Frank D. Martinez, 277-1811
June 11, 2002
UNM REGENTS NAME F. CHRIS GARCIA PRESIDENT
University of New Mexico Board of Regents today unanimously voted to name
UNM Political Science Professor F. Chris Garcia as the University's 17th
president effective Aug. 1, 2002 for approximately a one-year period while
a national search is conducted for a permanent president.
Garcia's appointment will coincide with the departure from UNM of President
William C. Gordon, who has accepted an appointment as provost of Wake
Forest University. Gordon has served as UNM's president since March 1999.
In announcing the Regents' decision to name Garcia, UNM Board of Regents
President Larry Willard said the long-time UNM faculty member "has
a breadth and depth of knowledge about UNM that few others have. There
is enormous faculty, administrative and community support for his appointment.
He did not seek out this position. In fact, he was reluctant to take on
this role. The fact that he decided to do so is a tribute to his devotion
and commitment to UNM."
Garcia said he feels "very honored to be asked by the Board of Regents
to serve as President of our University over the next year."
He said the "persuasive efforts" of various people, including
faculty, staff, students and community members, helped him decide to accept
the position. "If the University and the community feel that my service
in an administrative capacity once again is needed, then I am honored
to answer that call and offer my service in the manner in which I can
most be of help," he added.
"This coming year will mark my 40th anniversary as a student, faculty
member and administrator at UNM. Given the tremendous progress that has
been made by our faculty, staff and students, with the guidance and assistance
of our Regents, our former Presidents and the rest of our administration,
and with the support of our external communities, my hopes and objectives
will be to help make this coming year another step upward and onward for
62, has been a UNM professor of political science since 1970. He has also
taught at the University of California at Los Angeles, Indiana University,
the University of California at Davis, California State University at
Fullerton, Fullerton Community College and the University of Northern
At UNM, Garcia was interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs
in 1993 and again in 1998-2000. He has held other administrative positions
at UNM including vice president for Academic Affairs, 1987-90; dean of
the College of Arts and Sciences, 1980-86; assistant and associate dean
of the College of Arts and Sciences, 1975-80; and, assistant director
of the Division of Government Research, 1970-72.
His areas of research and teaching include American politics, emphasis
on public opinion, campaigns and elections, New Mexico government and
politics, political cultureand ethnic and Hispanic politics. He is the
recipient of several research grants totaling more than $2 million. Garcia
is the author or editor of 10 books and more than 50 monographs, articles,
chapters and reviews.
A 1957 graduate of Valley High School in Albuquerque, Garcia also attended
various parochial and public schools in Albuquerque.
Garcia earned his bachelor's degree in Government in 1961 and his master's in Political Science in Education in 1964, both from UNM. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Davis in 1972.
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