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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: June 2, 2003
Volume 38, Number 21

Regents select Caldera as UNM's 18th President

The UNM Board of Regents recently unanimously voted in a public meeting to select Louis Caldera as the University’s 18th president, effective Aug. 1, 2003.

Caldera, who currently serves as vice chancellor for University Advancement at California State University (CSU) system, where he also is president of the CSU Foundation, begins his employment at UNM July 14, 2003, under the terms specified in his presidential contract. However, current UNM President F. Chris Garcia will continue as UNM’s president until July 31, 2003, under the terms of his contract to provide an opportunity for transition.

As UNM’s president, Caldera will receive an annual base salary of $270,000 and other benefits.

“We are very excited that the Regents have unanimously selected Mr. Caldera to lead us to the next level. He is truly qualified in every sense of the word,” said Board of Regents’ Vice President Jack Fortner.

“I am very excited, very delighted to be here today,” Caldera said. He recognized “the tremendous effort of the Regents to do all of the consultation that they did” throughout the search process. Caldera also praised UNM’s past presidents and UNM’s “great faculty. It’s a tremendous honor when you come to recognize all that has come before you to make this the great University that it is,” he said.

Before the vote was taken to approve Caldera’s selection, UNM Regent John M. “Mel” Eaves detailed the search process and described it as the “most open search process” ever conducted by UNM.

Following the Regents’ vote, Caldera and his wife, Eva Orlebeke Caldera, were escorted into the meeting room and greeted with a standing ovation.

As vice chancellor for University Advancement of The California State University system, Caldera’s portfolio includes system-wide fundraising and development programs, legislative affairs, community relations, alumni affairs, public affairs and communications. He also serves as president of the CSU Foundation.

Before arriving at the CSU, Caldera held two appointed posts in the Clinton administration. As secretary of the U.S. Army from 1998 to 2001, Caldera, together with the Army’s chief of staff, General Eric K. Shinseki, announced and set into motion a new vision for a more versatile and highly deployable force. During his tenure, Caldera also successfully led a reversal of recruiting shortfalls and initiated a range of highly popular educational programs for soldiers and potential recruits. As managing director and chief operating officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service from 1997 to 1998, Caldera ran the federal grant-making agency that supports the volunteer service programs AmeriCorps, the National Senior Service Corps and Learn and Serve America.

Elected to three terms in the California State Assembly, Caldera represented the 46th District, located in and around downtown Los Angeles, from 1992 to 1997. During his tenure, Caldera chaired several business and finance committees, and was an active proponent of measures to improve the lives of children, particularly in the areas of education, foster care, and health and safety. Prior to his election to the assembly, he worked as a deputy county counsel for the County of Los Angeles and as an attorney in private practice, including at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers.

Caldera has served on numerous boards and commissions. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Recent honors include the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Award and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award.

Caldera holds a bachelor of science degree from the United States Military Academy, M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. He and his wife Eva have three daughters, Allegra, Sophia and Camille.