Campus News - June 30, 2001

Two deans to leave UNM

Provost Brian Foster recently announced the impending departure of two UNM deans. Robert L. Migneault, dean of the UNM General Library since 1987, will step down from that position at the end of the 2001-02 academic year. A search for a new dean will begin this fall.

Robert J. Desiderio, dean of the UNM School of Law for the past four years, will resign as dean effective June 30, 2002.
Migneault will return to the library faculty effective June 30, 2002. Foster said, “During Bob’s tenure, the UNM Libraries have made great progress, moving to approximately 50th in the rankings of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

UNM Libraries have moved into the age of new information technologies, have been in the national discussion on the future of scholarly publishing, have been the main provider of library services for the Western Governors University, and in general have taken a place among leaders in defining the academic library of the future.”

During the coming year, Foster said, Migneault “will continue to provide leadership in several critical areas of library development, including fundraising, further progress in upgrading library technology capabilities, and engaging the campus in the national dialogue on the future of scholarly publishing and its implications for the library of the future.” Migneault also will be eligible for a sabbatical at the end of the coming academic year and plans to complete a book during that time.

Migneault was dean during the renovation of Zimmerman Library, where he was also instrumental in securing funding for the Center for Southwest Research. Also in Zimmerman, he has supported the Center for Academic Program Support, the main learning and tutoring facility on campus that also provides the library’s credit courses.

Under Migneault, an expanded Parish Memorial Library of Business and Economics was established within the Anderson Graduate Schools of Management in June, 1987, providing the state with its only extensive business library. Less than a year later, in February, 1988, the UNM Centennial Science and Engineering Library opened its doors.

In 1986-87, the ARL ranked the UNM libraries 98 of 101 member university libraries. Under Migneault’s leadership, by 1995-96 the UNM General Library moved into the top 50 of ARL-ranked institutions, coming in 47th out of 120 members in the United States and Canada. UNM remains the only library system in the state to be ranked by ARL.

The Provost praised Desiderio for his work at the law school. “In his long tenure at UNM, Dean Desiderio has served the institution in many ways, including a term as interim Vice President for Academic Affairs,” Foster said, adding that a national search for Desiderio’s successor will begin this summer.

“Dean Desiderio assumed the leadership of the law school at a time of significant challenges. He has been a University leader in every sense of the word and I would like to ask the University community to thank him for his many years of service to UNM.”
Foster commended Desiderio for his work to “address the School’s inadequate physical plant,” as well as for “dramatically” increasing the School’s level of fundraising. He also credited Desiderio for successfully leading the UNM School of Law through an accreditation process and for the hiring of several new faculty.

“The next academic year will be the fifth year of my current deanship-the period for which I committed myself when I assumed the deanship in 1997,” Desiderio said. “I have come to the conclusion that it is a particularly appropriate time to make this move, for the benefit of the law school and for my family and me, as well,” he said, adding that many of the goals he set for himself as dean have been realized or are nearing fruition.

Desiderio said, “We have made considerable strides in raising faculty salaries and library resources, even though we have more to do. Furthermore,…we all recognized the monumental nature of the task ahead of us to expand and update the new law school facility. That enterprise has been at the core of my current deanship and will come to fruition with the dedication of the new Frederick M. Hart Addition in the fall of 2002.”

Desiderio said, “It has been my great privilege to serve as dean of the law school not once, but twice. There is no other law school like it and no other law school I would have chosen to serve.”

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