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The University of New Mexico


UNM Presidential finalists biographies

Meredith Hay
Vice President for Research, University of Iowa

Meredith Hay is Vice President for Research for the University of Iowa, a direct report to the President. Dr. Hay is responsible for leading the research enterprise at The University of Iowa which consistently ranks among the top 20 public research institutions in external funding, receiving approximately $360 million in the last fiscal year.

Prior to joining the University of Iowa in June 2005, Dr. Hay served as Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Missouri-System. She was also the Director of the National Center for Gender Physiology at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine and Associate Director of the new University of Missouri Life Sciences Center.

Dr. Hay, a Texas native, earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver, her M.A. in neurobiology from the University Texas at San Antonio, and her Ph.D. in cardiovascular pharmacology from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the Cardiovascular Center at the University of Iowa College of Medicine and then completed her postdoctoral training in biophysics at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1996, she was a faculty member in the Department of Physiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio.

Daniel López
President, New Mexico Tech

Dr. Daniel López is President of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.  He has been at Tech for almost twenty years beginning as a director in the TERA Research Group in 1987 followed by four years as Vice President for Institutional Development from 1989-93.  He assumed the presidency in 1993. Since his appointment at Tech, Dr. López has served as the Chair of the New Mexico Council of University Presidents.  Prior to joining New Mexico Tech, he served as commissioner for higher education and helped develop higher education policy and establish funding levels for all post-secondary educational institutions in New Mexico.

Dr. López is a native of Puerto de Luna, and he has had a broad range of experiences in the State of New Mexico.  In addition to serving in higher education, he has had experience in the executive and legislative branches of state government and the federal government.  That experience includes two years as Chief of Staff for the Senate Finance Committee and Senior Staff Analyst for the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, two years as Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration; and eighteen months as Secretary of the Employment Security Department.

He was Executive Director of the New Mexico Advisory Council on Vocational-Technical Education from 1973-82.  During the 1970’s, he worked in several different positions in the federal government in Washington, D.C. Dr. López earned a bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of New Mexico.

Herman D. Lujan
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, California State University, Los Angeles

Herman D. Lujan serves as Provost and tenured professor of Political Science at California State University at Los Angeles.  As Provost, he is working to implement its strategic plan, strengthen enrollment management, and emphasize programs of distinction in Cal State L.A.'s schools and colleges.

Dr. Lujan has diverse and extensive experience at all levels of university administration, with particular expertise in university and academic governance, institutional and statewide policy, strategic planning, government and business relations, community leadership and working with trustees and regents. 

Dr. Lujan most recently served as President of the University of Northern Colorado and Chief Academic Officer of the Connecticut State University System.  An accomplished teacher, scholar and public speaker, he has been a leading voice for higher education in Kansas, Washington, Colorado, and Connecticut.

Dr. Lujan received his Ph.D. from the University of Idaho and holds an Honorary Doctorate from St. Mary's College of California, where he received his baccalaureate.  He has a Masters from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Robert T. McGrath
Senior Vice President for Research, The Ohio State University

Robert McGrath has been Senior Vice President for Research at The Ohio State University since 2004, where he directs an annual budget of $50 million and has responsibility for the University’s $590 million research program.   In his capacity as Vice President, he is also President of the Ohio State University Research Foundation.    One of his most recent initiatives is the Targeted Investments for Excellence (TIE) program, which will provide $110 million to ten selected academic and research programs at OSU over a five-year period. 

Dr. McGrath came to Ohio State from Penn State where he was Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics and Associate Vice President for Research for five years.  He also served as Director of Strategic and Interdisciplinary Initiatives while serving as Associate Vice President. 

Dr. McGrath held a variety of positions at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque between 1984 and 1998.  During that time, he was a member of the Senior Research Staff in Laser and Plasma Diagnostics and a Program Manager in Plasma and Aerosol Sciences.  He was involved with the U.S. collaboration with Russian and Japanese research laboratories.  He began his career at Penn State as a faculty member in 1980 in Engineering. 

Dr. McGrath has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Michigan, two masters from Penn State – one in mathematics and one in physics, and a baccalaureate from Penn State. 

David J. Schmidly
Oklahoma State University System CEO and President

Dr. David J. Schmidly is an internationally-respected zoologist who has published eight books on natural history and conservation, as well as more than 100 scholarly articles.  As CEO and President of the 32,000-student Oklahoma State University System, he directs operations at campuses in Stillwater, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Okmulgee, as well as the OSU Center for Health Sciences and the OSU Medical Center in Tulsa. 
Since assuming his position in 2002, he has spearheaded efforts that have raised nearly $850 million in private donations and public funds for new scholarships and infrastructure.  He also implemented a strategic plan and campus master plan that are guiding a five-year, $826 million construction program that includes a $70 million interdisciplinary science and technology building on the Stillwater campus, a $47 million Helmerich Advanced Technology Research Center in Tulsa with five fully-endowed Chairs, and world-class athletic facilities in Stillwater. 
Among other initiatives, he helped launch a national sensor testing center in Ponca City to develop new technologies for detection of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats; and land facilities in Ardmore that will explore cutting-edge technologies vital to bio-fuels, bio-processing and bio-production.  Along with his wife he created a nationally-recognized Parents Association that has re-integrated the entire family into higher education. 
Prior to OSU, Dr. Schmidly served at Texas Tech University as President; Vice President for Research, Graduate Studies and Technology Transfer; and as Dean of its Graduate School.  For 25 years, he served at Texas A&M University, including five years as CEO of the Galveston campus and six years as head of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. 

The University of New Mexico is the state's largest university, serving more than 32,000 students. UNM is home to the state's only schools of law, medicine, pharmacy and architecture and operates New Mexico's only academic health center. UNM is noted for comprehensive undergraduate programs and research that benefits the state and the nation.