Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal
A University of New Mexico regent’s public proclamation that the institution offers a poor “product” is drawing criticism as being disrespectful and potentially harmful.
Tom Clifford, a member of UNM’s governing board for the past 2½ years, said during Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting that the university’s failure to graduate a greater percentage of students might be to blame for its sinking enrollment. Half of the university’s first-time freshmen earn a degree within six years – a rate he flouted.
“(The other) 50 percent of our customers get nothing of value they can show,” Clifford said. “They get debt for coming here. That’s not a good product, folks. We don’t have a good product.”
UNM interim Provost Richard Wood disputed Clifford’s characterization during the meeting, noting the university has doubled its four-year graduation rate since 2013 and has better results than many institutions serving students from similar socioeconomic backgrounds.