ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov. Bill Richardson has signed an executive order that could change the
way regents at the state’s research universities are selected in the
future. But whether it sticks will be up to Gov.-elect Susana Martinez.
Richardson’s order adopts a proposal from university faculty groups
that university regents candidates be reviewed by a search committee of
faculty and community members. Under the order, the governor could
either accept a recommended name or chose a different nominee.
The order would apply to regent selection at University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
But Martinez will not be tied to Richardson’s rule.
Martinez’s transition team today said it will review all executive
orders. During her campaign, Martinez did not address the regent
Currently, regents are picked by the governor without a selection
Endorsed by faculty senates at each research university, the
proposal is intended to limit political influence in regent selection,
said Richard Wood, president of the UNM Faculty Senate.
Although Richardson will not be appointing another regent, he felt
the order was in the best interest of the universities, Richardson
spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia said.
Martinez “could rescind the (executive order) but she would be doing so
against the wishes of the state’s research universities,” Ray-Garcia