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Campus News
     
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
October 18, 2004
Volume 40, Number 3

President's Update

Bond ‘B’ funds state-of-the-art facilities


By Louis Caldera

CalderaFirst-class physical facilities are vital to UNM’s vision of service to the state of New Mexico and stature as one of the nation’s great public research universities. This presents us with enormous challenges in securing the resources required to (1) renew, and (2) replace, campus buildings and infrastructure. To address the former, we will be working with the governor and the legislature in the coming legislative session on strategies to generate revenue for our deferred maintenance needs. To attack the latter – funding the construction of new, state-of-the-art facilities to carry out our core educational and research missions – there is something each of us can do.

The General Obligation Bond for Education, also known as Bond ‘B,’ is a ballot item of particular interest to the University of New Mexico in the 2004 election, now less than a month away. If approved by voters, Bond B will allocate $94.6 million to New Mexico’s institutions of higher education, including over $21 million directly to UNM, its Health Sciences Center and branch campuses.

General Obligation bonds furnish the bulk of the money available to UNM for new building construction and major infrastructure investment. Major items on this year’s bond include:
  • $10 million for the completion of a new Human Anatomy Lab and digital diagnostic imaging equipment at UNM’s Health Sciences Center. The lab will replace outdated current facilities, and expand HSC’s capacity to train doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals.
  • $4 million to begin construction of the first of several new School of Engineering projects. When fully funded and completed, the $30 million complex will comprise entirely new state-of-the-art facilities.
  • $3.8 million for projects at each of UNM’s four branch campuses.
  • $3 million for campus-wide building renovation in Albuquerque. UNM is also in line to receive a share of some $6.2 million earmarked for information technology and ADA compliance projects around the state, $2.3 million for digital broadcasting technology at New Mexico’s public television stations, including KNME-TV, and more than $1 million from Bond ‘C’ which provides funds to public and university libraries.
    New Mexico’s GO Bonds are a relatively rare and pure form of democracy in action – one where each individual citizen may vote to be taxed a specific sum, for a specific amount of time, for a specific purpose. In this case the sum would be $10.18 annually for every $100,000 worth of property owned by New Mexico taxpayers, for a period of ten years, for higher education projects all over the state including those at UNM and its branches.

    In order to make this equation equal “democracy in action,” we must truly take action and make our wishes known. That is why I urge all eligible students, faculty and staff at UNM to make the time and effort to vote on or before Nov. 2. Much is at stake, not only at UNM but across the state and the country. We can make a difference!