The University of New Mexico Foundation has a new president and CEO. Unfortunately, the organization seems intent on doubling down on its penchant for secrecy – declining to release how much incoming chief executive Jeff Todd will be paid or who were the other finalists for the job.
While the foundation has taken the position it isn’t subject to the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act – and is appealing a state district court decision that concluded it is – Todd’s pay won’t stay secret forever. Salaries of top executives are required in the foundation’s federal tax filings as a tax exempt 501(c) public charity. The foundation’s 990 return for 2017, the latest available on Guidestar, shows Todd’s predecessor, Henry Nemcik, had reportable compensation of $418,101 plus another $45,900 in estimated “other compensation.” Two other executives topped the $300,000 combined mark.
The foundation, which on its tax return describes its mission as “successfully raise, invest, and steward gifts through long-term partnerships with donors,” has maintained it especially wants secrecy to protect confidential communications with donors. But it casts the blanket of opaqueness much wider by claiming it isn’t a public body.
That’s an interesting position for an organization that is described on EVERY PAGE of its independent outside financial audit of June 2018, also available on Guidestar and posted on the foundation’s website, as “A Component Unit of the University of New Mexico.”