Two new members joined the University of New Mexico Board of Regents on Monday.
Paul Blanchard and Paula Tackett took their seats to replace outgoing regents Doug Brown and Sandra Begay.
Blanchard is an owner of Albuquerque Downs Racetrack & Casino who played football for the Lobos, and Tackett is a former director of the Legislative Council Service who has bachelor’s and law degrees from UNM.
Blanchard is a long-time political donor who has given to various causes, including UNM. He said during his confirmation hearing that he has given UNM $100,000 per year for the last 15 years.
“I’m excited and looking forward to contributing and aiding the university in any way possible,” Blanchard said.
Regent Kim Sanchez Rael was elected as chair of the board, Jack Fortner was elected vice chair and Rob Schwartz was elected as secretary and treasurer.
Regents serve six-year, voluntary terms, establish goals and policies, and advise on overall operations and management. They are not compensated.
“It’s been an emotional day for me, but it’s time to be done,” Begay said
The student regent, Randy Ko, will continue to serve through the rest of the year, according to a spokeswoman for the governor.
UNM’s board is comprised of seven people, and no more than four regents can belong to the same political party.
With the new additions, UNM’s board consists of Democrats Schwartz, Rael and Tackett, Republicans Fortner and William Payne and independents Blanchard and Ko.