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Gov. Martinez appoints Brasher to UNM Board of Regents

SANTA FE, N.M. — Former Bernalillo County commissioner and onetime Albuquerque city councilor Michael Brasher will now help govern the University of New Mexico.

Michael Brasher

Michael Brasher

Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed Brasher, general manager at KANW-FM, to the vacant seat on UNM’s seven-member Board of Regents. Her announcement came late Wednesday — less than a day before the board convenes for its annual budget summit.

Brasher is a familiar face in local government. He served on the Bernalillo County Commission from 2002-2010 and was on the Albuquerque City Council from 1989-2001.

It is not the first time Martinez has tapped Brasher, a Republican, for a prominent position. She also appointed him to the State Board of Finance — a board over which she serves as president.

Brasher said he applied to be a UNM regent and also expressed his interest directly to Martinez.

While his appointment comes amid an ongoing battle over governance at New Mexico universities — with some raising questions about political interference — Brasher said the governor has not given him direction about how to operate as a regent. He said he does not see his as a “political” appointment.

“I look it as an opportunity to serve the university and the people of the state of New Mexico,” he said in an interview.

Brasher will replace Alex Romero, who stepped down last month after about eight months in the role. Romero said upon his resignation he had been unsuccessful in his efforts to work with the board’s leadership.

Brasher is a “recess” appointee whose term expires at year’s end.

He said he plans to be at Thursday morning’s budget summit at which regents will determine 2018-19 tuition rates are set to hear a proposal to eradicate most of the athletic department’s multi-million-dollar deficit to the university.

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