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Faculty Responsibilities

Below, you will find an overview of faculty responsibly and processes for faculty when the need to provide accommodations for a student arises.


Faculty are responsible for:

  • Being open to accommodating students
  • Providing program access
  • Meeting with students to discuss their needs
  • Implementing reasonable accommodations
  • Maintaining confidentiality

All faculty members are obligated to help provide accommodations as described in each accommodation letter. Any questions regarding an accommodation, or concerns about an accommodation fundamentally altering the academic curriculum, should be discussed with the student and disability specialist. All parties will engage in an interactive process to determine if a request is reasonable and ensure that equal access is maintained.

Please read the Division for Equity & Inclusion guidelines on disability etiquette.

Furthermore, you can access the UNM Faculty Handbook.

Faculty disagreement

When faculty disagrees with a recommended accommodation the procedure is:

  • Notify ARC and discuss why you do not consider the accommodation reasonable.
  • ARC and instructor may reach agreement on recommended or alternative accommodation.

If agreement is not reached:

  • Accommodation is implemented.
  • ARC initiates assisted dialogue with the Office of Equal Opportunity Office (OEO) and University ADA Compliance officer.
  • Director of OEO makes final determination on reasonableness of recommended accommodation.

Student may seek action through Exhibit A appeal process found in Policy 2310 at any time.

Informal resolution options include the following:

  • Clarifying the student's rights in the situation and coaching them about how to best discuss the accommodations further with their instructor.
  • The Accessibility Resource Center staff may phone the instructor to further clarify the issue and to ensure that he or she understands the student's civil rights.
  • The student and the Accessibility Resource Center staff meet with instructor. The student may contact the chair or dean for assistance with the situation.

In most instances, the academic adjustment determination made by the Accessibility Resource Center will be acceptable to the student and faculty. If this is not the case, the determination is subject to appeal. The student can appeal if an academic unit had determined that an adjustment would result in a fundamental alteration of a course or program. The Provost/HSC Dean or designee will convene an ad hoc committee to consider the appeal. Members of the ad hoc committee will include representatives from relevant University departments and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The ad hoc committee will follow appeal procedures listed in Exhibit A (appendix ii). The ad hoc committee will make a recommendation to the Provost/HSC Dean or designee. The Provost/HSC Dean or designee’s decision on the appeal is final. Every effort will be made to come to a decision about the appeal as soon as possible.

Continue reading to find out what rights students have through appeal procedures.

Appeal Procedures for Students

When there is a failure to accommodate, the student may wish to file a formal, internal complaint with the OEO/ADA Compliance office on campus. This review process will attempt to determine if discrimination on the basis of disability has occurred, and recommend resolution.

The student also has the right to file formal complaints with either the New Mexico Human Rights Commission or with the U.S. Dept. of Education's Office of Civil Rights. This process takes longer for resolution, but carries with it greater consequences for the University in the event of adverse findings. Additionally, the student has the right to file a lawsuit alleging that the University, individual faculty member, or the administration violated their legal rights.

The process regarding denial or failure to accommodate during an academic semester is as follows:

  • Student submits appeal to academic department
  • If resolution does not occur:
    • Student may also submit a discrimination claim to the Office of Equal Opportunity
    • Appeal to Provost/HSC designee
    • Ad hoc committee of 3-5 members is convened

For grade appeals that involve failure to accommodate after academic semester:

  • Upon receipt of a grade appeal from a student which asserts a failure to accommodate, the academic unit can request guidance from ARC and/or OEO to verify whether a failure to accommodate occurred.
  • If it is determined that a failure to accommodate occurred, the academic unit shall take such fact into consideration to equitably resolve the grade appeal. Further, the student may simultaneously pursue a claim with Office of Equal Opportunity pursuant to its Discrimination Claims Procedure, which you can view here

Please see UNM Policy 2310, Exhibit A,  and Policy 2720 for a full text of these appeal processes.