The University of New Mexico


Media Contact:  Susan McKinsey, 277-1807

February 8, 2010

UNM to Sharpen Focus on Cost Containment

University of New Mexico President David J. Schmidly today announced the formation of a special advisory group to the President whose mission is to sharpen UNM’s focus on containing costs in both academic and non-academic areas. 

Schmidly said, “I am identifying a group I’m calling the “President’s Strategic Advisory Team” to assist me in developing ideas for cost containment and for streamlining organizational structure.  I am so impressed with the quality of talent at this university that I have no doubt we have the capability internally to make a major difference.”
 Details of the initiative, posted on the President’s website, specify that the objective is to design and evaluate possible scenario models that will “provide the greatest levels of efficiency, communication and accountability within operational processes, both in academic and administrative areas; optimize UNM’s ability to carry forth its mission and abide by its core values; create tangible savings; and aspire to create a model organizational structure for the modern public research university in the post-economic meltdown world of the 21st century.”

To accomplish this, the advisory team, which will include faculty, students, staff and administrators, will be asked to initially focus on eight key areas, including purchasing, energy efficiency, health benefit strategies, information technology, communication and marketing, leveraging the talents and productivity of faculty and staff, efficiency in the utilization of space and facilities, and generation of revenue from other sources.

"We've already begun with major savings in our health benefits and energy costs with a total of $10 million saved, along with the elimination of one vice presidency and a senior position in our legal staff. But we must do more,” Schmidly said.  “For example, we spend almost $96 million on information technology because we have not looked to better centralize this important function.  I feel certain we can improve processes and save substantial money."

Regarding the launch of this initiative in the middle of the 2010 legislative session, Schmidly said, “President Obama has challenged us to ‘transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age,’ so regardless of the outcome of the legislative session, we must do this.”

The advisory team’s members will be announced this week and they will go to work immediately.  “Our focus must be to contain costs by streamlining processes and administration so as to better invest in the classroom and our students.  As soon as the team has recommendations, I will be ready to consider them.”


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.