The University of New Mexico board had an unusually long list of actions to take and passed almost everything in a virtual meeting that lasted over three hours on August 19. The only item that was not adopted was the sale of student family accommodation. property at Central New Mexico Community College.
The concern of many of the Board of Regents was the cost of the SFH property’s value, which was estimated to be $ 1,090,000 in proportion to the size and location of the land. The 13-acre property currently sits east of CNM’s main campus, also near the UNM’s south campus. In the end, Regents Jack Fortner, Randy Ko, William Payne and Doug Brown voted against adopting the article so that the board could spend more time on its review.
The land issue has also raised fears that the University currently has plans to replace student family accommodation, which closed in May. UNM real estate director Tom Neale said the prospect was “just too expensive and the economy was not working right now.” However, Fortner said family housing should be part of UNM’s academic mission, and a majority of the other regents agreed the issue should be discussed; Brown said this topic, which was a separate discussion of the concern to sell the land, would be addressed in the future.
More than a third of the meeting was devoted solely to reviewing new and expansion requests for UNM’s Research and Public Service Projects (RPSP) on the main campus and the Science Center for FY2023 (FY23) with UNM Government Relations Officer Barbara Damron. ; the Council adopted the action measure unanimously. The total RRSP requests for fiscal year 23 are $ 63,899,140; new RRSPs represent approximately $ 1.2 million, expanded RRSPs represent approximately $ 28.6 million, of which nearly $ 10.5 million specifically earmarked for expansions and fixed RRSPs represent just over $ 34 million .
The most expensive RPSP requests came from Project ECHO, which requested $ 4 million in addition to their current funding of $ 2,537,500, from UNM Athletics, which requested an extension of $ 2 million in addition to their initial funding of $ 4,188,600, and the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator. , who requested an extension of $ 1,723,000 on top of their current funding of $ 5,541,600. Other demands range from ethnic centers, education programs, health centers and more; the full list of the 20 total RRSP applications can be found in line.
RPSPs will be transferred to the New Mexico Department of Higher Education (NMHED) next month and Damron said they “still have a lot of steps to take before they see where this money ends up.”
Another topic of action at the meeting that was passed unanimously was the approval of the New Mexico Mutual Champions Training Center, which is estimated to cost $ 4,380,978. This 11,312 gross square foot training facility will be specially designed for student-athletes, who worked in a 7,200 net square foot outdoor tent. While the focus is particularly on UNM Olympic sports, UNM athletics director Eddie Nuñez said athletes of all sports are allowed in the area. Nuñez also said the zone will help address existing Title IX inequalities.
“This will allow all of our student-athletes to work under one roof for the very first time,” said Nuñez.
All of the capital project approvals on the agenda were also passed unanimously, including the approval of increased funding for the Pathways to Careers Center project at UNM Taos College, the start of ” a three-part project to repair and modify the stairwells at the student residence center, adding security turnstiles with card-swiping assets and asset tracking gates as well as new security offices and information at the Zimmerman Library, and the renovation of the washrooms located in the basement of the Arts Center.
Zimmerman’s added security sparked a conversation about who accesses campus buildings; Lisa Marbury, assistant vice president of campus environments and facilities, said university libraries have reported an increasing number of security incidents over the past five years. After a question from Regent Sandra Begay on whether this security initiative would go beyond Zimmerman on campus, Marbury said a possible future plan would be to require card access to all buildings of UNM if funding could be found.
“We’re a public university and we’ve always maintained an open campus where the public is free to roam, but I think the realities of modern life are such that we really need to channel that and control that much more aggressively than never. , unfortunately, ”said Brown.
In addition, the approval of the FY21 fourth quarter submission to NMHED for the enhanced tax audit program regarding the financial condition of UNM Athletics was passed unanimously by the Board of Directors. Notably, athletics repaid accumulated debts of $ 1,627,657 from fiscal year 20 and recorded a positive amount of $ 1,404,313 in June.
Some of the quickest action points which were adopted unanimously at the meeting included the submission of the NMHED, Institutional Finance Division, of the quarterly report on financial actions and certification; the addition of a Cerner Electronic Medical Record Pediatric Oncology module; the annual renewal of the Maui High Performance Computing Center; and approval to purchase specific property for UNM hospitals. The amended and restated statutes of the Lobo Development Corporation were also passed with the approval of two new members of the UNM Hospital Board of Directors – Judge Monica Zamora and Dr Davin Quinn.
The Council spent approximately 40 minutes at the end of the meeting in executive session, which is closed to the public, addressing two topics of discussion: “the purchase, acquisition or transfer of real estate or water rights” and “matters referred to the attorney-client privilege relating to a threatened or pending litigation.
The public comment that took place at the start of the meeting was largely prompted by graduate students who discussed the recent New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board decision that gives UNM United Graduate Workers the right to organize as well as the members of the Board of Interns and Residents, who are fighting for better benefits as doctors at UNM.
Megan Gleason is the editor of the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter @ fabflutist2716