructors aren’t mind readers; they need to know if something isn’t clear.
  • Make an appointment to talk to your professor if you’re having trouble with the coursework. Don’t wait until you’re completely lost to ask for help.

Life in college is a little different than it was in high school. College courses nearly always require more reading, more homework and more of your time than your high school courses did.

It doesn’t mean you’re an alien from outer space if you:

  • can’t decide on a major.
  • change your major (even several times).
  • want to have more than one major.

But if you’re having trouble clarifying your goals, see an adviser in Academic Support or Student Support Services. Find out what’s beyond the classroom. Highlands University offers a lot of support services that are yours, free, just for the asking. It’s your life. Look to professors, advisers and college staff for support, but not for decisions. Decisions are your responsibility.

Major in what you like, and success will come. Don’t study something because your mother, father or friend thinks you should. Put your heart into it! 

Here are some hints on asking for help:

  • Talk to your professor right away if you’re having trouble in class.
  • Make an appointment with an adviser in the Academic Support Office or Student Support Services if stress is getting in the way of success.
  • Access the Student Assistant Program.

Learning is lifelong. You’re never too old, too young, too nervous, or too inexperienced for college.

NMHU Departments

ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

The Division of Academic Affairs is responsible for the instructional program of the university. This division includes a vice president, associate vice president, academic deans, department heads, and faculty. Students may contact one or more of these individuals for information specific to academic programs.

Office of Academic Affairs

Dr. Gilbert Rivera, Vice President for Academic Affairs 
105 Rodgers Administration Building, (505) 454-3311

Office of Graduate Studies

Dr. Linda LaGrange, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
108 Rodgers Administration Building, (505) 454-3266

School of Business, Media Arts and Technology

Dr. Margaret Young, Dean
235 Sininger Hall, (505) 454-3344

Dr. Charles Swim, Department Chair, Business Administration
214 Sininger Hall, (505) 454-3163

Kerry Loewen, Department Chair, Media Arts & Technology
Media Arts West 109, (505) 454-3184

School of Social Work

Dr. Alfredo Garcia, Dean
5041 Indian School Rd, Ste. 100, Albuquerque, NM (505) 261-6182 

Dr. Jill Baker, Associate Dean
235 Lora Shields Science Annex, (505) 454-3409

College Arts and Sciences

Dr. Kenneth Bentson, Interim Dean
136 Douglas Hall, (505) 454-3080

Dr. David Sammeth, Department Chair, Biology and Chemistry
232 Ivan Hilton Science Technology Building, (505) 454-3263/3321

Dr. Hossein Tahani, Department Chair, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
227 Ivan Hilton Science Technology Building, (505) 426-2121

Dr. Helen Blythe, Department Chair, English and Philosophy
139 Douglas Hall, (505) 454-3414

Dr. Yongseek Kim, Department Chair, Exercise and Sport Sciences
PE 234 Wilson Complex, (505) 454-3287

Dr. Steven Williams, Department Chair, History, Political Science and Languages & Culture
249 Douglas Hall, (505) 454-3013

Dr. David Hacker, Department Chair, Natural Resources Management
137 Ivan Hilton Science Technology Building, (505) 454-3263

Dr. Susan Williams, Director, Nursing
101 Engineering Building, (505) 454-3210

Dr. Tom Ward, Department Chair, Social & Behavioral Sciences
341 Lora Shields Building, (505) 454-3343

Professor Todd Christensen, Department Chair, Visual and Performing Arts
109C Burris Hall, (505) 454-3485

School of Education

Dr. Belinda Laumbach, Interim Dean
14B Teacher Education Center, (505) 454-3146 

Dr. David Braun y Harychi, Associate Dean
122 Teacher Education Center, (505) 454-3070

Dr. Kathy Jenkins, Associate Dean and Director
129 NMHU – Rio Rancho, Rio Rancho, (505) 891-6930

Dr. James Burns, Department Chair, Educational Leadership
106 Teacher Education Center, (505) 454-3521

Dr. Jim Alarid, Department Chair, Special Education
123 Teacher Education Center, (505) 454-3509

Dr. Alice Menzor, Interim Department Chair, Curriculum & Instruction
129 Teacher Education Center, (505) 426-2204

Dr. George Leone, Department Chair, Counseling & Guidance
128 Teacher Education Center, 454-3211

Dr. Merryl Kravitz, Department Chair, Teacher Education
105 Teacher Education Center, (505) 454-3514

ACADEMIC SUPPORT

Felix Martinez Building, (505) 454-3188

The Office of Academic Support offers an array of services with special emphasis on academic advisement. The academic support staff is available to ensure you receive assistance in assessing your interests, skills and abilities and point you in the right direction to help get you through college. The department provides assistance with peer advising, academic and social workshops, accessibility (physical, mental, and emotional disability related issues) and testing services, retention and intervention, academic advisement and new student orientation.

ADMISSIONS OFFICE

Felix Martinez Building, (505) 454-3439

The Admissions Office serves as a source of information for prospective students about the university’s academic programs and support services. 

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/HUMAN RESOURCES

108 Rodgers Hall Administration Building, (505) 454-3242

Concerns related to possible employee discrimination and sexual harassment should be directed to this office.

ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES

Felix Martinez Building, (505) 454-3252, Disabilities@nmhu.edu

Accessibility Services is responsible for coordinating services to students with physical, learning, and psychological disabilities under the auspices of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. At the university level, the student bears primary responsibility for registering his or her disability, following procedures, and following through on the implementation of their accommodations. Students requesting reasonable accommodations should provide written documentation of their specific disability and follow all the policies and procedures outlined in the Accessibility Services Handbook, available separately at the above address. Official accommodations cannot be provided to students with disabilities without prior approval from the Accessibility Services. To ensure accommodations are in place, students are strongly encouraged to contact this office as soon as possible about their disability.  Students who have specific request for housing due to a disability must contact Accessibility Services.

ARMAS IN EDUCATION

Engineering Building, (505) 426-2009 or (505) 426-2010

The center provides comprehensive support to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) students as they work toward their academic and professional goals.  Services include supplemental instruction on STEM gateway courses, math and science tutoring, advising, career counseling, workshops and connections to local internships and research opportunities.  All students are welcome to participate in the services and program offered by the center and do not have to be STEM majors to access ARMAS services.  Students are invited to drop by to meet our staff and learn more about the resources ARMAS offers.  During fall and spring semesters, ARMAS is open from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Mondays – Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.   

BOOKSTORE

101 Student Union Building, (505) 454-3598, Bookstore@nmhu.edu

Students will make the Highlands Bookstore their first stop each semester, as the bookstore stocks the required course textbooks. The bookstore also offers supplies, gifts, novelty items and access to a fax machine.  Regular business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours of operation are extended during early semester rush periods. 

BUSINESS OFFICE

Rodgers Hall Administration Building, sar@nmhu.edu

The Business Office offers and array of services including student payment plans, disbursement of payroll and financial aid checks.  Located on the second floor of Rodgers Administration Building, we are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. See Page 28 for more information.

CASHIER’S OFFICE

Rodgers Hall Administration Building, (505) 454-3440

Located on the second floor of Rodgers Hall, this office disburses student payroll checks and financial aid checks, check cashing (with NMHU identification), and student payments to the university.  Valid Identification (State issued ID/DL, Passport or NMHU ID) is required for all transactions at the Cashier’s Office.

CAMPUS LIFE AND CONFERENCES

301 Student Union Building, (505) 454-3590, Campuslife@nmhu.edu

Campus Life assists in making student life fun, lively and educational. The office provides a number of services including coordination of university events such as Welcome Week, club fairs, the Student Leadership Recognition Dinner, dances, Family Fun Day, homecoming events, and the Family Holiday Party. Service to student organizations includes charters, a handbook, mailboxes, leadership training programs and scheduling of university facilities. This office also provides student identification card services for university students, staff and faculty, oversees the campus vending operation, and administers the canteen fund. The director of campus life welcomes volunteers to assist with events or to join campus organizations or the Activities Board.

CAMPUS POLICE

Ninth Street and Baca, Routine calls, (505) 454-3278/3274 or on-campus phones, 5555

Emergency Calls, 9-911

The campus police are responsible for enforcing university regulations, city ordinances and state and federal laws. Police are trained in first aid and other emergency procedures. The department maintains the campus parking system, lost and found, and weapons safekeeping. Police are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at the Police and Information Center at Eleventh and Baca. During nonbusiness hours and holidays, police answer telephone calls made to the university.

CAMPUS VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAM

302 Student Union Building, (505) 454-3445, preventviolence@nmhu.edu

The Campus Violence Prevention Program provides collaborative services and support to students who have experienced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. CVPP also provides services and support for students who are experiencing suicidal ideations. Services include advocacy, counseling referrals, academic and housing assistance, and student discipline advocacy. The Campus Violence Prevention Program provides educational outreach and prevention, and coordinates trainings for the campus community. Please see page 57 for more information.

CAREER SERVICES CENTER

Felix Martinez Building Room 230, (505) 454-3048

The Career Services Center offers current students a variety of career planning services including job search strategies, résumé preparation, interview skills, career fairs, job listings for summer jobs/internships/research programs and career opportunities, employer information sessions, workshops, and on-campus recruitment. Most of these services are also directly available online at www.nmhu.edu/careerservices. All students, including freshmen, are encouraged to utilize these services early in their education. Paid internships offer students the opportunity to gain work experience related to their field of study while in college.

SUMMER JOBS/INTERNSHIPS/RESEARCH PROGRAMS/PART-TIME JOBS

Career Services Center, Felix Martinez Building, Room 230, (505) 454-3048 

The Career Services Center provides employment listings for summer jobs and internships, federal “Pathways” internships, cooperative education programs, summer research opportunities, and part-time jobs for students seeking to gain work experience related to their fields of study. These opportunities are posted and updated daily on the Career Services website:  www.nmhu.edu/careerservices.  These jobs are available throughout the state, nationwide, and internationally.

COUNSELING - INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP

Teacher Education Building (TEC), (505) 454-3564

Highlands University offers free counseling for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families to help with problems related to abuse, addictions, self-esteem, relationships, anger, and other areas of life. The services are confidential and private and are conducted by graduate interns of Highlands’ Counseling and Guidance Program and supervised by a licensed professional counselor on the faculty.

DINING SERVICES

117 Student Union Building, (505) 426-2153 / (505) 426-2139

Students will have access to the dining hall throughout the day with meals deducted from their NMHU Student ID card. “To-go” boxes can also be purchased from the dining area for meals on the go. Student meal plans come with options of Flex Dollars that will also allow students to make purchases at Einstein’s Bagel Bros., Starbucks, and the Convenience Store.  The Flex Dollars will be reloadable at the kiosks located in the New Student Center.  for the hours of operation please contact the Aviands Office at 454-2153/2139 

EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH SERVICES (EOS)

Sininger Hall, (505) 426-2270, Toll Free (877) 248-9854

EOS provides regional telecommunications access and educational opportunities to all students and communities. EOS provides off-campus instruction, televised instruction (ITV) and web-based instruction. Help desk business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS

Felix Martinez Building, (505) 454-3318, financialaid@nmhu.edu

Toll-free (800) 379-4038. (Calls made on this number cannot be transferred or forwarded.) 

This office offers financial assistance to eligible Highlands students in the form of grants, student loans, scholarships and student employment. It is important that students interested in financial aid maintain an acceptable grade point average and apply for aid early.

FOUNDATION AND ALUMNI AFFAIRS

(505) 454-3199, jfmandarino@nmhu.edu

Highlands Foundation is responsible for raising private-sector funds for student scholarships and assisting the university administration with special projects. The foundation also acts as fiduciary agent for the funds of university departments and student organizations. The Alumni Affairs Office maintains correspondence and contact with Highlands graduates. It maintains the alumni database, publishes the alumni newsletter and sponsors alumni events such as homecoming and regional gatherings. The Alumni Office is charged with promoting goodwill between the university and its alumni.

GOLF COURSE & FIFTH QUARTER GRILL

(505) 425-7711

The Gene Torres Golf Course and Fifth Quarter Grill are located on the north side of Mills Avenue between Seventh Street and Grand Avenue. The university course is open to the public year round as weather permits. Call for information on currents fees.

HEALTH CENTER

Stu Clark Building, (505) 454-3218, Healthcenter@nmhu.edu

The Student Health Center provides primary medical care to Highlands students and their dependents. The center posts a regular schedule with reduced hours during the summer semester. Highlands’s students may take advantage of the many services provided by the Health Center, which include prescription discounts and a small per-visit fee for dependents of eligible students. The Health Center accommodates walk-ins, but scheduled appointments are preferred.

HOUSING AND STUDENT CONDUCT

328 Student Union Building, (505) 454-3193, Housing@nmhu.edu

Life in the residence halls is often an important part of the total college experience. Students interested in making new friends, being close to classes, the library and on campus activities, should really consider living on campus in the residence halls. Students have a variety of choices when considering an on campus residence. There are suite style residences and more traditional halls with both private and shared rooms; something for everyone.  Students who have specific request for housing due to a disability must contact Accessibility Services.

Apartments are available for students with families and on a limited basis, to graduate, nontraditional and students 21 and older. All of our residences are equipped with a phone line, cable TV outlet and Internet connection, in addition to the Wi Fi available throughout campus. Laundry facilities, lounge space and gaming areas are also a part of residential life at Highlands. See page 41 for more information.

IDENTIFICATION CARDS

301 Student Union Building (505) 454-3590

Photo identification cards are made on the third floor of the Student Union Building and are required for admittance to university events. There is no charge for the first identification card, but a fee $25 fee is assessed to replace a stolen or lost card. Hours are scheduled at the beginning of the semester. 

ILFELD AUDITORIUM

900 University Ave.

The university’s Ilfeld Auditorium is the place for entertainment on campus. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 727-seat auditorium is home to concerts, lectures, free movies and the annual Homecoming Pageant. A list of each month’s upcoming events is online at www.nmhu.edu/ilfeld.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

Donnelly Library Ground Floor, (505) 454-3496

ITS is Information Technology Services, which is responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and security of computers, software, telephones, and the network on campus.  ITS maintains a helpdesk to address problems with access to university computer recourses or to report problems with university computers.  

INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS

101 Field House, (505) 454-3368

Highlands University is a member of the NCAA Division II and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The following programs are available at Highlands:

Men – football, cross country, basketball & wrestling, and baseball.

Women – volleyball, cross country, basketball, soccer, softball, indoor and outdoor track & field.

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION CENTER

Student Union Building, (505) 454-3372

The International Education Center:

  • Acts as a liaison with federal agencies on issues related to immigration,
  • Provides international student orientations,
  • Advises the university’s International Club, 
  • Coordinates study and research exchange programs.
  • Assists international students at Highlands.

INTRAMURAL SPORTS

(505) 454-3287  

Students interested in intramural competition should contact the Exercise and Sports Science Office. Highlands University intramural competition is available in softball, basketball, volleyball, football, golf, ping-pong, pool and billiards and racquetball. University resources for both intramural and intercollegiate athletics include an indoor swimming pool, basketball courts, athletic fields, tennis courts, weight-training rooms, a nine-hole golf course, and racquetball courts. 

LIBRARY

Library hours are Posted on  the library’s online page at www.nmhu.edu/library 

Reference Information Desk, (505) 454-3401. 

The Thomas C. Donnelly Library offers the following services to Highlands students, staff and faculty: access to computers, e-mail and Internet, Ray Drew Gallery, loan of books and other materials, interlibrary lending and borrowing, microfilm copying and printing, photocopying, public access catalog, reference services, special collections, study facilities, The library is located just off 8th Street on National Avenue). A valid Highlands ID is required to check out materials.

NATIVE AMERICAN SERVICES

Student Union Building, (505) 426-2049

Native American Student Services provides targeted support services for Native American students, including academic and financial aid advisement, collaboration with tribal educational offices, and sponsorship of the university’s Native American Club and American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

OFFICE OF THE DEAN OF STUDENTS

Felix Martinez Building, Room 261, (505) 454-3020

The Office of the Dean of Students answers questions or concerns related to academic advising, athletics, career services, disability services, financial aid, health services, housing, registration, etc. Questions and concerns, however, should be addressed first to the office responsible for the particular service. If the initial contact fails to bring about a satisfactory response or resolution, a student may want to present the concern to the dean of students. A written statement of the concern and an indication of the expected outcome are desirable. The dean of students or a designee will address the student’s concern within 30 days.

In addition to handling student concerns, the dean of students works to improve campus and community life by serving as a student advocate, assisting in campus emergencies, distributing and enforcing the NMHU Code of Student Conduct, and supervising the student affairs staff. To schedule an appointment with the dean of students, call 454-3020.

POST OFFICE

Student Union Building,  (505) 454-3358

Services offered by the Highlands Post Office include mailbox rental and a drop-off for all on- and off-campus mail. Residence hall students have mailboxes assigned as part of their contracts. 

PURPLE PUB COMPUTER LAB

Student Union Building, (505) 426-2225

The Purple Pub Computer Lab is a student-only lab located in the Student Union Building. Computers are available and equipped with Windows 7. Additionally, the lab offers laptop rental to students. Internet access is also provided. Four computers are designed and equipped for use by individuals with disabilities. The lab is open year round and offers extended, evening and weekend hours. Hours may vary from semester to semester. Call the lab or Campus Life for information. Valid Highlands IDs are required.

RAY DREW GALLERY

First Floor, Donnelly Library

The Ray Drew Gallery showcases the best regional artists in revolving exhibitions throughout the year. The gallery’s popular Northern New Mexico Devotional Art Exhibition is an annual event highlighting the area’s unique religious folk art. The gallery is open 8 a.m.–5p.m. Monday-Friday and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday when classes are in session.

REGISTRAR’S OFFICE

Felix Martinez Building, (505) 454-3233

The Registrar’s Office assists with the following academic procedures: catalogs, checks on academic progress, degree application, evaluation of transfer credits, grade reports, graduation audits, registration for classes – in person, and online, commencement, VA students, class schedules, degree checks, student waivers, name/address/social security number changes, grade changes and mailers, class schedules/agendum, scheduling of classrooms, sending of transcripts, student records, verification of enrollment in class. 

STUDENT GOVERNMENT – ASNMHU 

Student Union Building, (505) 454-3594, 

New Mexico Highlands University student government consists of the Associated Students of New Mexico Highlands University (ASNMHU) Members of ASNMHU are elected at large. ASNMHU is the organization that serves as the voice of the student body. Senate officials serve on a variety of decision-making committees on campus. ASNMHU is responsible for managing budgets that fund student-organized activities. If you are interested in becoming part of ASNMHU, please call the numbers listed above, attend a meeting, or stop by student government offices.

STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

Felix Martinez Building, (505) 454-3236

The Student Support Services Office provides the following services to eligible program participants: academic advisement, tutoring, peer mentoring, assistance with completing financial aid forms, major and career exploration and selection, computer access with Internet and computer-assisted learning programs, study skills workshops, adaptive needs services, educational, social and cultural events and field trips and supplemental grant aid. 

SWIMMING POOL (NATATORIUM)

Ninth Street and Baca, (505) 454-3073

The swimming pool hours are posted each semester. However, these hours may be modified for special events, such as swim competitions, and water shows. 

TESTING SERVICES

Felix Martinez Building, (505) 454-3252, TestingServices@nmhu.edu

The Office of Testing Services is responsible for overseeing the COMPASS placement exam and a few departmental exams. Other tests offered include the ACT and LSAT. Some other exams may be offered on an ad-hoc basis. Please contact the office for listing of scheduled exams.

TITLE V (EOS)

Highlands University, in collaboration with Northern New Mexico College, is a recipient of a Department of Education Title V grant. Funding provides numerous outreach activities including:

• Expanding distance education infrastructure

• Expansion of student services to off-site centers and other statewide educational sites

• Professional development for staff and faculty

TITLE V HELP DESK

SH112, (505) 426-2074, Toll Free (877) 248-9854

Title V assists students, faculty and staff with online class issues. The help desk business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Saturday 9 a.m – 2 p.m.

UNIVERSITY RELATIONS

(505) 454-3387

The Office of University Relations serves as the official voice of the university administration and acts as a liaison between New Mexico Highlands and the public, the media, and the surrounding community. It also assists in facilitation of communications on campus, helps promote university-sponsored events and coordinates marketing and advertising for the university. University Relations also oversees Highlands’ website and social media pages. The Office of University Relations reviews all university-related materials produced for distribution to the public. 

WEBSITE 

www.nmhu.edu

Highlands University’s website contains helpful information to the campus community and the public (campus directory, campus calendar, and online document for forms and information). To receive help with using computers or setting passwords go to www.nmhu.edu > my nmhu > Student Technical Help. You can also view your class schedule and upper classmen can add or drop classes, change your address and other things in Self Service Banner. As students, you can also access your student e-mail, which is used for official communications mechanism. University Relations maintains the university’s official web pages.

WELLNESS PROGRAM

131 Wilson Complex, (505) 454-3122

Students interested in assessing and improving their health and fitness can call the Wellness Program or stop by the program office located in the Wilson Physical Education Complex.

WRITING CENTER

Douglas Hall Room 115, (505) 454-3537 writingcenter@nmhu.edu

The NMHU Writing Center serves the campus community by supporting undergraduate writers of all disciplines in identifying and developing tools and strategies to meet goals for their writing in and out of the classroom. The Writing Center provides tutoring in a non-evaluative, supportive environment centered on the belief that all writers benefit from sharing work in progress with informed, attentive readers. During sessions, students plan, write, or revise with the guidance of a trained tutor. Our collaborative, flexible methods reflect our respect for the individual writer, whose voice and goals are central to all our endeavors. Contact the Center for an appointment.

Our tutors are experienced writers, often with professional publications. They are professors, instructors, and English graduate students skilled in advanced tutoring techniques and dedicated to the empowerment of independent thinkers and writers. 

WHAT’S HERE FOR YOU?

• Tutoring in writing, reading, and Internet research.

• A library of resources on writing and research documentation (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).

• Computers for word processing and research (available to students participating in our tutoring).

• A welcoming place to craft your writing.

Open weekdays all day long with evening and Sunday hours.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT OR JUST DROP IN FOR TUTORING! 

Find us in Room 115, main floor of Douglas Hall, across the street from the Felix Martinez parking lot. Highlands University is an EEO/AA institution. For individuals with disabilities who need access or services, call (505) 454-3188.

Business Office Information

PAYMENT PLANS: New Mexico Highlands University Business Office offers students the following payment options:

  • Students registering early must pay 33 percent of their total charges by the Monday prior to the first day of school.  A student registering after early registration must pay 33 percent of their total charges at registration or make payment arrangements with the Business Office staff.
  • The second payment of 33 percent will be due 30 days later.
  • The final payment of 34 percent will be due 30 days after the second payment.

All students who do not pay their account by the Monday prior of the first day of school will be assessed a $25 billing fee.

All students who do not meet the installment plan dates may be subject to enrollment cancellation. 

Statements/e-bills are available monthly, during the semester by clicking “My NMHU” onthe university’s website, nmhu.edu. E-mail notifications are sent to your NMHU e-mail address when you have a new student statement.

Online payments may be made at www.nmhu.edu; click on My NMHU.

E-mail notifications are sent to your NMHU e-mail address when a disbursement is available.

DIRECT DEPOSIT: Your financial aid disbursements may be sent to your financial institution via direct deposit. If you would like to enroll in this service, please complete and submit the direct deposit enrollment form no later than the first Friday of the semester. Forms are available at www.nmhu.edu/Business_Office/index.aspx.

COMPLETE SCHOOL WITHDRAWALS: Any student who is enrolled after the second Friday of the semester (fall OR spring) will be liable for all tuition charges assessed, even if the student reduces the number of credit hours after this date.

A refund of tuition and fees is made in cases of timely, complete, written withdrawal (with the exception of special fees and course fees). Students who find it necessary to withdraw from the university and do so with official approval, may have all or part of their tuition refunded according to the following schedule: 

100%  First day of class

90%  10% of semester 

50%  25% of semester

25%  50% of semester 

DISENROLLMENT POLICY: NMHU Students who fail to pay their full-required tuition and fee charges or fail to make adequate financial arrangements with the Business Office on or before the second Wednesday of the semester will have their registration cancelled and be disenrolled from all classes on the second Friday of the semester (fall OR spring). Students with a cancelled registration who wish to be enrolled at NMHU must contact the Business Office the following week. The student will be required to make full payment or make financial arrangements for all university charges incurred and pay a non-refundable reregistration/late registration fee of $25 and a billing fee of $25

For more information on payment options or any questions contact the Business Office at (505) 454-3008, (505) 454-3222, (505) 454-3240 or (505) 454-3444. We can also be reached via e-mail at sar@nmhu.edu.

Financial Aid Information

New Mexico Highlands University is committed to helping all students attain an affordable education. The philosophy of the Financial Aid Office is to award funding to as many qualified students as possible. The office tries to distribute resources equitably and make sure every student in need has the necessary resources to go to school. Using a combination of family support, grants, loans, work programs, and scholarships, the Financial Aid Office works so that each student has a personalized financial aid package. Students apply for federal and state student aid programs, including Federal Pell grant, Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity grant and state supplemental grants, Federal Perkins loans, and Federal Direct Stafford loans by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to as the FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office also awards the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship for all eligible current graduates of New Mexico high schools and GED recipients as applicable, as well as other state, Highlands Foundation and university scholarships.

A financial aid package is prepared for you after all components of your application are reviewed by a financial aid adviser. Your package might be different from another’s, as the financial aid process is individualized based on your particular living and financial circumstances. The Financial Aid Office will ensure you have a financial aid package that best fits your situation. Once the semester is underway and you are registered for all your classes, the awards in your financial aid package will be credited to your student account in the Business Office to offset the charges of tuition, fees, on-campus housing, meal plan and other charges (i.e. bookstore charges). Amounts that exceed your charges will be reimbursed to you. Use these funds wisely, as they are intended to help you for the duration of the semester. Plan a budget ahead of time. Please note that direct deposit is available for student reimbursements, contact the Business Office at sar@nmhu.edu for more information on how to set this up.

Applying for financial aid is simply a matter of accurately completing forms and getting paperwork submitted. You can get help with the process, so do not let the application forms scare you away. Remember, the process is largely created through paperwork; therefore, you should keep copies of everything you send or deliver and records of the relevant dates. Do not give the Financial Aid Office the originals of income tax forms or other important documents. Make copies and have the copies dated by the Financial Aid Office for additional assurances that materials have been received. Make sure all documents are complete, accurate and signed by all required to sign.

Survival Tips

An education is a privilege and your responsibility. Therefore, you are expected to contribute toward your education to the best of your abilities as well as the help of your family, if applicable. Financial aid is only a supplement to help meet some of the costs associated with your education. The following are tips to help you along the way:

  • Financial aid advisers are here to help; utilize this great resource!
  • Read and be aware of financial aid programs and processes. Visit the Financial Aid Office to obtain these written documents or access them at www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov.
  • Understand your rights, responsibilities, and the implications of all forms your sign.
  • Keep copies of all documents submitted to the Financial Aid Office and note the dates submitted.
  • Take responsibility for your part in the financial aid process, to ensure the most aid possible by being prompt, organized and alert.
  • Read the university catalog and course schedule thoroughly. Know and understand policies regarding registration, tuition and fee charges, refunds, course changes and financial aid disbursements.

Your Rights

You have the right to know…

  • what financial aid programs are available at Highlands University,
  • the deadlines for submitting applications for each of the programs,
  • how financial aid is distributed, how decisions on distributions are made, and the bases for these decisions,
  • how your financial need was determined, 
  • how your cost of attendance was determined (i.e. tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, personal, and miscellaneous expenses),
  • what resources (current assets, family contribution, other financial aid, etc.) are considered in the calculation of your need,
  • how much of your financial need, as determined by Highlands University, has been met,
  • the details of the various programs in your student aid package,
  • Highlands University’s refund policy
  • what portion of the financial aid you receive must be repaid and what portion is grant aid. If the aid is a loan, you have the right to know the interest rate, the total amount that must be repaid, the payback procedures, the length of time you have to repay the loan, and when repayment is to begin,
  • how Highlands University determines if you are making satisfactory academic progress and what happens if you are not,
  • policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement,
  • Highlands University’s Drug and Alcohol Policy,
  • Highlands University’s  Crime Awareness Policy and access to the Campus Security report,
  • Highlands University’s two-year cohort default rate for FY10 is 6.4 percent; national average is 9.1 percent, three-year cohort default rate for FY09 is 8.7 percent; national average is 13.4 percent.
  • Highlands University’s retention rates and graduation rates,
  • Job placement information, and 
  • Highlands University’s statistics regarding student body diversity.

Many of the above statistics regarding the Highlands University can be found on the College Portrait website at www.collegeportraits.org/NM/NMHU/

Your Responsibilities

In accepting your responsibilities, you must…

  • complete all application forms accurately and submit them on time to the proper place,
  • provide correct information. Misreporting information on financial aid applications could result in indictment under the U.S. Criminal Code and/or fines,
  • return all additional documentation, verification, corrections, and/or new information requested by either the Financial Aid Office or the agency to which you submitted your application,
  • be responsible for reading, understanding and keeping copies of all forms you sign,
  • live up to all agreements you sign,
  • perform the work agreed upon when accepting work-study assignments,
  • be aware of and comply with Highlands University policies and procedures,
  • •report all changes in name, address, telephone number, and enrollment status to the Financial Aid Office and Registrar’s Office.

Grants

Federal Pell Grant

Qualification: Undergraduate students only, first bachelor’s degree . 

Annual amount for 2013-14: up to $5,645 

Deadlines and application: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed each academic year. The priority deadline is March 1 prior to fall enrollment. We continuously process FAFSAs throughout the academic year, however, all documentation must be submitted no later than the week before final exams of the spring semester. 

Description: Pell Grants are awarded to eligible in-state and out-of-state undergraduate students with established financial need. To qualify, you must also have a high school diploma or GED and be enrolled at the university in a degree-seeking program. Check for other specific qualifications in The Student Guide, Financial Aid, from the U.S. Department of Education. The Financial Aid Office has hard copies available.

Federal Pell Grants do not have to be paid back. Students with the greatest need receive Pell Grants. The maximum amount depends on what the U.S. Department of Education authorized for the year, the cost of tuition, fees and other expenses at Highlands University, the number of hours you take, and whether you attend one or two semesters.  The annual maximum amount is $5,645 for full-time students (12 or more credit hours) with a zero expected family contribution (EFC) and enrolled full-time in both regular semesters. Grants are prorated based on enrollment status. To continue to receive Pell Grant (if eligible), recipients must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress (SAP), with a minimum grade point average of 1.75 for freshmen and 2.0 for sophomores, juniors, and seniors and other criteria such as pace of progression and be within the maximum timeframe allowed to complete your degree. Effective with the 2012-13 award year; students will not be eligible for Pell Grant beyond 600 percent.

Teach Education Assistance for College and Higher Education
(TEACH) Grant Program

Qualification: Undergraduate and graduate students. Non-need based, however, cannot exceed cost of attendance. U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. Cumulative GPA of 3.25 (including transfer GPA). Must be enrolled in a high-need field as identified by the Federal Department of Education and the State of New Mexico. Funding up to $4,000 per academic year for full-time enrollment (less than full-time will be pro-rated accordingly). Recipients must be demonstrating satisfactory academic progress and must be progressing in the designated high need field of study. Effective March 1, 2013, due to sequestration, new TEACH grant awards must be reduced by 12.6 percent; therefore, the maximum award will be $3,496 for full-time enrollment (less than full-time enrollment will be prorated).

Deadlines and Application: FAFSA and NMHU TEACH Form approved through the 

NMHU School of Education each academic year. Students must be fully admitted to the School of Education to be eligible.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Qualification: Undergraduate students only (must be Pell Grant eligible) 

Annual amount: Up to $2,000

Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal student Aid (FAFSA); April 15 complete file

Description: Similar to Pell Grants, FSEOG are given to students with high financial need who qualify for Pell Grants. No application is necessary other than the early completion of the FAFSA. This award is a grant and does not have to be repaid.

Unlike Pell Grants, the university is given a set amount for FSEOGs, and all qualified applicants are not guaranteed funding. They are given on a first-come, first-serve basis to those who have qualified for Pell Grants and, by preference, to out-of-state students. This preference is because the State Student Incentive Grants (SSIG), funded by both federal and state sources are identical to the FSEOGs in amount, but are reserved for New Mexico residents only. FSEOG maximum is $2,000 for single parents with zero EFC and prorated thereafter based on your EFC and availability of funding. Award will be pro-rated based on enrollment status, must be at least half-time status.

State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG)

Qualifications: Undergraduate students only (must be Pell Grant eligible). New Mexico resident. 

Annual amount: Up to $2,000. 

Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal student Aid (FAFSA); April 15 complete file 

Description: Similar to Pell Grants, SSIGs are given to students with high financial need who qualify for Pell Grants. This award is a grant and does not have to be repaid. 

Unlike the Pell Grant, the university is given a set amount by the state for SSIGs, and all qualified applicants are not guaranteed to receive one. They are given on a first-come, first-serve basis to those who have qualified for Pell Grants and, by law, to state residents. They are identical to the FSEOGs in amount, with a $2,000 maximum for single parents with zero EFC and prorated thereafter based on your EFC and availability of funding. Award will be prorated based on enrollment status, must be at least half-time status.

College Affordability Grant

The purpose of the College Affordability Grant is to encourage New Mexico students with financial need, who do not qualify for other state grants or scholarships, to attend and complete educational programs at a public New Mexico college or university.

Eligibility requirements: New Mexico residents, undergraduate, must demonstrate financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may not be receiving any other state or federal grants (other than federal Pell Grant) and scholarships. Award will be prorated based on enrollment status. You must enroll at least half time (6 credit hours).

Amount: Maximum of $1,000 per semester (prorated for those enrolled less than full time). Renewable if student maintains satisfactory progress.

Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and April 15 complete file.

Loans

Federal Perkins Loan

Qualifications: Undergraduate and graduate students; need based. 

Annual amount: Up to $3,000 undergraduates; Up to $5,000 graduates.

Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and April 15 complete file. 

Description: Perkins Loans are given to undergraduates and graduates, in-state and out-of-state students, with financial need.

Students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree or educational/professional licensure are also eligible for Perkins Loans at the undergraduate loan limit.

Funds for Perkins Loans come from previous borrowers in repayment and are limited. Make sure your FAFSA is submitted by March 1, and file is completed by April 15 for award consideration.

Perkins Loans are repaid to the university through a third party servicer, New Mexico Student Loan. Interest of 5 percent and payments are deferred until nine months after graduation, after you leave school or drop below six credit hours (called a grace period). The repayments of previous loan recipients create the money for current ones. The university, thus, has a revolving account of loan repayments that are then re-awarded to current eligible students.

In certain circumstances, your Perkins Loan repayments may be deferred, postponed, or cancelled. Some of these circumstances include becoming a teacher, nurse or health care professional, law enforcement officer, Peace Corps volunteer or member of the armed forces. For more information on these options, go online to www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/Students/repayment/teachers/.

A Perkins Loan is part of your financial aid package. Each academic year, you will sign a promissory note. Funds will be posted to your student account receivable on the second Friday of the semester.

Each year you must complete an entrance counseling session before funds will be disbursed. Contact the financial aid office for further guidance on completing the entrance counseling for Perkins.

Stafford Loan

Student loans, unlike grants, are borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Loans are legal obligations, so before you borrow a student loan, think about the amount you’ll have to repay over the years as well as the kind of job you will be pursuing to be able to afford this repayment of your student loans.

Important Recent Changes to Federal Direct Student Loans:

Effective July 1, 2012, as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, subsidies for graduate and professional students will be eliminated as well as the upfront rebate fee. Effective July 1, 2013 the 1 percent origination fee will increase to 1.051 percent for subsidized and unsubsidized loans and a 4.204 percent origination fee for Federal Direct PLUS loans. 

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 initiated Federal Direct Subsidized loan interest to begin accruing during the six-month grace period for all loans originated from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014.

Expect that loans may take up to eight weeks to fully process and this process largely depends on you. Once the loan data form is submitted to the Financial Aid Office (your FAFSA must be complete and reviewed), then your loan is originated in our office, you must complete an entrance counseling session online and sign your master promissory note before loan money will be released to Highlands University. It is best to turn in your Loan Data Form when you submit your FAFSA. Otherwise, you can choose to wait for your award letter in early June to determine how much, in addition to your current awards, you might require. The maximum amount of what you may borrow using a Stafford Loan depends on other aid you may have in your financial aid package. It also depends on your student classification, expected family contribution and the cost of attendance established for the academic year or term requested. Loans based on financial need and dependency status are subsidized, which means that interest will not be charged until you graduate or leave school and begin repayment. 

Interest on Stafford loans will not exceed 8.25 percent and will vary according to economic conditions.

Note: You do not want to borrow any more than you need. Remember this is a loan that must be repaid with interest. For example, you may have $3,500 available to you; however, you may choose to borrow only $200, based on the amount that you need. Also, remember the maximum annual loan amount is the total available to you in an academic year: fall, spring and summer semester (if you plan to attend year round). You will need to budget yourself a certain amount from this total to cover each semester.

A financial aid adviser can help you understand the details of a Stafford Loan.

Borrowers at Highlands University must complete an online loan entrance counseling session before their loan will be processed. Go to Direct Loans at www.studentloans.gov after your loan is certified by the university, originated and approved in order to sign a master promissory note. One master promissory note will allow you to continue to borrow direct loans through your undergraduate and/or graduate education if you borrow continuously for a maximum of 10 years (after a period of 10 years, the note will expire).

You will receive Stafford Loans in two disbursements. For a two-semester loan, you will receive the first credit to your student account receivable (SAR) on the third Friday of the fall semester and the second disbursement on the third Friday of the spring semester. Loan amounts that exceed your charges will be reimbursed to you on the third Friday after classes begin each semester. For a one-semester loan, you will be credited with the first disbursement on the third Friday of the term, and the second disbursement at midterm. First-time borrowers will not receive their first disbursement until 30 days after classes have begun.

Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan

Qualifications: Undergraduate students only; need based. Annual amount: $3,500 to $5,500, depending on grade level (maximum).

Deadlines and applications: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) & Loan Data Form. Deadline: No later than two weeks prior to the end of semester. Otherwise, release will be subject to satisfactory academic progress for late disbursement.

Description: To be eligible for Stafford Loans as well as other federal financial aid, fill out the FAFSA. Also complete a Loan Data Form at the Office of Financial Aid or online (download and print).

Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Qualifications: Undergraduate and graduate students. Non-need based. 

Annual amount: $2,000 to $20,500, depending on grade level (maximum amounts). 

Deadlines and application: Free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); Loan Data Form. Deadline: No later than two weeks prior to the end of semester. Otherwise, release will be subject to review of satisfactory academic progress for late disbursement.

Description: To be eligible for Stafford Loans as well as other federal financial aid, fill out the FAFSA. Also complete a Loan Data Form at the Office of Financial Aid or online (download and print).

Federal PLUS Loans

Qualifications: Available to parents of dependent undergraduate and graduate students. Non-need based; however, are based on credit worthiness.

Annual amount: Cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. Cannot exceed cost of attendance.

Deadline and applications: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). PLUS Loan Application prescreening form.

Deadline: No later than two weeks prior to the end of semester. Otherwise, release will be subject to review of satisfactory academic progress for late disbursement.

Description: This is a parent loan. Eligibility is based on credit worthiness and approval from the Federal Department of Education. Repayment is required.

Scholarships

Undergraduate students with grade point averages of 2.5 and above should apply for state, university, and Highlands Foundation scholarships by completing the Highlands Scholarship Application by application priority consideration timelines (March 1 for freshmen; May 1 for continuing and transfer students).

Graduate students with a grade point average of 3.0 and above are encouraged to apply for the Graduate Presidential Scholarship. Complete the Highlands Scholarship Application by May 1.

Graduate assistantships are processed through the Office of Graduate Studies and in the academic units that offer graduate degrees.

Regardless of funding variables, if you are an academic high achiever, it is always worth your while to apply for scholarships at the university. The Financial Aid Office also keeps information regarding scholarship listings that are available outside of the university. External scholarships require a separate application and have different (earlier and later) deadlines than the university. Be sure to examine these listings and also to investigate other resources.

To apply for external scholarships, we recommend using the scholarship search engine at www.fastweb.com to help facilitate the scholarship search process. Note: these scholarships are external to Highlands University scholarships and Highlands has no jurisdiction over the awarding of these scholarships. If you do receive outside scholarship support, it must be reported to Highland’s Financial Aid Office to be included as part of your financial aid package.

Scholarship guidance: Scholarships are awarded first in the completion of a financial aid package. If you receive financial aid, your scholarship aid will be awarded before you are considered for grants, loans, or a work-study program. If you receive scholarships from other sources than the university or state, those awards will also be considered in your total financial aid package. You may not receive more aid than the total cost of attendance at Highlands during a year. This amount is calculated by adding tuition and fees to an estimated average for room and board, books, personal items, and transportation.

Many state scholarship awards are based on academic achievement and on state residency. Private scholarship awards are given by the contributions of individuals. Donors may designate awards for students from certain schools or areas in New Mexico, with certain majors, or with financial need. In addition, there may be particular specifications for the personal essays and letters of recommendation submitted. If you are interested in a specific scholarship, be sure to check the scholarship’s qualifications for application.

Students who earn relatively high GED scores are eligible for certain scholarships. 

Nontraditional students returning to school may also qualify for certain scholarships. 

Recent ACT or SAT test scores will help establish a comparable status to other students. In these cases, personal statements and references will be especially important.

The number of scholarships available varies with changes in state and private funding and the economy. Endowed scholarships are funded through the interest paid by investments, and that amount is always changing. The amount of individual scholarships awards may also vary given increases in tuition and fees and other variables.

Work-Study

Process

Highlands University participates in the federal and state work-study programs. Federal work-study is dependent upon your need as determined by the FAFSA and your request to be considered for work-study on the FAFSA form. The state work-study program allows students with and without need to be hired by Highlands employers, but you must still have a completed FAFSA on file in the Financial Aid Office. Students with need cannot earn more than their calculated cost of attendance (tuition, fees, books, room and board, etc.), and all students cannot earn more than the maximum limits set under the federal and state work-study program established in the student’s award.

March 1 is the deadline for submitting the FAFSA that determines work-study and other available financial aid. The amount that you are eligible to earn for either state or federal work-study programs is determined after March 1 for the earliest applicants. Work-study awards will continue to be allotted to students if funds are available, but work-study funds are generally completely allotted for the next academic year in the spring. Funds only become available again as students drop out of the program and funds are returned to the work-study budget.

Work-study positions are only available if funds still exist in the federal or state programs. Even if funds are allotted to qualified students, jobs might not be available. In this case, you may request that your financial aid package be reevaluated, and loan monies may be available to you.

The work-study hiring process is one in the employer usually posts a job opening with the Human Resources Office. Students must pursue the jobs and be hired by employers to receive work-study award. Students can check for postings or may hear of a potential job and can call or visit the individual who is the work-study hiring contact. The student interviews for the job, and the employer chooses the best applicant. The student picks up a Student Hire Form from the hiring supervisor or off the Highlands website or from the Human Resource Office.

Students then arrange their working hours with their employers, considering the number of hours they are allowed to work in order to earn the maximum wages available through their financial aid package and the work-study program. Students complete timesheets every two weeks and are evaluated by their employer at the end of each semester. 

Remember, the department has the authority not to rehire you based on poor performance. This may be one of your first opportunities to develop good work ethics, so take your work-study position seriously. This employment can also be used in building your resume for future professional employment.

For details regarding pay schedules, see the Human Resource Office.

Federal Work-Study

Qualifications: Undergraduate and graduate students; need based

Annual amount: Wage and grade scales apply. Recipients may only work 20 hours per week maximum during regular semesters.

Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); April 15 complete file.

Description: Work-study programs allow students with need to pay for some of their college expenses by working. The obvious advantage is that students finish their education owing less in loans. There is also a financial advantage for the university in that these earnings are federally or state subsidized, with the university paying a percentage of the total earnings of students under this program.

State Work-Study

Qualifications: Undergraduate and graduate students; both need and non-need based. 

Annual amount: Wage and grade scaled apply. Recipients may only work 20 hours per week maximum during regular semesters.

Deadlines and application: March 1 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); April 15 complete file.

Description: Work-study programs allow students with need to pay for some of their college expenses by working. The advantage is that students finish their education owing less in loans. There is also a financial advantage for the university in that these earnings are federally or state subsidized, with the university paying a percentage of the total earnings of students under this program.

The work-study hiring process is one in which the employer usually posts a job opening with the Human Resources Department. Students must pursue jobs and be hired by employers to receive work-study. The student checks for postings, or hears of a potential job and calls the individual who is the work-study contact. The student interviews for the job, and the employer chooses the best applicant. The employer will submit a student employment form to Human Resources.

Work-study paychecks are on a one-week lag period. This means your first paycheck is ready one week after your timesheet is submitted. Pick up a pay schedule at the Human Resources Department. Your checks will be available at the Cashier’s Office. Be sure to bring your I.D. Students can also sign up for payroll direct deposit, see the Human Resource office for more information.

Financial Aid Reimbursements

Financial aid reimbursements will be available starting the third Friday of the semester. Reimbursements are determined after financial aid credits are posted to offset student charges on your student account receivable (i.e. tuition and fees; on-campus room and board; bookstore charges, etc.). If your financial aid exceeds your charges, you will be issued a reimbursement check. Reimbursement checks are issued every Wednesday and Friday throughout the semester for those who apply late. Direct Deposit is also available for student credit balances (reimbursements); see the Business Office to sign up.

Campus Computers and E-mail Information

Information Technology Services is responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and security of computers, software, telephones, and the network on campus. ITS maintains a helpdesk to address problems with access to university computer resources or to report problems with university computers. 

The university provides student e-mail and accounts so students can access university computers or log on to university resources. General computer help or getting your username is available at www.nmhu.edu > CURRENT STUDENTS > Technical Help or by typing help (no password) on any university computer. To have full wireless access on campus, computers require a certificate that can be obtained by taking the computer to ITS. Computers used in the residence halls must be registered with ITS. The ITS office is on the ground floor of the Donnelly Library building.

Use of university computers and access to online resources requires a username and password

Student Online Resources: Student e-mail and Self-Service Banner are available through “CURRENT STUDENTS” on the NMHU homepage, www.nmhu.edu. Desire2Learn is a link on the top navigation of the page.

Username & Password Help: If you do not know your username or have forgotten your password or need to change your password, go to ITS self help by following the instructions below:

ON-CAMPUS STUDENTS: On any university computer, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to logon, type HELP as the username (no password) and press Enter.

OFF-CAMPUS STUDENTS: Go to www.nmhu.edu, click on “CURRENT STUDENTS” and select “Technical Help” 

• You will be able to reset a forgotten password, change your password, or look up your username and Banner ID number.

• Your temporary password is your date of birth, in the format MMDDYY 

• When you log in the first time, you will be required to change your temporary password. 

• Your new password must be at least six characters and should be easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess. 

• Do NOT share your password with anyone. 

• Exit “ITS Self-Help” when you are finished.

Login Instructions:

If you do not know your username or have forgotten your password, follow the instructions on this document under “Username & Password Help” above.

ON-CAMPUS LOGIN: Accessing NMHU resources from a university computer (including the Rio Rancho Center) requires you to login with your assigned username. If this is your first login, your temporary password will be your date of birth in the format MMDDYY. “Log On To:” domain is STUDENTS. 

OFF-CAMPUS: Go to the NMHU homepage, www.nmhu.edu, to access online resources and click on “CURRENT STUDENTS”. If you are logging into NMHU resources for the first time, you are required to change your temporary password. You can change your password through the “Technical Help” (see “Username & Password Help” above). 

 

You must change your temporary password before you can log into Self-Service Banner, Desire2Learn or the Remote Library Access. 

Your username is: ________________________

Your Banner ID is: ________________________  

Self-Service Banner (SSB): On the NMHU homepage, click “CURRENT STUDENTS” and select “Self-Service Banner.” Click “Enter Secure Area” and enter your username and password.

Note: For first time access, you cannot login until you change your temporary password. 

See “Username & Password Help” on the previous page for instructions.

• On your first use of SSB you will need to:

• Accept the “Terms of Usage” by clicking continue.

• Enter your “Security Question and Answer” 

(Your pin should be your date of birth – MMDDYY, unless you changed it)

• Sign up for Mobile Phone Emergency Text Messages

• Self-Service Banner (SSB) makes it possible to:

• Register for classes or Add / Drop classes

• View class schedule

• View midterm and final grades

• View unofficial transcripts

• View amount due and make online payments

• View status of your financial aid awards

• View and update mailing addresses

• And much more.

Use of E-mail for Official Correspondence with Students 

1. University use of e-mail

E-mail is a mechanism for official communication within New Mexico Highlands University. Highlands University reserves the right to access, review, and disclose information obtained through NMHU’s IT resources at any time in compliance with an official investigation. Official e-mail communications are intended to be used primarily for furthering the education, research, and public service mission of the university and may not be used for commercial purposes, illegal activity, or profit making.

2. Assignment of student e-mail

As stewards of this process, the ITS Department is responsible for setting up student e-mail. Official university e-mail accounts are available for all enrolled students. The addresses are all of the form [username]@live.nmhu.edu. These official e-mail accounts must be activated by the student to correspond with the university. The official e-mail address will be maintained in Highlands’ Banner system. 

3. Redirecting of e-mail

If a student wishes to have e-mail redirected from his or her official @live.nmhu.edu address to another e-mail address (e.g., @gmail.com, @hotmail.com, @yahoo.com, etc.), they may do so, but at their own risk. The university will not be responsible for handling of e-mail by outside vendors or by departmental servers. Having e-mail redirected does not absolve a student from the responsibilities associated with official communication sent to his or her student account. Redirecting e-mail is the responsibility of the student through the student e-mail system. 

4. Expectations about student use of e-mail

Students are expected to check their e-mail on a frequent and consistent basis to stay current with university-related communications. Students have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time-critical. “I didn’t check my e-mail”, error in forwarding mail, or e-mail returned to the university with “Mailbox full” or “User unknown” are not acceptable excuses for missing official university communications via e-mail.

5. Violation to use university e-mail to impersonate others

It is a violation of university policies, including the Student Code of Conduct, for any user of official e-mail addresses to impersonate a university office, faculty/staff member, or student. 

6. Privacy

Users should exercise extreme caution in using e-mail to communicate confidential or sensitive matters, and should not assume that e-mail is private and confidential. It is especially important that users are careful to send messages only to the intended recipient(s). Particular care should be taken when using the reply command during e-mail correspondence.

7. Educational uses of e-mail

Faculty will determine how electronic forms of communication (e.g., e-mail) will be used in their classes, and will specify their requirements in the course syllabus. This will ensure that all students will be able to comply with e-mail-based course requirements specified by faculty. Faculty can therefore make assumptions that students’ official student e-mail accounts are being accessed, and faculty can use e-mail for their classes accordingly. 

8. NMHU ITS governing e-mail

This section of the student handbook is to provide students with a guide for e-mail use. For official use of Internet, intranet, e-mail, computer, and networking technology, please read or download a copy of NMHU ITS Information Technology Resource policy located on the campus website. (www.nmhu.edu/administration/its).

Every student who successfully logs into an NMHU IT system for the first time automatically acknowledges its policies and procedures, and the student agrees to the terms and conditions outlined in the NMHU ITS Information Technology Resource policy.

Student E-mail: On the NMHU homepage, click “CURRENT STUDENTS” and select “Student E-mail”.

• Sign in with your username and password.

• See FAQ by clicking on “CURRENT STUDENTS” and select “Technical Help”. 

Note: Your username does not include the “@live.nmhu.edu”.

Your e-mail address is: your username@live.nmhu.edu

Donnelly Library remote access: On the NMHU homepage, click “LIBRARY & VENUES” and select “LIBRARY” to get to the library online resources. 

• Access to some library resources from off campus may require you to enter your username and password. 

Note: For first time access, you cannot login until you change your temporary password. 

See “Username & Password Help” on the previous page for instructions.

Desire2Learn: On the NMHU homepage, click “Desire2Learn” on the top navigation of the page. Click “LOGIN TO Desire2Learn”, select “Log In” and enter your username and password.

• Desire2Learn Help Desk number: (505) 426-2074

Note: For first time access, you cannot login until you change your temporary password. 

See “Username & Password Help” on the previous page for instructions.

We recommend accessing online resources through the Highlands home page, however, if it is unavailable, use 

• Self Service Banner: http://banweb.nmhu.edu/

• Student E-mail: http://orion.nmhu.edu/exchange 

• Desire2Learn: http://bb.nmhu.edu

For more details: on www.nmhu.edu click “CURRENT STUDENTS” and select “Technical Help”

Confused? Still have questions? Contact: IT Services Help Desk, Donnelly Library ground floor room G26 - (505) 454-3496

Campus Housing Information

The residence hall room and board contract is for the academic year (August-May), and a student’s signature indicates an agreement to live in the halls for the entire academic year. Apartment contracts require a 30-day notice. Housing and Student Conduct will accept written appeal requests for contract release charges only for medical reasoning that is supported by appropriate medical documentation and for a life-changing event that is catastrophic in nature and supported by appropriate documentation (please see contract release form for details). Financial and community behavior based requests will not be considered. All approved cancellations are subject to the cancellation refund schedule.

Fall 2013 Room Refund Schedule Spring 2014 Room Refund Schedule

100% - Aug. 25 100% - Jan. 19

75%  Aug. 26 - Sept. 1 75% Jan. 20 - Jan. 26

50% Sept. 2 - Sept. 15 50% Jan. 27 - Feb. 9

25% Sept. 16 - Sept. 29 25% Feb. 10 - Feb. 23

Thereafter – No refund Thereafter – No refund

Summer 2013 Room Refund Schedule

100% - June 2

75%  June 3 – June 9

50% June 10 – June 16

25% June 17 – June 23

Thereafter – No refund

The university offers a number of meal plans to students living on campus. A meal plan is required for all students living in the residence halls. Once meal service has started for a given semester, students wishing to terminate the meal plan must petition the food service director or his or her designate for approval of meal plan cancellation. Financial-based requests will not be considered and ALL medical requests must be supported by appropriate medical documentation (please see cancellation form). An application is available at the Office of the Dean of Students.

Failure to participate in the meal plan does not release the student from this contractual obligation. All approved cancellations of the meal plan will be subject to the refund schedule. Please refer to the cancellation refund schedule for charges that you are liable for if your cancellation is approved. A schedule of room, apartment and meal plan rates can be obtained from the Housing and Student Conduct office and online. Students interested in living on campus should write the office of Housing and Student Conduct at Box 900, Las Vegas, NM 87701 or e-mail us at Housing@nmhu.edu.

Fall 2013 Meal Plan Refund Schedule Spring 2014 Meal Plan Refund Schedule

100% - Aug. 18 100% - Jan. 12

85% Aug. 19 - Aug. 25 85% Jan. 13 - Jan. 19

70% Aug. 26 - Sept. 1 70% Jan. 20 - Jan. 26

55% Sept. 2 - Sept. 8 55% Jan. 27 - Feb. 2

40% Sept. 9 - Sept. 15 40% Feb. 3 - Feb. 9

25% Sept. 16 - Sept. 22 25% Feb. 10 - Feb. 16

10% Sept. 23 - Sept. 29 10% Feb. 17 - Feb. 23

Thereafter – No Refund Thereafter – No Refund

Summer 2013 Room Refund Schedule

100% - June 2

70%  June 3 – June 9

40% June 10 – June 16

10% June 17 – June 23

Thereafter – No refund

All Highlands residence halls are alcohol and tobacco free.

Information for International Students

  • All F-1 and J-1 students are required by Highlands to have health insurance coverage that meets specific requirements (Highlands has secured a health insurance plan that will meet these requirements). Once you enroll at Highlands your student account will be assessed the cost of the health insurance plan. 
  • All Highlands international students, on any visa, must adhere to the immigration regulations set forth by the visa the student is carrying in their passport.

Below is a general information sheet regarding the U.S. immigration laws you must adhere to as an F-1 or J-1 student, while studying in the United States.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES CONTRACT 

RULES F-1 AND J-1 STUDENTS MUST FOLLOW TO REMAIN LEGALLY IN THE U.S.

I. EXPLANATION

International students are required by United States law to abide by immigration regulations throughout their stay in the U.S. and are admitted to the U.S. for the sole purpose of being a full-time student. Participation by students in any other activity in the U.S., from employment to vacation, is considered to be a privilege and is only allowable in accordance with strict Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rules. Penalties for violations of immigration law can be severe and can include deportation and 10-year bars from reentry to the U.S., so it is essential for students to understand their responsibilities. Listed here are the rules students MUST follow to maintain legal student status and the documents they must have to enter the U.S. and legally remain . It is the STUDENT and not the university who is responsible for knowing and abiding by all immigration rules and for maintaining legal student status. The university must report updated information and violations of student status to the government via an electronic tracking system (SEVIS) within 21 days of the violation, SO KNOWING THESE RULES IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL TO YOUR ABILITY TO REMAIN IN THE U.S. AND TO COMPLETE YOUR ACADEMIC PROGRAM! Changes in student requirements are expected in the next two years so please continue to read information sent to your account from the International Education Center which can include e-mails from IEC staff members.

II. DOCUMENTATION OF LEGAL STUDENT STATUS IN THE US

International students are normally admitted to the U.S. for “Duration of Status” (D/S). This means that they are allowed to remain in the U.S. for as long as they maintain legal student status, NOT for the length of time listed on their visa or I-20/DS-2019 form. If you fail to follow all the rules of legal student status, your stay expires on the day the violation occurs. The information below lists the documents that students MUST have while they are residing in the U.S. to remain legally present. You should make copies of each of these documents and keep them in a safe place separate from the originals in case they are lost or stolen.

Passport

The passport is the legal document issued by your country of citizenship. It must be valid for six months into the future upon your entry into the U.S. and remain valid at all times during your stay. The passport can usually be renewed through your embassy or one of your consulates in the United States. If you have been issued a Travel Document in Lieu of a Passport by the government of the country of which you are a resident, the information above, regarding passports, applies to Travel Documents. 

I-20 & DS-2019 - “Certificate of Eligibility”

The I-20 (for those with F-1 status) or DS-2019 (for those with J-1 status) is the document which you must present to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad to obtain a visa and which you present to immigration officials to enter the U.S. each time you travel abroad and return; for NMHU students, the I-20 or DS-2019 is issued by the university through the NMHU International Education Center. Some J-1 students have documents issued by an outside agency. You should keep all of these and any other immigration documents for your records even if you get new ones in the future. The I-20 and DS-2019 are issued via the SEVIS government tracking system and have a bar code and ID number in the top right corner. If any of the information on these documents changes, you MUST come to the International Education Center immediately to apply for a new document. Once again, the expiration date on the I-20 or DS-2019 is just an estimate. For F-1 students, your permission to stay in the U.S. ends 60 days from the date you complete the last requirement for your degree. For J-1 students your permission to stay ends within 30 days of completion of the last requirement. If you fail to follow all the rules of legal student status, your stay expires on the day the violation of status occurs.

I-94 Departure Record

The I-94 is the white card that you complete before passing U.S. immigration officials upon entrance into the U.S. The I-94 is typically stapled into your passport. This is the document that authorizes you to be in the U.S. as a student (F-1 or J-1) for a specified period of time, for the specified program of study, at the institution specified on the I-20/DS-2019. Two dates appear on the I-94; the date of entrance into the U.S. and the date of expiration of your permission to stay. For F-1 and J-1 visa holders, the expiration date should be written as D/S (duration of status), which implies the date of program completion (not always the same date as graduation). The I-94, like the passport, must be valid at all times. The I-94 should be kept in the passport. It will be surrendered to officials when you travel outside the U.S. and a new I-94 card will be issued upon re-entry into the U.S. The number at the top of the I-94 card that you receive upon your initial entry is called your “admission number” or “I-94 number.” Once again, if you fail to follow all the rules of legal student status, your stay expires on the day the violation occurs.

Entry Visa

The entry visa is a sticker with photograph on a page of your passport that permits you to enter the United States. Only Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.S. Individuals entering as students will have either an F-1 or J-1 entry visa. The visa may expire while you are in the U.S. You cannot and need not renew it while you are in the United States, however a new entry visa will be required if the original expires and you travel out of the U.S. and then wish to re-enter. You must present a valid SEVIS form I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) from the school you will attend to the U.S. consular officer to obtain your entry visa. You may be able to travel to and return from Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands (except Cuba) without a valid visa if you will be staying less than 30 days (check with an adviser for current regulations). Remember, the visa does not indicate how long you are permitted to stay in the U.S. Your permission to stay ends once you complete your program of study (plus grace period) or when you fail to maintain legal student status.

III. REQUIREMENTS FOR “MAINTAINING LEGAL STUDENT STATUS”

YOU MUST ALWAYS:

1. Attend the school you are authorized to attend by DHS (you are authorized to attend the school whose name appears on your I-20 or DS-2019 - in some cases, the DS-2019 may be from a different sponsor.)

2. Provide proof of an updated local address within 10 days of any change. You must notify the International Education Center in person and through the SEVIS system. (Accepted forms for proof of physical residence are: lease agreement, NMHU housing contract.

3. Maintain registration as a full-time student throughout every fall and spring semester (undergraduate students: 12 credit hours, graduate students: 9 credits (or 6 credits with an assistantship with department approval). NO STUDENT may drop below the required number of credits in fall and spring except under extremely limited circumstances that are allowed by the U.S. government. Any such schedule changes must be authorized in advance by an international student adviser. Getting a grade of W, is considered a drop (i.e., does not count toward your full-time minimum) even if you completed all course requirements. Classes which are taken as audit also do NOT count toward the full-time credit requirement. Summer is considered your annual vacation unless you are beginning your studies in summer. In addition, only three credit hours of online or distance education courses can be counted toward the minimum full-time requirement. While students are permitted to take more online courses, only three credits can be counted toward full time. If you have questions about these requirements ask an international adviser.

4. Keep your certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019 form) correct and valid at all times and apply for extensions of stay at least one month before the document expires; see an adviser for a new I-20/DS-2019 if any information changes.

5. Maintain a valid passport throughout your stay in the U.S. Your passport must be valid for six months into the future to enter the U.S., and you must bring updated passports to the International Education Center immediately so that we can report the new information when required.

6. Complete necessary immigration transfer procedures if changing from one school to another in the U.S. (even if you completed the program at the prior school); contact an international adviser for details.

7. Observe the grace period upon completion of studies. This means that if you are F-1, you have 60 days and if you are J-1 you have 30 days from the end of your program to do one of the following things:

a. Leave the U.S. 

b. Get a new certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019 form) for a new program or school and enroll in the next possible semester (consult an international adviser for details).

c. Apply for off-campus work authorization following completion of your program (OPT for F-1, academic training for J-1). Because of application deadlines and other restrictions, you must speak with an adviser before completing your program in order to get this benefit.

d. Apply for a change to another immigration status.

If you leave before completing your program, you do NOT have this grace period. Please speak with an adviser for details.

YOU MUST NEVER:

1. WORK OFF CAMPUS unless you have written authorization from the international adviser in advance (consult the international adviser for details. For F-1 students the work authorization must be noted on Page 3 of your I-20). 

2. WORK ON CAMPUS more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.

3. Take a leave of absence, withdraw from classes, or drop below the required number of credits without FIRST checking with an international adviser at the International Education Center. Students who terminate their program or otherwise fall out of legal status before completing do not have a grace period to leave the U.S.; they must leave immediately.

 IV. OTHER LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS:

• Once you have completed or terminated your program or have failed to maintain legal student status, you may no longer legally enter the U.S. with your I-20 or DS-2019 form, and the staff of the International Education Center can no longer sign those forms (this means that you should NOT plan to travel out of and return to the U.S. with your current I-20/DS-2019 after you have finished your program).

• All international students are required to complete and submit U.S. tax forms to the federal government every year regardless of whether they earned any income in the U.S.

• All F-1 and J1 students are required by New Mexico Highlands University to have health insurance coverage that meets specific requirements (NMHU has secured a health insurance plan that will meet this requirement).

• Some foreign visitors may be subjected to a national registry, known as “special registration,” upon entry to the United States. While males from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Syria are most likely to be selected for special registration, any visitor to the U.S. may be selected to register under NSEERS. If you are subject to special registration, you must comply with special registration procedures every time you enter or leave the U.S. You know you have been registered if a Fingerprint Identification Number (FIN#) has been written on your passport, visa or I-94 or if you were given “walk away materials” at the port of entry to the U.S. Ask an adviser if you are not sure if you have this requirement.

• All F-1 and J-1 visa holders must attend International Orientation. If you secure employment at NMHU, employment approval will not be granted until you have attended International Orientation.

Suicide Prevention and Response 

New Mexico Highlands University is proud to be part of a caring community we call “Ignite Hope.” Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. College life is naturally a time of transition and challenge that can be stressful to students at all stages of their college years. Leaving home, new social relationships and academic challenges in conjunction with being away from the support of family and friends can be stressful or even overwhelming. For some this can mean feelings of depression, hopelessness, despair, and isolation. In some cases students might have difficulty exploring healthy options to deal with these thoughts, feelings and stressors, leading to thoughts of suicide.  If you have any questions, please check out our website at:  www.sdcchp.nm.org/nmhuspp/

Know the warning signs:

Primary Warning Signs

  • A previous suicide attempt
  • Current talk about suicide
  • Preoccupation with death
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Displaying signs of serious depression: moodiness, hopelessness, withdrawal

Secondary Warning Signs

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Recent suicide of a friend or family member
  • Ready access to firearms
  • Impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
  • Recipient of repeated bullying
  • Lack of connection to friends or family
  • Intense ongoing family conflict
  • Recent breakup with a girl or boyfriend
  • High or low academic achievement
  • • Increased gang participation
  • If you, or someone you know, are experiencing any of these warning signs, please contact:

1. A Highlands University administrator

Housing Director – (505) 454-3193

Dean of Students – (505) 454-3566

Campus Police – (505) 454-3278

2. The Highlands University Counseling Training Center – (505) 454-3564

3. Any Highlands University designated Lightkeeper (you will find this resource list on the website)

4. The National Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK

5. Or, in case of emergency, dial 911

Highlands University Policies 

New Mexico Highlands University is committed to taking swift and appropriate action against any of its official, employees, or students who violate any portion of this policy. The information obtained as a result of this policy is confidential and will not be disclosed except to personnel with a legitimate need to know or by order of a court. Students experiencing sexual or other forms of harassment should report incidents to the Office of Student Affairs, Felix Martinez Building, (505) 454-3020.

Academic Amnesty 

Academic amnesty is for undergraduate students who once attended New Mexico Highlands but stopped matriculation because of poor grades and/or they were placed on academic probation or dismissal. Students can return to Highlands and, once they have been granted amnesty, their earlier grades are not used in the grade point average (GPA). Academic amnesty enables a student to attain a sufficient GPA for college graduation. A student’s financial aid can be affected by academic amnesty, so he or she should consult the Financial Aid Office. Students expelled from Highlands for violation of the Student Code of Conduct, or federal, state, or local laws are not eligible for academic amnesty. 

A student must meet all of the following conditions to be granted academic amnesty:

  • Took courses from Highlands University and then stopped matriculation for five years or more because of poor grades (GPA less than 2.0), academic probation or dismissal.
  • Applies for academic amnesty through the Registrar’s Office. A student can apply for academic amnesty only once. A student is readmitted to Highlands University on academic probation after application for amnesty is approved.
  • Completes the first 24 credit hours at Highlands University with a GPA of 2.0 or better.
  • Once the first 24 credit hours are successfully completed, then academic amnesty is granted, and:
  • All courses taken during the earlier matriculation at Highlands University, even courses with a grade of C or better, will be excluded from GPA calculation.
  • Courses with a grade of C or better from the initial matriculation period can be carried forward as earned credit and used to meet degree requirements.
  • Courses from the earlier matriculation period remain on the student’s Highlands University transcript, but the transcript will bear the statement “Academic Amnesty Granted”.

A student will be academically dismissed from Highlands University for failure to attain a GPA of 2.0 in the first 24 credit hours after application for academic amnesty. 

Class Attendance 

Instructors may not permit students to attend classes without being registered for them.  Students whose names do not appear on class rosters are to contact the Office of the Registrar to resolve the matter.

Students are expected to attend all class meetings. Those who are absent because of circumstances beyond their control may be required to make up work that was missed during the period of absence. Excessive absences may be expected to affect a student’s grade adversely or even result in an F.  Instructors should make the policies on attendance in each class available in writing to students.  

If a student’s conduct in class interferes with others, is disruptive of teaching, or is contrary to the established class practices, the instructor may ask the student to leave the class.  

University-Sanctioned Absences

University-sanctioned absences include those absences related to student participation in University-sponsored activities such as field trips, music camps, intercollegiate competition, etc. No later than the first week of classes, students participating in these events are required to submit a notice, signed by the event sponsor, documenting the dates of these absences to each of their instructors.  If a faculty member believes that excessive absences may inhibit a student from successfully completing the course, the faculty member should promptly inform the student and the appropriate university sponsor of the event so that the student can decide whether or not to remain in the course.  If any changes to the academic schedule are necessary, the student should consult with his or her academic adviser.

University-sanctioned absences do not absolve students from any missed class assignments, exams, deadlines, etc.  Therefore, prior to each absence, students should remind their professors of these absences and make arrangements for any class assignments or make-up work that might be required.

In order to validate absenteeism due to any university-sanctioned absences, sponsors of university events will submit a universitywide notice listing names of students whose activities require being absent from class at least 24 hours before departing from campus.

Inclement Weather

Weather Hotline: Las Vegas: (505) 426-2297 Outside the Las Vegas area: 866-231-2366

Online: www.nmhu.edu

New Mexico is blessed with four seasons, and significant snow storms occur nearly every year that can result in either a delayed opening or a cancellation of classes. Decisions to delay or cancel classes are primarily based on local conditions and, in Las Vegas, whether Facilities personnel can open the campus. However, even if campus streets, parking, and sidewalks are generally passable, it is impossible to remove all traces of snow and ice and everyone is advised to use appropriate caution. 

In general, it is the policy of New Mexico Highlands University to remain open during regularly scheduled hours. However, if any students, faculty, or staff believe that weather conditions prevent their traveling safely to the university, they may choose to remain at home. In such cases, students who miss class will be responsible for making up any work missed, and faculty should be reasonable in dealing with individual student situations. Employees should consult with their supervisor and arrange for taking annual leave. 

If a two-hour delay is announced for the main campus, courses originating from the main campus starting prior to 9:30 a.m. are cancelled. Courses normally starting at 9:30 a.m. will begin at 10 a.m. Courses beginning at 10 a.m. or later will begin on a normal schedule. Online courses will take place at the discretion of the course’s professor. 

  • Courses at NMHU-Rio Rancho will correspond with CNM Rio Rancho delays and closures. 
  • Courses and offices at NMHU-Santa Fe will correspond with Santa Fe Community College delays and closures. 
  • Courses and offices at NMHU-Farmington will correspond with San Juan Community College delays and closures. 
  • Courses and offices at NMHU-Española will correspond with Northern New Mexico Community College – Española delays and closures. 
  • School of Social Work Albuquerque courses and offices will correspond with CNM Main Campus delays and closures. 
  • Delays or cancellations at NMHU-Raton will be announced by office personnel. 

In the event of a delay or closure at a Center, Center Directors should contact the Director of University Relations to coordinate appropriate announcements. 

Weather delays and cancellations are also announced on: 

  • The university’s website, www.nmhu.edu 
  • The university’s weather hotline: (505) 426-2297 (866-231-2366 outside of Las Vegas) 
  • The university’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HighlandsUniversity 
  • The university’s Twitter account: twitter.com/NMHighlands 
  • KOB, KOAT, and KRQE news stations (NMHU-Las Vegas, NMHU-Rio Rancho, NMHU Raton only) 
  • Local radio stations if applicable 
  • For the main campus, a text alert will also be sent to those students, faculty, and staff who have registered their cell phones with the text alert system. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to register their cell phones to receive weather and other emergency alerts. (To register your cell phone for emergency alerts, log on to “My NMHU” from the university’s website and follow the prompts. 

General Guidelines and Conditions 

Predicting the weather and the amount of snow yet to fall remains an inexact science and can vary greatly even from one part of town to another. Therefore, based on the latest information available, decisions regarding delays or cancellations will take into consideration the following general guidelines and conditions: 

Two-Hour Delay: 

1. Four or more inches of snow on campus (Melody Park) as of 5 a.m. 

2. Less than four inches of snow on campus but heavy snow continuing to fall and radar indications that it will continue. 

3. Extreme wind and temperature conditions as of 5 a.m. and predicted through the day. 

4. Heavy snow and/or other conditions on campus the night before and National Weather Service forecasts for the following day. 

Cancellations and Early Dismissals: 

1. The conditions that led to a two-hour delay continue or seem likely to continue through the day. 

2. Four or more inches of snow on campus as of 5 a.m. with heavy snow continuing to fall and radar indications that it will continue. 

3. Extreme wind and temperature conditions combined with significant snowfall. 

4. National Weather Service blizzard warning for the Las Vegas area. 

5. Heavy snow and/or other conditions on campus the night before and National Weather Service forecasts for the following day. 

In the event of a snowfall overnight, Campus Police will measure the amount of snow at Melody Park before 5a.m. and notify the Facilities Director. If conditions warrant, the Facilities Director will notify the President, who will decide by no later than 6 a.m. whether a delay or closure is needed. If a decision to delay or cancel is made, the Facilities Director will notify the Director of University Relations who will implement procedures for notification as outlined above. The Facilities Director will also inform Facilities staff of the decision and plans for snow removal. 

Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Policies 

Alcohol Policy

The university is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment that fosters mutually beneficial interpersonal relations and a shared responsibility for the welfare and safety of others. 

1. The acquisition, distribution, possession, or consumption of alcohol by members of the Highlands community must be in compliance with all local state, and federal laws.

2. Non-alcoholic beverages must be provided at events where alcoholic beverages are served.

Alcohol & Illegal Drugs

Highlands is committed to maintaining an environment of teaching and learning that is free of illicit drugs and alcohol.

The university has in place a policy to assist those with substance abuse, and a list of agencies available to support faculty, staff, and students. 

The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 require that New Mexico Highlands, as a recipient of federal funds including federally provided student financial aid, notify its students and employees annually that the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on university property is prohibited.

In compliance with the requirements of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, all students and employees of NMHU are notified of the following:

1. The unlawful possession, use, and distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on the university campus or during university-sponsored activities are prohibited. 

2. Students and employees who are found to be in violation of this stated prohibition may be subject to arrest and conviction under the applicable criminal laws of local municipalities, the State of New Mexico, or the United States. Conviction can result in sanctions including probation, fine and imprisonment.

3. Students who are found to be in violation of this stated prohibition are subject to discipline in accordance with the procedures of the Student Conduct System. Discipline may include disciplinary probation or dismissal from the university.

In addition to the above requirements, and in accordance with the requirements of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, all employees are notified that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance by university employees on university premises or off our premises while conducting university business is prohibited violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination and may have further legal consequences. 

New Mexico State Laws

The legal drinking age in New Mexico is 21. If you are under 21, it is illegal to:

1. have in your personal possession any alcoholic beverages,

2. misrepresent your age for purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages,

3. drive in a car having alcoholic beverages except when accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse 21 years of age, 

4. be in an area where alcoholic beverages are served unless accompanied by person 21 years of age,

5. be intoxicated by consumption of an alcoholic beverage (alcohol concentration of .02 or more is evidence of intoxication).

Penalties include fines and/or jail sentences. 

It is illegal for anyone to:

1. sell, give away or procure alcoholic beverage to a minor or individual who is intoxicated,

2. charge for alcoholic beverages without a license,

3. manufacture, sell, possess or use a falsified ID,

4. to lend a driver’s license to be used for unlawful purpose.

Penalties include fines and/or jail sentences. 

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) 

If you have been charged with refusal to submit to a breath or blood test, or if you provided a breath sample with a B.A.C. of .08 or higher if over 21 year of age, or .04 or higher of driving a commercial vehicle, or .02 or higher if under 21 years of age, your driver’s license or privilege to drive will be revoked 20 days after your arrest, unless you make a written request for a hearing within ten (10) days of your arrest.

Unlawful Possession

An alcohol offense that applies specifically to individuals age 18-21 is the prohibition in the Liquor Control Act commonly known as “minor in possession.” 60-7B-1. As used in the Liquor control Act, “minor” means a person under age 21. Section 60-7B-1(C) makes it illegal for minors to buy, attempt to buy, receive, possess or permit themselves to be served with alcoholic beverages. This offense is a misdemeanor. 

Penalties: 

• First offense - Fine up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail, six months to one year license revocation, mandatory DWI school, community service and ignition interlock. 

• Second offense - Fine up to $1,000 and up to 364 days in jail, two-year license revocation, mandatory DWI school, community service and ignition interlock for two years, and up to five years of probation.

• Third offense - Fine up to $1,000 and up to 364 days in jail, three-year license revocation, mandatory DWI school, community service and ignition interlock for three years, and up to five years of probation.

• Fourth offense - (felony) Fine up to $5,000 and up to 18 months in prison, lifetime license revocation, mandatory DWI school, community service and  lifetime ignition interlock, and up to five years of probation.

Description of Health Risks

Serious health and personal risks are associated with the use of illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol. They may include temporary or permanent physical or mental impairment, and injury or death. Use and abuse of such substances may also give rise to conduct which causes injury, death or damage to the user/abuser or to the person or property of others, resulting in criminal or civil prosecution and liability. Use and abuse of such substances may also lead to unsafe and/or non-consensual sex, unwanted pregnancy, and may cause defects, injury or death in unborn children. Consequences may also include temporary or permanent loss of educational or employment opportunities.

Drugs and the Body 

 Narcotics (ex. Heroin, OxyContin)

There are legal and illegal narcotics. Narcotics are effective in pain control and for other medical purposes when prescribed by a physician and used as directed. Use is often diverted however, which can produce multiple problems, as narcotics are highly addictive and often associated in drug overdoses.

Effects: The user may experience initial euphoria, followed by drowsiness and nausea. Someone under the influence may have constricted pupils, watery eyes and a dazed look.

Risks: There is a risk of overdose with narcotics and users may develop slow, shallow breathing, clammy skin, loss of appetite and weight. Overdose can lead to possible death without intervention. Narcotics are highly addictive and may require inpatient treatment to safely detoxify the body.

Depressants (Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines)

Depressants can also be legal and illegal. The most popular legal depressant is alcohol (see below). Depressants slow the central nervous system and may be prescribed by a physician to induce sleep, reduce stress, or help control anxiety. There is a danger of overdosing with depressants. 

Effects: The user may experience some relaxation, calmness, drowsiness and even euphoria. In high levels, the user may experience confusion, disorientation and impaired motor coordination, including slurred speech and loss of balance.

Risks: Overdose may produce shallow breathing, clammy skin, weak and rapid pulse, coma and possible death. Risk of overdose is increased when the person combines depressant drugs (intentionally or accidentally).

Stimulants (Cocaine, Methamphetamine)

Stimulants speed up the mental and physical processes of the body. Historically, they have been used both in their legal (nicotine and caffeine) and illegal forms, to help keep people awake, provide more energy, and suppress appetite. They have also been prescribed by physicians to increase alertness. These drugs can be addictive and can produce withdrawal symptoms if stopped.

Effects: The user may experience an increased heart rate, increased energy and increased alertness. Users may also find they have an increased blood pressure, excessive talkativeness, and increased anxiety. In large doses, users find loss of coordination, dizziness, anxiety, cardiac and respiratory distress, and seizures, among other concerns.

Risks: Increase in body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions and possible death.

Halluinogens (Mushrooms, LSD, PCP)

These are drugs that alter a person’s state of mind and mood. Some types produce hallucinations, causing the person to hear, see, and smell things that are not real. Dissociative drugs do not cause hallucinations, but can cause the person to feel disassociated with their body, or feel detached from his or her surroundings.

Effects: Users may experience illusions or hallucinations. They may become confused, experience panic, anxiety, depression, and poor perception of time and distance.

Risks: Users may experience respiratory failure or death due to careless or accidental behaviors.

Cannabis (Marijuana, Hashish)

These drugs are illegal though conversations for legalization or decriminalization regularly occur throughout the country.

Effects: Users may experience euphoria, relaxation and/or drowsiness and an increased appetite, short-term effects may include impaired short-term memory, impaired concentration, and attention. Long-term effects may include addiction (both psychological and physical), anxiety and memory loss. Users also report lack of motivation or difficulty setting and reaching goals.

Risks: There is little risk of overdose, however, there is a risk of an increasing tolerance, which can lead to increased use. There are also medical complications such as increased risk of respiratory infections, emphysema, certain cancers, and fertility issues.

Alcohol and the Body

The Food and Drug Administration defines low-risk drinking as: 

  • No more than 1 drink per day for women (if daily). 
  • No more than 2 drinks per day for men (if daily).
  • No more than 3 drinks for women, 4 drinks for men on any given day.

Alcohol is a depressant drug that is legal in the United States for those over the age of 21 years. Small quantities of alcohol (low-risk) for a legal-aged user has not been linked to any increased health risks, and in some cases, has been credited with some health benefits.

However, higher quantities (high-risk use) have been associated with increased risk for breast and colon cancer and heart disease, as well as with a variety of unintentional consequences.

Alcohol and Other Drug Interactions

• Allergy symptoms, colds, flu (Examples: Allegra, Benadryl, Tylenol Cold, etc.): Some possible reactions with alcohol include drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for alcohol overdose.

• Attention deficit (Examples: Adderall, Ritilin, etc.): Some possible reactions with alcohol include diminished drowsiness from alcohol. May lead to over consumption of alcohol, increased intoxication.

• Anxiety and epilepsy (Examples: Ativan, Valium Paxil) Herbal: Kava Kava: Some possible reactions with alcohol include drowsiness, dizziness, increased risk for overdose; slowed or difficulty breathing. Impaired motor skills, unusual behavior, memory problems, liver damage, drowsiness.

• Arthritis (Example: Celebrex): Some possible reactions with alcohol include ulcers, stomach bleeding, liver problems.

• Blood Clots (Example: Coumadin): Some possible reactions with alcohol include occasional drinking may lead to internal bleeding, heavier drinking also may cause blood clots, strokes, or heart attacks.

• Cough medicines (Examples: Delsym, Robitussin A-C): Some possible reactions with alcohol include drowsiness, dizziness, increased risk for overdose.

• Depression (Examples; Lexapro, Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft) Herbal: St. John’s Wort: Some possible reactions with alcohol include drowsiness, dizziness, increased risk for overdose; increased feelings of depression or hopelessness in adolescents (suicide).

• Diabetes (Example: Glucophage): Some possible reactions with alcohol include abnormally low blood sugar levels, flushing reaction; nausea, vomiting, headache, rapid heartbeat, sudden changes in blood pressure.

• Heartburn, indigestions, sour stomach (Examples: Zantac, Tagamet): Some possible reactions with alcohol include rapid heartbeat, sudden changes in blood; increased alcohol effect.

• High blood pressure (Examples: Accupril, Cardura, Hytril, Lopressor HCT): Some possible reactions with alcohol include dizziness; heart problems such as changes in the heart’s regular heartbeat.

• High cholesterol (Examples: Lipitor, Crestor): Some possible reactions with alcohol include liver damage (all medications); increased flushing and itching, increased stomach bleeding.

• Infections (Example: Flagyl, Nizoral, Tindamax): Some possible reactions with alcohol include fast heartbeat, sudden changes in blood pressure; stomach pain, upset stomach, vomiting, headache, or flushing, or redness of the face; some medications can cause liver damage.

• Muscle pain (Example: Flexeril, Soma): Some possible reactions with alcohol include drowsiness, dizziness, increased risk for overdose, increased risk for seizures, slowed or difficulty breathing, impaired motor control, unusual behavior, memory problems.

• Nausea, motion sickness (Examples; Antivert, Atarax): Some possible reactions with alcohol include drowsiness, dizziness, increased risk for overdose.

• Pain (headache, muscle, minor arthritis) fever (Examples: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aspirin, Acetaminophen): Some possible reactions with alcohol include stomach upset, bleeding and ulcers; liver damage (acetaminophen); rapid heartbeats, possible risk for increased intoxication.

• Seizures (Examples: Klonopin, Dilantin): Some possible reactions with alcohol include drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk of seizures.

• Severe pain (Examples: Percocet, Vicodin, Demerol) Some possible reactions with alcohol include drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for overdose; slowed or difficulty breathing; impaired motor control; unusual behavior, memory problems.

• Sleep Problems (Examples: Ambien, Restoril) herbal remedies for sleep problems (Examples: Valerian, SAMe): Some possible reactions with alcohol include drowsiness, sleepiness, dizziness, slowed or difficulty breathing; impaired motor control; unusual behavior, memory problems.

Higher risk quantities may result in the user having greater impairment in judgment, alertness and coordination.

Risks: high-risk amounts can increase risk for:

• Risk taking behaviors (example: sexual, driving)

• Alcohol poisoning which can include passing out (coma or becoming unconscious) nausea/vomiting and memory loss (black outs)

• Hostility or other behavior changes

• Dependence and/or addiction

• Uncharacteristic family, school, work and/or legal problems

• Health problems such as cancers, health disease and cirrhosis of the liver

• Unintentional injuries and death

• Birth and developmental defects if exposed during pregnancy

Off-Campus Resources:

• Emergency Medical Services: 911

• Poison Control: 800-222-1222

• Alcohol & Drug Treatment Help & Referral Network: 800-996-DRUG (800-996-3784)

• Narcotics Anonymous: 800-777-1515

• National Cocaine Hotline: 1-800-COCAINE (800-262-2463)

• National Institute on Drug Abuse/Treatment Hotline: 800-662-4357

• AIDS Information Hotline: 800-342-AIDS (800-342-2437)

• National STD Hotline: 800-227-8922

• Federal Drug, Alcohol and Crime Clearinghouse Network: 800-788-2800

• AGORA Crisis Center: (505) 277-3013

Las Vegas

• Alcoholics Anonymous: (505) 425-3577

• San Miguel County DWI Council: (505) 425-7998 

• Tri-County Family Justice Center of Northern New Mexico: (575) 718-7300 

• Crisis Lines: 866-575-7233

• San Miguel/Mora Community Based Services: (505) 454-5100

• Crisis Line: (505) 425-1048

• Alta Vista Regional Hospital: (505) 426-3500 ER: (505) 426-3502

• Las Vegas STAT Care (Urgent Care Center – after hours): (505) 425-6283

• Las Vegas Quick Care (Urgent Care Center): (505) 454-1109

Farmington

• Alcoholics Anonymous: (505)-266-1900

• Presbyterian Medical Services: (505) 564-4804

• Community Counseling Center: (325-0238) 

• Davis, Rosalie LPCC: (505) 881-0404

Santa Fe

• Alcoholics Anonymous: (505) 982-8932

• Santa Fe Rape Crisis Center: 800-721-7273 / (505) 988-1951

• The Life Link: (505) 438-7705

• The Santa Fe Recovery Center: (505) 471-4475

Raton

• Alcoholics Anonymous: (505) 425-3577

• Taos County Community Services: (575) 445-2754

Rio Rancho

• Alcoholics Anonymous: (505) 292-1067

• Sunrise Counseling Services: (505) 891-1001

• Realistic Counseling Services: (505) 220-0325 

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Survey

Have you ever…………… Alcohol and Drug Abuse Survey

Have you ever…………… Yes No

1. Done poorly on a test or important project because of your use? ___ ___

2. Been in trouble with parents, RA or authorities because of your use? ___ ___

3. Damaged property, pulled a fire alarm etc., when under the influence?___ ___

4. Had a hangover? ___ ___

5. Got into an argument or fight when under the influence? ___ ___

6. Missed a class because of your use? ___ ___

7. Been taken advantage of sexually? ___ ___

8. Taken advantage of another when under the influence? ___ ___

9. Tried unsuccessfully to stop using? ___ ___

10. Seriously hurt someone or been hurt when under the influence? ___ ___

11. Thought about suicide? ___ ___

If you can answer yes to three or more questions for yourself or someone you know, it would be good to seek professional help.

NMHU’s Policy Statement Regarding the Prevention of and Response to Sex Offenses, Domestic Violence and Stalking

NMHU educates students, staff and faculty about domestic violence, stalking or a forcible or non-forcible sex offense, including sexual assault, rape and date rape, through the following programs:

1. New Student Orientation; and

2. Campus Violence Prevention Program, which provides educational outreach and coordinates trainings for students, faculty and staff.

If you are a victim of a sex offense, domestic violence or stalking, your first priority should be to get to a safe place. You should then obtain necessary medical treatment. NMHU strongly encourages victims of a sex offense, domestic violence or stalking to report the incident in a timely manner. Time is a critical factor for collection and preservation of evidence.  

A sex offense of any kind, domestic violence or stalking should be reported to one or more of the following:

• Off-campus emergency number  911

• On-Campus Emergency Number (Campus Police)  (505) 454-3278

• New Mexico State Police  (505) 425-6771

• Las Vegas Police Department  (505) 425-7504

• Campus Violence Prevention Program  (505) 454-3445

• Student Health Center  (505) 454-3218

• Office of Student Affairs  (505) 454-3020

• After-Hours Rape Crisis (off campus)  (505) 425-1048

• Affirmative Action/EEO officer  (505) 454-3308

• Human resources director  (505) 454-3308

• a dean, department chair, student adviser or

• residence hall staff in any residence hall

Making a report to law enforcement does not obligate a victim to pursue the matter through the criminal justice system. However in certain circumstances, the state can bring charges against the perpetrator without the cooperation of a victim.

Regardless of whether a victim pursues the matter through the criminal justice system, the victim of a sex offense or domestic violence is encouraged to obtain an exam to collect evidence that might not be available later and could be helpful in any subsequent prosecution.  Ideally, a victim of a sex offense or domestic violence should not wash, douche, use the toilet or change clothing prior to an exam.  

Once a report is made to Campus Police, Campus Violence Prevention Program, affirmative action/EEO officer, human resources director, Student Health Center, Office of Student Affairs or a dean, department chair, student adviser or residence hall staff member regarding an incident involving a sex offense, domestic violence or stalking, the victim will be informed of the following:

1. The victim’s option to notify law enforcement and to receive assistance from NMHU personnel.  NMHU will comply with a victim’s request for assistance in notifying law enforcement.

2. Existing counseling, mental health and services for victims of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses, including sexual assault, both on campus and in the community.  The list of available resources is attached to this policy and is also available online at www.nmhu.edu/prevention and

3. If the victim is a student, the option to change the student’s academic and/or on-campus living situation, if requested, and if the changes are reasonably available.

If NMHU is notified of an incident involving a sex offense, domestic violence or stalking committed by a student, NMHU will investigate the matter appropriately and take action pursuant to NMHU’s Student Code of Conduct.  NMHU’s Student Code of Conduct is found in the Student Handbook.  

At any disciplinary hearing pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct, both the victim/accuser and the accused student have the right to have an adviser of his/her choosing present. The adviser may not participate in the hearing itself, such as examining witnesses or presenting information, unless asked to do so by the hearing committee. Both the victim/accuser and accused student will be notified in writing of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding brought alleging a crime of violence, including assault and forcible sex offenses, or a non-forcible sex offense. The notification will only include the name of the accused student, the violation committed, and the sanction(s), imposed by NMHU on the accused student. Discipline that may be imposed on a student who is found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct includes disciplinary reprimand, restrictions, restitution, probation, suspension or expulsion from the University and/or University housing. 

If NMHU is notified of an incident involving a sex offense, domestic violence or stalking committed by a faculty member or employee, NMHU will investigate the matter and take action as appropriate pursuant to NMHU’s policies applicable to the faculty member or employee.  The victim/accuser and the accused will have the right to have an adviser of his/her choosing throughout the process and will be notified of the outcome of the process.

A student may also file a grievance against another student, an employee or faculty member pursuant to the Student Grievance Procedure, which is found in the Student Handbook.  As stated in the policy, both the grievant and respondent may have an adviser present during an interview.  Both the grievant and respondent will be notified of the outcome of the grievance.

An employee or faculty member can file a grievance pursuant to applicable NMHU policies. 

If you have any questions about this policy or would like more information regarding domestic violence, stalking, or a forcible or non-forcible sex offense, including sexual assault, rape and date rape, please contact the Campus Violence Prevention Program at (505) 454-3445 or preventviolence@nmhu.edu or view available resources online at www.nmhu.edu/prevention. 

The dean of students is authorized to and shall prepare procedures to implement this policy statement.

DEFINITIONS

New Mexico Highlands University main campus and center campuses adopt, for the purpose of this policy, the following definitions for violent offenses:

Sex Offense 

Sex offenses are separated into two categories: forcible and non-forcible, including attempted sex offenses. 

Forcible: any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent; including anal and oral intercourse; the use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person; and the inappropriate touching or fondling of another’s intimate areas. 

a. Consent defined: mutual agreement based on a shared desire for specific sexual activities; with a clear and concise yes throughout the sexual activity and not the absence of no. Consent cannot be granted if the victim is incapacitated due to alcohol or drugs; is unconscious or asleep or physically helpless; or suffers from a mental condition that does not allow them to understand the nature of the act. 

Non-forcible: any sexual act in which force was not used, including: incest, which is the non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law; statutory rape, non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. 

Dating or Domestic Violence 

Dating or domestic violence is also known as domestic abuse. This is any incident by or against a household member resulting in physical harm, severe emotional assault, bodily injury or assault, a threat causing imminent fear of bodily injury, criminal trespassing, criminal damage to property, repeatedly driving by a residence or work place, telephone harassment, stalking, harassment, and harm or threatened harm to children. 

a. Household member defined: means a spouse, former spouse, parent, present or former step-parent, present or former in-law, grandparent, grandparent in-law, a co-parent of a child or a person with whom a person has had a continuing personal relationship. 

b. Continuing personal relationship defined: means a dating or intimate relationship. 

Stalking 

Stalking consists of knowingly pursuing a pattern of conduct, without lawful authority, directed at a specific individual when the person intends that the pattern of conduct would place the individual in reasonable apprehension of death, bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint of the individual or another individual. 

a. Pattern of conduct defined: means two or more acts, on more than one occasion, in which the alleged stalker by any action, method, device or means, directly, indirectly, or through third parties, follows monitors, surveils, threatens or communicates to or about a person.

Resources

Highlands University recognizes the harm caused by violence and the need to provide services to students and to educate the university community regarding this issue; Highlands offers the following services and educational programs and local resources:

A. Main Campus & Centers 

1. NMHU Campus Violence Prevention Program
Student Union Building Room 302
(505) 454-3445 

2. NMHU Campus Police
Corner of 10th St. & Baca Ave.
(505) 454-3278 

3. Office of the Dean of Students
Felix Martinez Building Room 261
(505) 454-3020 

B. Main Campus-Las Vegas 

1. Tri-County Family Justice Center 

(505) 718-7300 

2. New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute-Community Based Services
(505) 454-5115
(505) 425-1048 CRISIS 

3. 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office-Victims Assistance Unit
(505) 454-9033 

C. Rio Rancho & Albuquerque Centers 

1. Haven House
(505) 896-4869 

2. Safe House
(505) 247-4219 

3. Rio Rancho Family Health Center
(505) 896-0928 

4. Albuquerque Rape Crisis
(505) 266-7711 

D. Santa Fe Center 

1. Solace Trauma & Treatment Center
(505) 988-1951 findsolace.org 

2. Esperanza Shelter
(505) 474-5536 

E. Farmington Center 

1. Family Crisis Center 

(575) 325-3549 

2. Sexual Assault Services of Northwest New Mexico
(575)325-2805
(575)326-4700 CRISIS 

3. Navajo United Methodist Center: New Beginnings
(505) 599-0984 

F. Raton Center 

1. Alternatives to Violence
(575) 445-5778 

2. Tri-Community Services
(575)374-2032 

G. Roswell Center at ENMU 

1. Roswell House
(575) 625-1095/1457
(575) 622-7263 CRISIS 

2. Roswell Refuge for Battered Adults
(575)627-8361

NMHU’s Policy Statement on the Prevention of and Response to Students of Concern

NMHU Student Behavior Intervention and Support Team (SBIST)

Mission

NMHU Student Behavior Intervention and Support Team’s mission is to provide a proactive and supportive multidisciplinary and systematic team approach to prevention, assessment and intervention of situations or students showing signs of serious distress or engaging in harmful or disruptive behaviors. The overall mission of the SBIST is to promote improved and continuous student success through support and empowerment. In addition to resources and services to students of concern, mitigating disruptive behavior can have a positive impact on the general student body by contributing to a quality and safe educational environment.   

Purpose

NMHU Student Behavioral Intervention and Support Team’s purpose is to receive referrals for students whose behavior appears stressed and in danger to themselves or others. The SBIST evaluates the student and the circumstances and will determine an appropriate course of action for recommendation to the Dean of Students. The goal of the team is to maintain a healthy and safe environment for the NMHU community.

Information relative to a situation of concern will be reviewed by the SBIST and handled confidentially. Student code of conduct violations will be handled in accordance with the procedures outlined in the NMHU Student Handbook. The work of the SBIST is not intended to replace the current student discipline process, faculty classroom management, and/or the response of campus police to incidents; but rather be supportive of those processes.

This policy will outline the following:

• Identification and involvement of the NMHU Student Behavior Intervention and Support Team (SBIST)

• Procedures for reporting behavioral issues

Student Behavioral Intervention and Support Team

SBIST is composed of the following individuals from the diverse areas of the university*:

• director of Campus Violence Prevention Program (chair)

• dean of students (ex-officio)

• director of housing

• chief of campus police

• mental health counselor

• director of academic support

• counseling faculty

• assistant athletic director for compliance & Title IX

*Depending on the nature of the case, SBIST may call upon the expertise of other members of the university to provide consultation on risk assessment and appropriate interventions. SBIST will meet at least once a month or as needed. When notified of an incident or threat, the team will initiate a full and prompt investigation which may include follow up discussion(s) with individuals making referrals to the SBIST as well as meeting(s) with the student whose behavior gave rise to the referral or is cause for concern, and with any identified witnesses to the cited behavior. Based on the investigation, the team will recommend a course of action to the dean of students, including but not limited to the following:

• No further action required

• Additional information should be gathered to evaluate the threat based on the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association Threat Assessment Tool

• Refer for threat assessment

• Refer to NMHU student discipline procedures to initiate appropriate disciplinary action

• Refer to the legal system to initiate appropriate criminal proceedings

Goals of Student Behavior Intervention and Support Team

• To balance educational needs of the student and the academic mission of the university

• To provide structure for an effective method of addressing student behaviors that impact the university

• To manage each case individually 

• To initiate appropriate intervention 

• To eliminate fragmented care

• To be a resource for students, faculty, administrators, and staff

Objectives of Student Behavior Intervention and Support Team

• Increase identification of students whose behaviors are distressed, disruptive, and/or dysregulated.

• Discuss situations brought to its attention by any member of the campus community seeking guidance on disruptive and/or problematic behaviors that might lead to aggression or self-harm.

• Centralize the process of collecting and assessing “red flags” raised by student behavior and documented by different sources within the university before there is a crisis.

• Develop a coordinated plan to help students in crisis, mitigate risk, facilitate early intervention and protect and maintain campus safety.

• Coordinate follow-up with the student to ensure that recommended services, support, and resources are deployed effectively.

• Utilize psychological assessment.

• Balance FERPA, HIPPA and counselor privilege with university need to know.

• Protect the campus community in cases of imminent threats by students to self or others. 

Reporting a student behavioral concern

All members of the NMHU community are encouraged to be alert for situations or students showing signs of serious distress or engaging in harmful or disruptive behaviors. Each time a campus or community member becomes aware of an incident, threat, or inappropriate behavior, she or he is urged to report the incident to the SBIST at SBIST@nmhu.edu or (505)454-3345 or to the dean of students at (505)454-3020 as soon as possible. If there is perceived imminent danger, always contact NMHU Campus Police at (505)454-3278 immediately and/or 911 as appropriate. Anonymous reports are accepted and confidentiality will be maintained to the extent provided by law. 

Types of activities that should be reported include persons who exhibit one or more of the following behaviors:

• bizarre or strange behavior

• deterioration in personal appearance

• references to harming self or others

• irritable, abrasive or aggressive behavior

• crying and or persistent sadness, nervousness, impaired speech

• self-injurious behavior

• suicidal thought or attempt

• behavior that threatens or endangers others

• possession of a weapon

• erratic or disruptive behavior

• involuntary transportation to the hospital for alcohol or drug use/abuse

• deterioration in quantity/quality of work

• significant negative change in classwork

• repeated absences from class or work

• continual seeking of special provisions

If you have any questions about this policy or would like more information regarding student behavior concerns, please contact the dean of students at (505)454-3020 or the Campus Violence Prevention Program at (505)454-3445.

Student Academic Integrity Policy

All forms of academic dishonesty defeat the mission of the university to develop the skills and knowledge of students; it disadvantages the work and grades of students who perform with integrity; it is considered unethical by society at large; and, it thwarts the purpose of academic inquiry and scholarship, including the pursuit, preservation, and communication of knowledge.

Definitions:

1. Academic dishonesty: Any behavior by a student that misrepresents or falsifies the student’s knowledge, skills, or ability.

2. Plagiarism: The process of copying another person’s idea or written work and claiming it as original without acknowledgment of the original author or creator.

3. Cheating: Student’s use, or attempted use, of unauthorized notes, texts, visuals, electronic devices, or copies of tests to misrepresent their knowledge, skills, or abilities.

4. Collusion: Secret cooperation between students in order to cheat or plagiarize.  

5. Facilitation: One student assists another student in cheating, plagiarism, or collusion.

6. Falsification of records: A student alters academic records, without authorization, to unfairly favor himself/herself or another student’s grades.

Documentation of Academic Dishonesty:

Faculty who discover academic dishonesty must document the infraction.  Documentation needs to state the student’s name, the date the academic dishonesty was discovered, and the type of academic dishonesty. Supporting documents or copies of academic dishonesty need to be retained by the instructor.   Documentation should be retained by faculty for at least four years. Situations and suitable documentation include the following but not limited to:

• Several students complain that other student(s) cheated on a test or assignment.  Appropriate documentation is a signed letter by the students describing the incident and a copy of the accused student’s assignment.

• Several students give identical written answers and were sitting next to each other during an examination. Copies of the exams and a note that they sat in proximity to one another constitute documentation.

• Plagiarism can be documented with a copy of the student’s work, along with a copy or citation to the source of the copied text.  

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty:

Instructors and supervisors must collect and maintain evidence records to apply penalties.  Grade rosters contain a flag that is checked next to the names of students who cheat.  

1. Courses:

• An F for academic dishonesty cannot be expunged from the record and GPA calculations by retaking the course.

• Instructors who have 1) informed classes about the nature of academic dishonesty and that there will be penalties if caught, and 2) document incidents of academic dishonesty, can impose penalties on students. Penalties must be imposed impartially; all students involved in an incident must be penalized at the same level. The penalty for an incident of academic dishonesty is up to the individual faculty member who detects it in a class. Penalties may range from a reduced grade on an individual assignment to a failing grade for the course. The amount of grade reduction is up to the individual faculty member.  

• Before assessing a penalty, faculty members should inform the student suspected of the infraction, and the student should be given the opportunity to respond. If more than one student is involved, each student should be interviewed separately and his or her responses compared. 

2. Employment (work-study students, TAs, RAs, etc.):  

• Dismissal from the job.  

o Notice is then sent to the registrar to flag the student for academic dishonesty.

3. Flagged students

• The registrar shall maintain a list of students who have been academically dishonest.  

o When a student is flagged twice, the name of the student is forwarded by the registrar to the Office of Student Affairs.   The Academic Affairs Committee shall then convene a hearing to determine a university-level penalty for the student.  Students who are found to be persistently academically dishonest may be suspended from the university for several semesters at the discretion of the committee.  

o When a student is flagged a third time, the university shall expel the student.  The student’s transcript shall show the statement: “Expelled for academic dishonesty.” 

Appeals:

A student has the right to an academic appeal of a finding of an academic dishonesty by an instructor of a course or by a supervisor or by the Academic Affairs Committee. Procedures are:

• When a student who appeals the finding of academic dishonesty by an instructor of a course, a subcommittee of the Academic Affairs Committee will review information provided by the student and instructor and determine: 1) whether to uphold the instructor’s finding, 2) whether the penalty was appropriate, and 3) whether to adjust the penalty. The burden of proof rests on the instructor of a course. If the subcommittee does not uphold the instructor’s finding, then the flag is cleared by the registrar.

• When a student who appeals the finding of academic dishonesty by a supervisor, a subcommittee of the Academic Affairs Committee will review information provided by the student and supervisor and determine whether to uphold the supervisor’s finding of academic dishonesty. The burden of proof rests on the supervisor. If the subcommittee does not uphold the supervisor’s finding, then the flag is cleared by the registrar.

When a student who appeals the finding of the Academic Affairs Committee, or as the result of a second flagging, the Office of Academic Affairs will initiate an administrative review to determine whether to uphold the decision of the Academic Affairs Committee’s finding of academic dishonesty. The burden of proof rests on the Academic Affairs Committee. The Office of Academic Affairs will then decide whether to rescind or alter the university-level penalties and/or the university expulsion. 

Policy on Emergency Contact

If university staff members have reasonable cause to believe a student is a danger to himself or herself or others, contact may be made with the person(s) designated by the student as the emergency contact. This information may be taken from the housing application or any other university document requiring the student to list an emergency contact person.

Policy on Self-Destructive Behavior

Self-destructive behavior shall be understood to mean and include attempts or threats on the part of an individual to end his or her life, or to inflict serious bodily harm on himself or herself by any means capable of producing such results.

The university, typically, through personal counseling, the Campus Police Department and/or the dean of students will respond to such incidents quickly and through referral to local care facilities. If the behavior warrants, local law enforcement will be contacted.

Sexual Harassment Policy

1. Introduction

It is the policy of New Mexico Highlands University to maintain a community in which students, faculty, staff and administration are free to work, study and reside without being subjected to sexual harassment. Such behavior subverts the mission of all involved. 

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination on the basis of sex and is, therefore, prohibited on campus and in programs and activities sponsored by New Mexico Highlands. 

Sexual harassment constitutes an unacceptable and punishable offense at NMHU, which may include disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

2. Sexual Harassment Defined

Sexual harassment may take many forms, including unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and conduct that is not necessarily sexual in nature, but which is unwelcome and directed at a person because of his or her gender.

A. Sexual harassment involving unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature can include sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

• Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;

• Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the employee; or

• Such conduct is so severe or pervasive that it affects an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive working environment.

• Sexual harassment is distinguished from voluntary sexual relationships when the conduct directed toward you is unwelcome. Conduct of a sexual nature is unwelcome when you did not request or invite the conduct and view the conduct as offensive and undesirable.

• Conduct of a sexual nature can include, but is not limited to:

– verbal, non-verbal or physical sexual advances,

– pressure for sexual favors,

– touching of a sexual nature,

– sexual assault,

– sexual gestures,

– sexual or “dirty” jokes,

– offensive personal jokes and comments of a sexual nature,

– displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures and written materials.

B. Sexual harassment can also involve acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, but not involving conduct of a sexual nature, when such conduct is so severe or pervasive that it affects a student’s/employee’s ability to work, participate in or benefit from an education program or activity or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment. Such conduct can include, but is not limited to:

• Offensive jokes or comments, not necessarily sexual in nature, but directed at a person because of his or her gender or sexual orientation,

•Threats or insinuations that lack of sexual favors will result in reprisals, withholding support for promotions or transfers, change of assignments, or poor performance reviews,

• Sexual harassment against an employee/student can involve any member of the New Mexico Highlands University community, including faculty, staff, employees, students, guest speakers, visiting students or contractors.

3. Reporting Sexual Harassment

Employees/students shall report sexual misconduct or harassment to their immediate supervisor, the next-in-line supervisor, the dean or director, campus police, or to the director of human resources. If an employee or student is not certain whether sexual harassment is taking place, he or she should report his or her concerns.

A. Supervisors and managers who have knowledge of sexual misconduct or harassment within New Mexico Highlands University or one of its off campus facilities shall immediately report it to the human resources director and to a person above them in their chain of command.

B. Under no circumstances, during an investigation, shall a supervisor withhold any infomation about reported or observed sexual misconduct or harassment.

C. Supervisors shall report allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment even if the employee/student reporting such misconduct has asked that no action be taken. Supervisors shall explain this obligation to employees who report sexual misconduct or harassment.

4. Time Frame for Reporting Sexual Harassment

In order to allow for a prompt and timely investigation, the complaint should be made as soon as possible, but no later than 90 days following the latest alleged incident of sexual harassment. Even if this time frame has passed, the university encourages the reporting of sexual harassment. 

5. Retaliation is Prohibited

Retaliation against any person who makes a complaint of sexual harassment, reports that another person is being sexually harassed, or who cooperates in an investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment is strictly prohibited. 

If you believe you have been retaliated against or that someone else has been retaliated against for reporting sexual harassment, you should follow the same reporting requirements for reporting incidents of sexual harassment set forth in Section 4 above, Reporting Sexual Harassment.

6. Investigation and Resolution of Reports of Sexual Harassment.

The university reserves the right to investigate any reports of sexual harassment as the university deems appropriate.

All employees/students shall cooperate with investigations of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment complaints.

Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any employee, including staff members, faculty members and administrators, who are found to have engaged in sexual harassment or retaliation up to and including dismissal.

New Mexico Highlands University will also take appropriate action, to the extent possible, against non-employees, such as contractors and guest lecturers, who are found to have engaged in sexual harassment or retaliation.

7. Confidentiality

A. Allegations of sexual misconduct shall be investigated by the Human Resource Department in a manner that is as confidential as possible and appropriate under the circumstances.

B. Absolute guarantees of confidentiality or anonymity cannot be given. Every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality or anonymity of the employee or students.

C. Employees/students who are interviewed during investigations of sexual misconduct allegations shall maintain the confidentiality of what was discussed during their interviews.

The director of human resources has been designated responsibility for coordinating New Mexico Highlands University’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under applicable laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment, including Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The current human resources director is: Donna Castro, Rodgers Administration Building Room 108, (505) 426-2240.

The mailing address is: New Mexico Highlands University, Box 9000, Las Vegas, NM 87701. 

Tobacco Use Policy

In compliance with the New Mexico Clean Indoor Act, as amended, smoking of tobacco products and e-cigarettes is prohibited in university buildings, facilities and vehicles. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas.

The Smoking Policy stipulates:

• Smoking is prohibited except in designated areas. Those areas will be well posted and will not be near air conditioning or other ventilation systems that can carry the smoke to other sites.

• Ashtrays are provided in smoking sites.

• Smoking is prohibited in university vehicles.

• Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of any building.

• Smoking is prohibited near windows or air intakes.

• Smokeless tobacco is prohibited in university buildings, facilities and vehicles.

This policy applies to all university visitors, students, and employees. It is the responsibility of every member of the university community to conduct himself or herself in compliance with this policy.

Enforcement is the shared responsibility of the entire campus. The success of this policy depends upon the courtesy, respect and cooperation of smokers and non-smokers of the NMHU community.

Student Code of Conduct

1. Coverage

The Code of Student Conduct is the university’s policy related to nonacademic misconduct by students. Academic misconduct by students is not covered by this code, but, rather, falls on the responsibility of the vice president of academic affairs. 

2. Rationale

New Mexico Highlands University has the right and obligation to support its educational function and to provide the equal opportunity of all students to pursue an education. Therefore, it is the university’s responsibility to establish standards of conduct that uphold appropriate classroom decorum, safety and orderliness in campus life, and the rights and privileges of all members of the university community. The code should be read broadly. It does not define nonacademic misconduct in exhaustive terms. The purposes of the University’s Code of Student Conduct is to inform NMHU students of prohibited nonacademic conduct; to protect and preserve a quality educational environment at NMHU; to outline the due process procedures that will be followed in cases of student misconduct.

3. Violations of the Law and of the Code

Students may be accountable to both civil authorities and to the university for acts that constitute violations of the law and of this code. Those accused of violations are subject to university disciplinary proceedings as outlined in this code despite any pending civil or criminal proceedings or any other university proceedings regarding the same conduct. Accused students may not challenge the university disciplinary proceedings on the grounds that criminal charges, civil actions or other university proceedings regarding the same incident are pending or have been terminated, dismissed, reduced or not yet adjudicated. The university will refer matters to federal and/or state authorities for prosecution when appropriate.

4. Nonacademic Misconduct

The following actions/behaviors occurring on university property or at university-sponsored events constitute violations of the NMHU Code of Student Conduct. Any student committing a violation may be subject to disciplinary action including expulsion or any lesser sanction authorized by the code. Students must take action to ensure that university regulations are observed. Individual students are responsible for their own conduct and the conduct of their guests. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary and/or legal action against any student.

A. Violation of University Regulations. Violating any university or Board of Regents policies, rules and regulations including, but not limited to housing regulations, regulations of university departments and offices, the university policies on sexual harassment or assault, smoking regulations, regulations related to entry (opening and closing hours), traffic and parking regulations, and misuse of identification cards.

B. Violation of Federal, State or Local Laws. Violating federal, state or local laws on university premises or while in attendance at any university-sponsored or supervised events or committing off-campus violations of federal, state, or local law that seriously threatens the educational mission of the university or the health and safety of any member of the university community.

C. Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substances. New Mexico Highlands University prohibits the illegal or irresponsible use of alcohol and other drugs. This includes the consumption, possession or distribution of any form of alcoholic beverages, marijuana, narcotics, other drugs or any drug paraphernalia at any university sanctioned or related, on or off campus, business, activity or event. 

Students receiving federal loans and grants do so on the condition that they will not engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance during the period covered by the federal funding. Students in violation of student code of conduct could lose grants and other financial aid.

Possession is defined as, but is not limited to, alcohol, controlled substances or drug paraphernalia found on a person, in his or her clothing, in or around a vehicle on university property or at a university-sanctioned event. Additionally, this includes any individual appearing on university premises or at a university-sponsored activity clearly under the influence of a controlled or intoxicating substance to the degree that there is danger to self, others or property. The university will enforce federal, state, and local laws, as well as its own alcohol and drug policies, and procedures that support these laws. 

D. Damage to Property. Participating in acts of unauthorized use, removal, defacing, tampering, damage or destruction of student, staff, faculty, visitor or university-owned or-leased property, equipment, or programs on university premises, at university-sponsored activities, or from university organization(s), group(s) or individual(s).

E. Disorderly Conduct. Engaging in loud behavior, physical fights or disruptive behavior. For purposes of this code, disorderly conduct is defined to include, but not limited to, acts that breach the peace, disrupt others or interrupt the university operations.

F. Disruption of University Operations. Interrupting, disturbing or interfering with normal university functions, university-sponsored activities, or any function or activity on university premises including, but not limited to, studying, teaching, public speaking, research, university administration, judicial proceedings, or fire, police or emergency services or committing intentional acts that obstruct, disrupt, or physically interfere with the use of university premises, buildings or passages.

G. Explosives and Weapons. Possessing, using, storing or distributing dangerous weapons, explosives, firearms, noxious devices or other hazardous objects, materials or substances. These items are strictly forbidden on university premises including, but not limited to, the rooms of resident students, classrooms, at university-sponsored or supervised events, in or around any vehicle, and in or on any person’s clothing.

H. False Complaints. Intentionally filing a false complaint under this code.

I. False Reports. Initiating, making or causing any false report, threat of fire, explosion or other emergency or dangerous condition on university premises or at a university-sponsored activity; failing to report a fire, or interfering with the response of university or municipal officials to emergency calls.

J. Hazing. Planning, directing or committing acts of hazing, defined as any activity which willfully or recklessly endangers the mental or physical health of an individual(s) or subjects a person(s) to forced consumption of alcohol or drugs, ridicule, embarrassment, or unlawful activity for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization.

K. Indecent Behavior. Lewd, indecent or obscene behavior or remarks, intentionally exposing buttocks, breasts or genitals in a public place on university premises or at university-sponsored activities.

L. Failure to Obey. Refusal or failure to comply with the directions of university officials or representatives, including campus police officers and residence hall staff members, acting in performance of their duties and/or failing to positively identify one’s self to a university official when requested to do so. (The preferred form of identification shall be a current, valid university identification card.)

M. False Information. Misrepresenting information or furnishing false information to the university.

N. Forgery. Forgery, fraudulence, alteration, misrepresentation, counterfeiting, or misuse of any university and/or other documents, instruments of identification or access devices.

O. Physical Harm or Threatening Remarks. Taking any action, making threatening remarks or creating any situation on university premises or at university-sponsored activities that intentionally or recklessly endangers the mental or physical health of others.

P. Misuse of University Computer Privileges. Please reference to the full policy by going to www.nmhu.edu > MY NMHU > Student Technical Help > ITS Policies on Computer, Network, and E-mail. Engaging in acts of theft of computers or abuse of computer privileges, including but not limited to 

• improper and/or unauthorized access to university computer files and systems; unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of university computer systems or material; unauthorized entry into a file to use, read or change its contents;

• unauthorized transfers of a file or files,

• unauthorized use of another person’s identification or password,

• use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, staff or faculty member,

• use of computing facilities to view or send threatening or obscene messages,

• intentional disruption of university computer systems,

• violation of copyright or proprietary material restrictions connected with university computer systems, programs or materials.

Q. Misuse of the Judicial System. Engaging or participating in abuse of the university judicial system, including but not limited to:

• filing a false complaint or claim under this code,

• falsifying or misrepresenting information before a judicial body,

• disrupting or interfering with the orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding,

• instituting a judicial complaint without cause,

• attempting to discourage an individual’s participation in, or use of, the judicial system,

• attempting to influence a member of the judicial body prior to, during, and/or after a judicial proceeding,

• harassing (verbal or physical) and/or intimidating a member of a judicial body, prior to, during and/or after a judicial proceeding,

• failing to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Code of Student Conduct,

• influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the judicial system.

R. Noncompliance with Disciplinary Sanctions. Lack of adherence to the terms of any disciplinary sanction imposed in accordance with this code.

S. Stalking, Harassment or Persistent Torment. Engaging in conduct directed at specific person(s) on university premises or at university-sponsored activities that seriously alarms or intimidates such person(s), and which serves no legitimate purpose. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to explicit or implicit threats, including gestures that place a person in unreasonable fear of unwelcome physical contact, harm or death; following a person about in a public place or to or from his or her residence; making remarks in a public place to a specific person(s) that are in common usage lewd, obscene or expose a person(s) to public hatred, or that can reasonably be expected to have a tendency to cause acts of violence by the person(s) to whom the remark is addressed; or communicating anonymously by voice or graphic means or making a telephone call anonymously whether or not a conversation ensues, or posting any derogatory or inflammatory comments or photos on social media sites, whether or not comments specifically name individuals as subjects or targets of posts. Torment or intimidation based on ability, age, ethnic heritage, gender, lifestyle, race, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, political, social, or other affiliation or disaffiliation is forbidden.

T. Tampering with Safety Devices. Committing acts that endanger the university community or university property including but not limited to altering, misusing or damaging any firefighting equipment, safety equipment alarms or emergency device.

U. Theft. Unauthorized use or removal of property, materials or services from the university, at university-sponsored activities, from university organization(s), group(s), student(s) or any university community member, guest, visitor, vendor or contractor on university premises; or knowing of possession of stolen property or use of stolen services on university premises, at university-sponsored activities, or from university organization(s), group(s) or individual(s).

V. Unauthorized Entry or Use of Keys. Possessing, duplicating or using keys to any university building or facility without authorization by appropriate university officials or committing an act of unauthorized entry into or use of university buildings or facilities.

W. Unauthorized Use of Facilities or Property. Unauthorized presence on or use of university premises, facilities or property including camping, building a fire or use of an unauthorized heating, cooking or electrical device without advanced approval from designated university personnel.

X. Academic Integrity. A violation of the NMHU Academic Integrity Policy constitutes a violation of this policy. Please see the NMHU Academic Integrity Policy (below) for more information.

Y. Classroom Conduct. While each individual faculty member is responsible for establishing standards for his or her class, there is a generally accepted standard of classroom conduct that must be adhered to in all classes. Students are members of a community devoted to learning and are expected to behave responsibly and respectfully toward other students and other members of the university community. Any behavior that disrupts others from learning or interferes with the efforts of a faculty member to instruct a class is prohibited. Unless a faculty member makes an exception, the following rules will apply:

• Students are required to attend all classes and be prepared for class.

• Guests, including children, are not permitted in class.

• Food and drink may not be consumed in classrooms.

• Use of electronic devices such as cell phones, smart phones, and gaming devices are prohibited while class is in session.  Students should ensure that these types of devices are turned off or placed in silent mode.  The use of earphones is also not allowed during class.

• Laptops or other devices such as electronic tablets or may be used for note taking and other academic related activities only. Faculty may establish limitations on the use of computers in the classroom, to include, but not limited to, restrictions for surfing the Internet or browsing social media sites during class.

Faculty may establish additional rules and responsibilities to maintain appropriate conditions for learning in their classrooms.

Z. Skateboards. Skateboards are permitted as a mode of transportation. However, skateboarders must be respectful of pedestrians at all times. Recreational skateboarding is not permitted on campus.

AA. Electronic Devices. Students are expected to use their electronic devices in a manner that is not disruptive to others in common areas, computer labs, the library and classrooms. Students must turn off all electronic devices or turn them to silent mode during all classes and laboratories. The use of electronic devices during examinations is prohibited. Faculty may modify this policy as required for individual circumstances.

5. Reporting an incident of nonacademic misconduct

Anyone wishing to report an alleged incident of prohibited nonacademic conduct may make a report in writing to the dean of students (Office of Student Affairs) or the Housing and Student Conduct Department. (Report forms are available in both offices.) The dean of students and/or designee will determine whether any action should be taken in response to the report. In administrative responses/investigations, strict rules of evidence do not apply.  The standard of evidence for administrative responses/investigations of alleged nonacademic misconduct is preponderance of evidence, a lower standard than the beyond reasonable doubt standard used in civil and criminal proceedings.  In examining and assessing evidence, the dean of students or designee considers whether the incident is more likely than not to have occurred.  If determined by preponderance of evidence to have occurred, the dean of students and/or designee shall decide whether the student code of conduct or other university policies have been violated and shall follow the student discipline process in determining what, if any, disciplinary measures or sanctions may be imposed in response to and as a consequence of the cited behavior.  

6. Disciplinary measures or sanctions

Disciplinary Reprimand. A written warning to the student that the cited behavior is not acceptable by university standards. The student is warned that further misconduct may result in more severe disciplinary action.

Disciplinary Restrictions. Limiting certain privileges or practices of the individual(s) involved in the offense for a specified period of time. The student may be restricted from certain areas of the campus; from contacting or communicating with specified individuals within the campus community; and from privileges or practices including being prohibited from a university event or extracurricular activity.

Restitution. The student is required to make payment for the loss or damage to the university or to an individual(s), group(s) or organization(s). Arrangements for restitution can be made through the Dean of Students Office for direct payment or for charges to be assessed or garnished through the student’s business office account.

Disciplinary Probation. A specified period of time during which the student is expected to comply with university regulations. If the student violates university policy within the given time frame, more severe disciplinary action may occur.

Disciplinary Suspension. Temporary exclusion from the university for a specified period of time.

Disciplinary Expulsion. Permanent separation from the university.

Expulsion from University Housing Facilities. Removal from university housing.

Emergency Suspension and/or Restrictions. To protect the safety of the university community, it may be necessary to suspend a student(s) from class, campus facilities, university premises or university-sponsored functions, etc. The dean of students shall have the authority to immediately suspend and have removed from campus students who present an immediate threat to the health, safety or security of other students, faculty and employees of New Mexico Highlands University or to university property. Emergency removal may not exceed ten days, during which time the student must be given a disciplinary conference, as described below. An emergency suspension may only extend beyond ten days if the university president determines an extension is necessary to protect the health, safety of the university community. In such circumstances, unless waived by the student, the Office of Student Affairs shall develop a timetable for the procedures as described below in Section 7, so that the entire process is completed within 30 calendar days of the disciplinary conference.

Other Disciplinary Measures. Other sanctions may be imposed instead of or in addition to those outlined above, including but not limited to the following educational assignments or research projects; letter of apology to those involved; mandated counseling or therapy (to be paid for by the student if off-campus services are desired or required); relocation to another university living area; restriction from specified campus facilities; loss of specified university privileges; fines; community or campus service; or the loss of institutional financial aid. Disciplinary sanctions will be related to the nature of the violation.

7. Procedural Guideline

The essential safeguards for fair treatment will be provided for students charged with violating university regulations. The following shall serve as procedural guidelines.

A. Written Notification. The Office of Student Affairs will inform the student with a written Notice of Charge that she or he is accused of a violation of a university regulation(s). Such written notice will be sent to the student’s most recent address of record. The notice will include the alleged violation, the Code of Student Conduct regulation(s) allegedly violated; and the possible consequences for not responding to the notice. Included with the Notice will be a Response to Charge form and copy of the NMHU Code of Student Conduct, which includes rights, responsibilities, disciplinary conference and administrative hearing procedures.

B. Student Response. Within five working days of receipt of the Notice of Charge, the student must reply to the Office of Student Affairs using a copy of the Response to the Charge form. A working day is any day that the university administrative offices are open. If the student chooses not to complete the form by the given deadline, this failure to respond will be deemed an admission of guilt. A ruling will then be made based on that admission. On the Response to Charge form, the student should indicate whether she or he requests a disciplinary conference on the charges.

C. Disciplinary Conference. Within five working days of receipt of the Response to Charge, the dean of students shall schedule a disciplinary conference, if requested by the student. A disciplinary conference is a private meeting between the dean of students and/or a designee and the student at which the student has an opportunity to respond to the charges against her or him.

D. Imposition of Discipline. Within five working days of the disciplinary conference, or if no disciplinary conference was requested, within five working days of receipt of the Response to Charge, the dean of students shall provide the student with a written Notice of Disciplinary Action. If the disciplinary action taken is suspension or expulsion, the student has a right to a hearing prior to the discipline being imposed. If not, unless otherwise stated in the Notice of Disciplinary Action, the discipline takes effect immediately, is final and not appealable.

E.Hearing.

1. If the dean of students imposes a discipline of suspension or expulsion, the student may request, within five working days of receipt of the Notice of Disciplinary Action, that a hearing be held before the disciplinary action is imposed. The request must be in writing and submitted to the dean of students. The appeal request shall be referred to a Hearing Committee consisting of members of the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate, which may include student representation.

2. Within five working days of receipt of the request to the dean of students, the hearing shall take place within 30 calendar days of receipt of the request for a hearing, unless the dean of students, in his or her sole discretion, extends the time for the hearing.

3. When a hearing is held, the accused student(s) and the dean of students shall be given a minimum of five working days written notice prior to the hearing. 

4. Two working days prior to the hearing, the student and dean of students shall submit to the hearing committee chairperson and to the other party, a list of witnesses, and copies of any documents submitted as evidence at the hearing. Statements of absent witnesses may be submitted in lieu of testimony at the hearing, so long as the other party is notified at least three working days prior to the hearing of the name of the witness and that witness makes himself or herself available for an interview by the other party and additional statement, if requested.

5. If two or more students are charged in the same incident and two or more request a hearing as a result of the discipline imposed, the Hearing Committee may hold a joint hearing in the matter.

6. The hearing will be closed. The student and the dean of students may attend the hearing. Witnesses will attend only for the purposes of their testimony.

7. The hearing will be informal in nature; strict rules of evidence do not apply. However, the hearing chairperson may exclude evidence that is irrelevant or duplicative.

8. The dean of students has the burden of proof at the hearing to demonstrate that the violation of the student code occurred and that the discipline imposed was reasonable.

9. The accused student(s) and the dean of students have the right to the following:

• Be present at the hearing; however, if either or both the student and dean of students fail to appear at the hearing, the hearing will be held in either or both of their absences.

• Present evidence by their own testimony, by witness, or by official written statement from a witness, if that witness is unable to attend the hearing, under conditions stated above. It is the responsibility of the accused student and the dean of students to notify their witnesses of the date, time and place of the hearing. If witnesses fail to appear, the hearing will be held in their absence. 

• Bring one adviser to the hearing. The adviser, however, may only participate in providing advice. The adviser may not participate in the hearing itself, examinations or the presentation of information or materials to the hearing committee, unless asked to do so by the hearing committee. It is the responsibility of the accused student and the dean of students to notify the adviser of the date, time and place of the hearing. If an adviser fails to appear, the hearing shall take place in his or her absence.

• Question all witnesses

10. The following procedures shall be followed in administrative hearings:

• Welcome by the hearing committee chairperson

• Recognition of the parties present

• Reading of allegations

• Opening statement by the dean of students

• Opening statement by the accused student

• Testimony of the dean of students’ witnesses, including cross-examination by the student and question by hearing committee members

• Testimony of the student’s witnesses, including cross-examination by the student and questions by hearing committee members

• Rebuttal evidence presented by the dean of students, if any, to address issues raised by the student’s witnesses

• Rebuttal evidence presented by the student, if any, to address issues raised by the dean of student’s rebuttal evidence.

• Closing remarks from the dean of students 

• Closing remarks from the accused student.

• Closing statements by the Hearing Committee chairperson

• Adjournment of the hearing

A verbatim record (either by written transcript or tape recording) shall be made of all evidence introduced at the hearing. This verbatim record shall be maintained for a period of one year after hearing.

11. The hearing committee shall deliberate following the hearing. 

Unless there is reasonable cause for delay, a written copy of the committee’s recommendation and the record will be sent to the university president within five working days. The recommendation shall be copied to the student and the dean of students. The student may request a copy of the record, which will be provided at the student’s expense. 

The university president shall receive the recommendation of the hearing committee and may either accept it, modify it or reject it. He or she shall notify the student, the dean of students and the hearing committee chairperson of his decision in writing. If the discipline imposed by the president is a suspension or expulsion, he or she shall also copy the registrar on his or her decision. The president’s decision shall be final.

8. Disciplinary measures for NMHU student organizations

The director of campus life shall be responsible for monitoring the actions of members of NMHU student organizations. Members representing such organizations or groups are accountable for their actions and may be charged with violations to the Code of Conduct as individuals, as an organization or as a student group.

9. Disciplinary records

The dean of students (and/or designee) shall maintain disciplinary records and shall not release them unless required to do so by the law. Student disciplinary records are retained for five years after the most recent university disciplinary action has been completed with the exception of cases of expulsion. Records of students expelled from the university are maintained permanently and are posted on the academic transcripts. 

••In addition to adhering to the NMHU Student Code of Conduct, students attending classes on another college or university campus are required to follow the Student Code of Conduct for the respective campus. 

EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY

Equal Educational Opportunity Policy Statement

New Mexico Highlands University strives to maintain diversity in its student body and provides equal educational opportunities to all students. This policy is intended to further New Mexico Highlands University’s efforts, as well as comply with its obligations under state and federal law.

Equal Educational Opportunity

It is the policy of NMHU to prohibit unlawful discrimination and harassment against its students and applicants for admission on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, veterans status or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

This policy applies to all aspects of the educational process, including admissions, recruitment, extracurricular activities, financial assistance, housing, counseling, guidance, course offerings and housing.

Any student who feels that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed should report the incident to the affirmative action/equal employment opportunity officer, a department chair, a student adviser, a director, a dean, or campus police.

The current AA/EEO Officer is: Donna Castro, director, Office of Human Resources, 454-3308, Box 9000, Las Vegas, NM 87701. 

Policies for Reporting and Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment

NMHU has policies in place for reporting and resolving complaints of unlawful discrimination and harassment.

Students are encouraged to read:

1. Sexual Harassment Policy Statement,

2. Student Grievance Policy.

Students can access these policies from the Office of Student Services or the AA/EEO officer.

Resolution to Student Concerns

There might be times when there is a misunderstanding, disagreement or conflict among students, or between a student and a staff member or faculty member. When this occurs, the student is encouraged to follow the steps outlined below to seek informal resolution of his or her concern.

However, if the misunderstanding, disagreement or conflict is as a result of a violation of university policy or procedure, the student has the option of pursuing the steps outlined below, or following the Student Grievance Procedure. If a student believes that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed, or if he or she believes that a fellow student has been discriminated against or harassed, he or she should report that discrimination or harassment to the affirmative action/EEO officer, a department chair, a student adviser, a director, a dean, or campus police.

To resolve a concern, students are encouraged to: 

1. Write out the problem to help clarify the issue.

2. Check with resource people or materials to help clarify the issue.

3. Approach the person involved and politely describe their concern(s).

4. If the conflict or concern cannot be resolved after talking with the person, take the following steps.

A. For conflicts and concerns related to coursework, the student should:

Step 1. Approach the faculty member involved in the issue and discuss the concern using the necessary documents (i.e. assignments, syllabi, assessments, etc.). If the concern cannot be resolved after discussing the issue with the faculty member, the student may decide to take Step 2.

Step 2. Write a letter to the chair of the department. In the letter, carefully describe the concern or conflict. Also, include appropriate documentation and an explanation of the preferred outcome. If the department chair does not respond within a week, schedule a meeting with the department chair. If the issue cannot be resolved after discussing it with the department chair, consider using Step 3.

A. Students attending NMHU Centers (Española, Farmington, Santa Fe, Raton, Rio Rancho) are encouraged to address/document their concern to the center director. In the letter, carefully describe the concern or conflict. Also, include appropriate documentation and an explanation of the preferred outcome. If the center director does not respond within a week, schedule a meeting with the center director. If the issue cannot be resolved after discussing it with the center director, consider using Step 3.

Step 3. Write a letter to the school or college dean. Carefully explain the conflict or concern. Include documentation with the letter and a description of the preferred outcome. If the school or college dean does not respond within a week, schedule an appointment to discuss concerns with the school or college dean. If the issue cannot be resolved by talking with the school or college dean, the student may choose to pursue Step 4.

Step 4. Write a letter to the vice president for academic affairs. Carefully outline the conflict or concern; include the necessary documentation. If the vice president for academic affairs does not respond within a week, schedule an appointment to see the vice president. The decision of the vice president for academic affairs will be final. 

Students who are not satisfied with a grade received should use a Student Grade Appeal Form available in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and in the school and college dean’s offices.

B. For conflicts or concerns that are not academic in nature, the student should:

Step 1. Approach the student, staff or faculty member involved and discuss the concern using any needed documents. If the issue cannot be resolved after talking with the person involved, consider taking the next step.

Step 2. Write a letter to the direct supervisor of the person(s) involved in the dispute. In the letter, carefully describe the situation and include appropriate documentation. If the supervisor does not respond within a week, schedule an appointment with the supervisor to discuss the matter. If the conflict or concern cannot be resolved by discussing it with a supervisor, consider taking the next step.

A. Students attending NMHU Centers (Española, Farmington, Santa Fe, Raton, Rio Rancho) are encouraged to address/document their concern to the center director. In the letter, carefully describe the concern or conflict. Also, include appropriate documentation and an explanation of the preferred outcome. If the center director does not respond within a week, schedule a meeting with the center director. If the issue cannot be resolved after discussing it with the center director, consider using Step 3.

Step 3. Write a letter to the dean of students. Carefully explain the conflict or concern and include appropriate documentation. The dean may refer the issue to an advisory group. Nonetheless, the decision of the dean of students will be final.

C. For concerns related to campus clubs:

Step 1. Meet with the student group involved with the issue. Discuss the concern and support it with related documentation. If the conflict cannot be resolved by talking it over with the group members, consider Step 2.

Step 2. Write a letter to the director of the Office of Campus Life and carefully describe the conflict or concern. Include appropriate documentation with your letter. The director of the Office of Campus Life may make recommendations or impose sanctions on the registered student group.

Step 3. If the concern is not resolved using the first two steps, write a letter to the dean of students. If the dean of students does not respond within a week, schedule an appointment. The decision of the dean of students will be final.

Student Grievance Procedure 

Objective: To provide the timely review of student complaints of a violation of university policy or procedure, including claims of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, veterans status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

1. General Provisions

1.1 The university’s Office of Student Affairs will advise students using this grievance procedure by explaining policies and procedures, providing objectivity to the process, assisting in preventing delays in the process and resolving grievances between the parties, if possible. Where a grievance is based on a claim of discrimination, the affirmative action/EEO officer shall provide such assistance to the grievant.

1.2 Except as provided in Paragraph 2 below, a grievance filed pursuant to this Grievance Procedure shall be in writing and contain a precise statement of the conduct giving rise to the grievance, the policy or procedure that the grievant alleges has been violated, and the specific remedy that the grievant is seeking. The Office of Student Affairs shall only permit the amendment of such written grievance if it determines that the amendment will not prejudice the respondent’s ability to respond to the grievance.

For purposes of this procedure the following definitions will apply:

1.3 The term “grievance” means an allegation that the grievant has been directly affected by a violation of university policy or procedure. If a student has a concern or conflict that does not rise to a violation of university policy or procedure, the student should use the resolution of concerns procedure. A grade appeal is not a “grievance” for the purposes of this grievance procedure. Grade appeals are covered under The Resolution Student Concerns Section A.

1.3.1 The term “grievant” means a person who was a student at the time the conduct giving rise to the grievance took place. A student employee whose complaint arises from conduct taking place during the student’s employment, is not a “grievant” for the purposes of this grievance procedure.

1.3.2 The term “respondent” means another student, a faculty member, a staff member, or the university’s administrative unit against whom a grievance is filed.

1.3.3 The number of “working days” indicated shall mean those days when those administrative offices of the university are open.

1.3.4 Grievances will be handled with reasonable promptness in both the submission and the processing. If the grievant fails to act within the time limits provided herein, the university shall be deem the grievance withdrawn. Time lines may be waived or otherwise established by mutual agreement of the parties or for other justifiable reasons, in the sole discretion of the Office of Student Affairs.

1.3. If a grievance is filed against an employee in the Office of Student Affairs, the president shall designate another employee to fulfill the role of the Office of Student Affairs in paragraphs 3 and 4 below.

2. Reporting Discrimination or Harassment

University policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of a person’s sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability, serious medical condition, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran’s status or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

2.1 Persons Who Should Make a Report of Discrimination or Harassment

2.1.1 A student who believes that he or she is being subjected to discrimination or harassment should report the discrimination or harassment.

2.1.2 A report should also be made by any person, including staff, faculty or another student, if that person believes that a student is being subjected to discrimination or harassment.

2.2 Persons to Whom Discrimination or Harassment Should Be Reported

2.2.1 Reports of discrimination or harassment should be reported to the university’s affirmative action/EEO (AA/EEO) officer, a department chair, a student adviser, a director, a dean, or campus police.

2.2.2 Any department chair, student adviser, director, dean, campus police officer or other employee who receives a complaint of discrimination or harassment must report the complaint to the AA/EEO officer as soon as possible. The AA/EEO officer is responsible for coordinating the university’s response to reports of discrimination or harassment.

The current AA/EEO Officer is: Donna Castro, Director of Human Resources, (505) 454-3308, Box 9000, Las Vegas, NM 87701

The timeframe for reporting discrimination or harassment shall be 90 calendar days from the date of the discrimination or harassment, not 15 working days as described in Subparagraph 4.2.1 below. Even if this timeframe has passed, the university encourages reports of discrimination or harassment, even if they are no longer eligible to be processed as grievances under this grievance procedure. In addition, the time frames for filing a grievance on the basis of discrimination or harassment may be waived by the AA/EEO officer for good cause.

The university, in its discretion, reserves the right to conduct an investigation into a report of discrimination or harassment, even when the student being discriminated against or harassed requests that the university take no action or refuses to cooperate in the investigation. However, the university’s ability to deal with a report in such circumstances may be limited. In addition, the university may waive the requirements of this grievance procedure or portions of the procedure in cases of discrimination and harassment, including by accepting oral grievances based on discrimination or harassment, and to take immediate and appropriate corrective action as deemed appropriate or necessary. In processing a grievance based on discrimination or harassment, the AA/EEO officer shall fulfill the role of the Office of Student Affairs in the procedures outlined in Paragraph 4 below.

The university will keep its investigation into the report of discrimination or harassment as confidential as possible. The student who might have been discriminated against or harassed, the respondent and individuals interviewed, as part of any investigation will be told that they are to keep the matter confidential.

A student who might have been discriminated against or harassed may request that his or her name not be disclosed to the respondent. A request of this type may limit the university’s ability to respond to the report. However, the university will do its best to honor the request, to the extent possible.

3. Retaliation prohibited

It is a violation of university policy for any person to retaliate in any way against a student for filing a grievance pursuant to this grievance procedure. Any such retaliatory action should be reported immediately to the Office of Student Affairs. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any person found to have retaliated against a student for filing a grievance pursuant to this grievance procedure.

4. Process

4.1 Consultation

Prior to the initiation of the grievance process, a student may wish to discuss the conduct giving rise to the grievance on an informal basis. The student may use the process outlined in the Resolution of Student Concerns for this purpose, or consult with the Office of Student Affairs regarding informal conflict resolution.

4.2 Filing a Grievance

4.2.1 Time for Filing. A grievance must be filed in writing on a form provided by the Office of Student Affairs. The grievance should be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs within 15 working days of the date on which the grievant knew or should have known of the conduct giving rise to the grievance.

4.2.2 Content of Grievance. The grievance shall be in writing and contain a precise statement of the conduct giving rise to the grievance, the university policy or procedure that the grievant alleges has been violated, and the specific remedy that the grievant is seeking. Documentation, in the form of facts, circumstances, and the names and addresses of witnesses having information pertinent to the grievance must also be a part of the written grievance.

4.2.3 Response to Grievance. The respondent will submit a written response to the grievance, which addresses each allegation in it and will include any pertinent information supporting his or her response. The respondent’s written response will be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs within ten (10) working days of receipt of the grievance. If the respondent does not submit a written response, the matter will proceed to the investigation stage.

4.2.4 Investigation. The Office of Student Affairs will conduct an investigation into the grievance, or appoint a committee to do so. The investigation will include a review of the materials submitted by parties, witness interviews, if appropriate, and review of any additional materials, either gathered by the investigator or requested from the parties. The grievant and respondent may have an adviser present during any interviews. The adviser may be an attorney. The adviser may not participate in the interview, but may advise the grievant or respondent.

4.2.5 Findings and Recommendations. Upon completion of the investigation, a report will be prepared by the Office of Student Affairs or the committee, that should contain a summary of the information and documents considered during the investigation, findings and recommended actions, if any. The report will be prepared as quickly as possible, preferably within thirty (30) working days after notice is given to the respondent that a complaint has been filed.

4.2.6 Final Decision. The report will be forwarded to the appropriate vice president or his or her designee for a final decision.

1. When the respondent is a student, the report will be forwarded to the dean of students or his or her designee,

2. When the respondent is a staff member, the report will be forwarded to the vice president of finance or his or her designee; and,

3. When the respondent is a faculty member, the report will be forwarded to the vice president for academic affairs or his or her designee.

The vice president or his or her designee may accept, modify or reject any findings or recommendations in the report.

If the vice president decides that disciplinary action against the respondent may be appropriate, the disciplinary action shall be imposed pursuant to the discipline procedures applicable to the respondent.

4.2.7 The grievant and the respondent will be advised of the outcome of the investigation into the grievance after the decision is made by the vice president or his or her designee.

4.2.8 The timelines in this policy may be extended by the Office of Student Affairs in its sole discretion.

4.2.9 The Office of Student Affairs will maintain the records of the investigation. Other than as required by law, no records, documents or other materials gathered or created during the investigatory process will be released to anyone, including the grievant or respondent.

5. Appeal

The decision of the appropriate vice president is final regarding the merits of the grievance. A respondent may appeal disciplinary action taken against the respondent only as provided for in policies applicable to the respondent.

Worker’s Compensation Procedures 

Employee

An employee or supervisor must notify the Office of Human Resources immediately of any accident or injury.

1. If an employee is in need of emergency care, he or she must be sent to Alta Vista Regional Hospital. The employee should inform hospital personnel that the injury is work related. (The hospital has our billing information).

2. As soon as practical, the employee must visit with Human Resources so that all necessary paperwork can be completed. Employee should bring all paperwork related to the accident to Human Resources.

If a prescription needs to be filled, employee should have the prescription filled at Plaza Drugs so that there is not a charge. Employee must either keep a copy of the prescription or of the patient instructions attached to the prescription.

Off-Campus NMHU Employees: In case of emergency care, please inform the hospital that this is a worker’s compensation claim (do not give your medical insurance information). Please advise the hospital to contact HR for further instructions. For prescriptions, you will need to pay the copayment and submit the receipt to HR for reimbursement.

Students

Any non-employee injured or involved in an accident on the Highlands campus must be sent to the Purchasing Department as soon as possible to complete all necessary paperwork.

Stolen Items and Other Insurance Claims

Please submit information regarding these claims to the Purchasing Department.

Certificate of Coverage

Request this information from the Purchasing Department. 

Student Educational Records

Under the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), New Mexico Highlands University students have the following rights in regards to their educational records:

The right to inspect and review their educational records within a reasonable time, not to exceed 45 days, upon making an official request and obtaining an appointment to do so. 

The student may challenge inaccuracies or misleading statements contained in their educational records. Challenges must be made in writing and forwarded to the registrar.

The right to consent to disclosure of personal identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes exceptions without consent. Exceptions are a school official with a legitimate educational interest; compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena; official audit or evaluation purposes; and emergency involving the health or safety of a student or other person; and directory information.

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Complaints may be forwarded to:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Ave., SW

Washington, DC 20202-4605

Directory information at New Mexico Highlands is student’s name, field of study, class standing, dates of attendance, honors and degrees awarded, full-time or part-time status, date and place of birth, home town, previous school attended, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and height and weight of athletic team members. As with other directory information, any student may request that his or her information be restricted in its access. Written requests from a student to have directory information withheld must be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office by the last day of registration and will be maintained for the remainder of the academic year.

 
Box 9000, Las Vegas, NM 87701      Facebook Twitter Youtube Portrait