Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jamie Koch Steps Aside as UNM Regent President.

On Tuesday, Governor Bill Richardson met with about a 12 member's of UNM's faculty. Afterward, he told reporter's he believed their concerns were legit. He even told reporter's that he would consider appointing one of them to the Board of Regents, giving them a voice at the table.

"I will also recommend that the Board of Regents consider more faculty input into regent committee assignments, particularly the committee on finance and facilities. Additionally, I will attempt to facilitate a request by the faculty to the State Auditor to audit issues related to university financial priorities."

Today, Richardson announced that he continues to support UNM Regent Jamie Koch's reappointment to the board, but revealed that Koch is stepping aside as President. The governor is recommending former NM Speaker of the House Raymond Sanchez become the president.

Last month an overwhelming majority of UNM's faculty voted for a no confidence resolution on UNM President David Schmidly, Executive Vice President David Harris, and Regent Koch. They also demanded State Auditor Hector Balderas conduct an audit on spending at the university. Professors are upset with the amount of administrative spending and payroll.

Here's the full statement released by the Governor:

I recently completed a series of discussions with UNM administrators, members of the Board of Regents and faculty representatives regarding recent conflicts at the university. As governor, I do not think it is appropriate to interfere with the governance and internal decisions at the university. However, I decided to intervene on a one-time basis, given my responsibility to appoint regents and make funding decisions for higher education.

I will be recommending to the Board of Regents that they elect Regent Raymond Sanchez, the distinguished former Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the next President of the Board.

Regent Jamie Koch has graciously agreed to step aside as President to avoid being a distraction. I will continue to support his nomination for another six-year term on the board. Jamie Koch has done an invaluable service to the university. I am eternally grateful for his outstanding leadership during the past six years, and I look forward to his continued involvement on the regents.

I will also recommend that the Board of Regents consider more faculty input into regent committee assignments, particularly the committee on finance and facilities. Additionally, I will attempt to facilitate a request by the faculty to the State Auditor to audit issues related to university financial priorities.

It is my view that future issues of governance should be decided by the university community. Accordingly, I will let these issues be handled by the interested parties.

President David Schmidly, Vice President David Harris and the regents, including Jamie Koch, have my full support to continue with the mission of the university. It is important that the university community, including the faculty and students, work with the regents and the administration to restore trust and establish a productive working relationship.



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1 comment:

cemcc said...

Not good enough, Bill! You hired 'em, you should fire 'em. Replacing one political hack with another as "Chairman" of the UNM Board of Regents is only a reshuffle of people who do not grasp the needs of higher education in New Mexico. Do we have to wait until another university "president" goes to the Federal slammer, like Aragon, for you too wake up to the fact that political buds don't have the experience, farsightedness, and even the education to run a major research university?