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Higher education funding topic of forum

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico has 31 public colleges and universities and a shrinking pot of money to go around.

How have individual universities coped with the budget pressures? Is the state’s higher education model sustainable?

A panel that includes college presidents, the state’s higher education chief and lawmakers will discuss those issues and more during a town hall from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Journal.

Space is limited. To reserve a spot, send an email to newsroom@abqjournal.com by 5 p.m. today.

Panelists include New Mexico Higher Education Secretary Barbara Damron and the leaders of University of New Mexico (Chaouki Abdallah), New Mexico State University (Garrey Carruthers), Central New Mexico Community College (Kathie Winograd) and Western New Mexico University (Joseph Shepard). NMSU faculty President Chris Brown will also speak, while state Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, and state Rep. Larry LarraƱaga, R-Albuquerque, will join via conference call.

The Journal is hosting the event in partnership with the New Mexico Council of University Presidents and KANW-FM (89.1). KANW will broadcast the session on the radio and stream it on Facebook. Journal senior editor Kent Walz will moderate.

The state has cut funding to public colleges and universities by 8 percent in the past two years, though higher education still gets about 13 percent of all state general fund appropriations. At the same time, enrollment is dropping. Statewide student numbers fell nearly 14 percent between 2010 and 2016, meaning fewer tuition dollars.

 

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