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40% approve UNM president

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Copyright © 2013 Albuquerque Journal

A little more than a year after Bob Frank became University of New Mexico president, four in 10 Albuquerque voters have no opinion about his job performance, according to a new Journal poll.

But among those who do have an opinion, nearly three-to-one give him high marks for the job he’s doing.

Forty percent of likely voters surveyed said they approve of Frank’s job performance, while 15 percent said they disapprove, according to a survey of 402 voters likely to participate in city elections.POLL_12sept_UNM-Prez_web

Frank said Wednesday he was pleased to receive a 40 percent job approval and acknowledged that he needs to make himself better known to New Mexicans.

“I guess people just need to get to know me more,” he said.

Pollster Brian Sanderoff said he was not surprised 40 percent “cannot form an opinion on President Frank since he’s been in his position for a relatively short time.”

In addition, “not every Albuquerque citizen focuses on the president of UNM,” said Sanderoff, president of Albuquerque-based Research & Polling Inc., which performed the survey.

Frank became UNM’s president in June 2012, succeeding former President David Schmidly. He previously served as provost of Kent State University in Ohio.

Frank “should be pleased with his approval ratings,” Sanderoff said. “When President Frank came in, he did a lot of listening with the faculty and the staff and the students and the business community, and I think that paid off.”

Frank’s approval ratings show little variation by ethnicity or party affiliation. Voters 65 and older were most likely to express no opinion about Frank’s job performance.

Frank was raised in New Mexico and earned his bachelor’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology at UNM.

Frank said he devoted his first year as president building his leadership team and focusing on ways to improve student success at UNM, particularly among freshmen.

“Now my team is complete and I can spend a lot more time in the community and getting to know more people,” he said.

In recent months, Frank has led an effort to form a research incubator in Downtown Albuquerque, called Innovate ABQ, in partnership with city, county and community leaders.

The Journal Poll’s findings are based on landline telephone interviews with 402 voters likely to vote in coming municipal elections who had also voted in an Albuquerque city election in 2011 or 2009. Interviews were conducted Sept. 3-5.

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