Gov. nom­i­nates 5 for UNM’s re­gent board

Two re­gents held over un­til 2020; nom­i­nees need Se­nate ap­proval

Albuquerque Journal - - FRONT PAGE - BY MATTHEW REISEN JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER

The makeup of the Univer­sity of New Mex­ico’s gov­ern­ing body has un­der­gone a dra­matic shift as Gov. Michelle Lu­jan Gr­isham on Satur­day an­nounced the ap­point­ment of five mem­bers to the in­sti­tu­tion’s seven-mem­ber board of re­gents, in­clud­ing two who pre­vi­ously served on the board.

“I am proud to nom­i­nate this in­cred­i­ble group that I am con­fi­dent will be ded­i­cated to en­sur­ing eq­uity, re­spon­si­bil­ity, and ac­count­abil­ity at the Univer­sity of New Mex­ico,” Lu­jan Gr­isham said in state­ment is­sued by the Gover­nor’s Of­fice. “I ea­gerly look for­ward to their stew­ard­ship of New Mex­ico’s flag­ship univer­sity.”

The nom­i­nees are sub­ject to con­fir­ma­tion by the

state Se­nate.

The ap­point­ments are: Kim­berly Sanchez Rael and Robert Schwartz to six-year terms; San­dra Be­gay and Dou­glas Brown to four-year terms; and UNM stu­dent Melissa Henry to a twoyear term.

Lu­jan Gr­isham’s ap­point­ment process was de­scribed as “the first of its kind,” with ad­vi­sory groups sub­mit­ting an ap­pli­cant pool after in­ter­view­ing and eval­u­at­ing can­di­dates based on cri­te­ria that ad­dressed what each in­sti­tu­tion of higher ed­u­ca­tion needs.

In a rare case, the five seats on the UNM Board of Re­gents opened si­mul­ta­ne­ously be­cause the mem­bers’ terms were end­ing, or were com­pleted, and the Se­nate had failed to hold any con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings on then-Gov. Su­sana Martinez’s UNM ap­point­ments over the past two years.

Re­gents Robert M. Doughty, cur­rent pres­i­dent of the board, and Mar­ron Lee, who serves as chair of the Health Sci­ences Cen­ter and Fi­nance and Fa­cil­i­ties com­mit­tees and the Lobo De­vel­op­ment Corp., are the only holdovers, with their terms set to ex­pire in 2020.

The list of in­com­ing re­gents come from a wide ar­ray of back­grounds and bring their own unique qual­i­fi­ca­tions to the board.

Ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease is­sued by■the Gover­nor’s Of­fice:

Kim­berly Sanchez Rael has an “extensive” back­ground in busi­ness, is cur­rently act­ing pres­i­dent and CEO of SRE Wellness Inc., and served on the New Mex­ico Board of Fi­nance for sev­eral years.

■ A UNM alum and past re­gent, San­dra K. Be­gay has “ded­i­cated” her career to engi­neer­ing and en­ergy de­vel­op­ment, work­ing with San­dia Na­tional Lab­o­ra­to­ries’ In­dian en­ergy pro­gram and non­profit ini­tia­tives in the field of science.

■ Robert Schwartz has more than 40 years of ex­pe­ri­ence teach­ing law at col­leges across the globe, in­clud­ing UNM School of Law, where he is the Henry Wei­hofen Pro­fes­sor of Law Emer­i­tus.

■ An­other pre­vi­ous re­gent, Dou­glas M. Brown is touted as a “fi­nan­cial leader” with more than a half-cen­tury of ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt, who also served as dean of UNM An­der­son School of Man­age­ment for sev­eral years.

■ Stu­dent re­gent Melissa C. Henry is a licensed men­tal health coun­selor with at least five years work­ing in stu­dent health and autism cen­ters. She has also worked as a cou­ples and fam­ily coun­selor who has fo­cused on re­unit­ing par­ents with their chil­dren.

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