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Your faculty and staff news since 1965
January 18, 2005
Volume 40, Number 6

President's Update

By Louis Caldera

CalderaHigh stakes legislative session underway

By the time January’s edition of Campus News is published, the 2005 New Mexico State Legislature will be in session. Much is at stake for the University of New Mexico and higher education across the state.

Keeping with tradition, UNM will work together with other New Mexico institutions to advocate for increases in faculty and staff compensation, full formula workload funding and minimal tuition credit assessed against that funding. UNM will also be leading the way in crafting a solution to the statewide problem of deferred maintenance on every campus.

UNM’s own priorities derive from its mission as a great research university: delivering first-class education in our classrooms, providing high quality patient care in our hospitals, pursuing cutting-edge research in our laboratories and performing high impact public service for our state and region. They include, as primary goals, improved operating funding for the Health Sciences Center and capital outlay allocations for a new Centennial Engineering building.

In order to do a better job of focusing both our process and our priorities, we will be incorporating some new approaches to our legislative affairs in the next 60 days. Our daily, hands-on presence in Santa Fe will be much greater than in years past, led by Governmental Affairs Director Carlos Romero and abetted by Executive Vice President David Harris. In addition to concentrating our efforts on the initiatives above, they will manage and coordinate our other university requests and lobbying efforts.

UNM will obviously be well staffed for the tasks at hand in the 2005 New Mexico Legislature. But successful advocacy requires more than lobbyists. To the degree that we can articulate this common agenda, every member of the UNM community can help spread the message and make it compelling. I encourage anyone who is interested in visiting the Roundhouse, or calling a legislator or staffer on behalf of our university priorities, to contact Carlos Romero to find out the best way to help. Together we can turn the first months of 2005 into good UNM news for FY 06 and beyond!