Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal
The University of New Mexico will soon open an office in Mexico City – its second foreign office, following the one it has opened in Beijing.
UNM President Bob Frank made the announcement during his first “State of the University Address,” delivered Friday on the 125th anniversary the university’s founding on Feb. 28, 1889.
The Mexico City office is expected to open “before the summer, perhaps in early June,” said Mary Anne Saunders, a special assistant to Frank and the head of his Global Initiatives effort.
The university is collaborating with the city of Albuquerque and perhaps other partners to open the office, which is expected to increase trade, along with the number of Mexican students at UNM and the number of UNM students studying abroad.
Frank has made it a priority to increase the number of UNM students who get foreign experience.
In his State of the University speech, Frank also outlined seven “transformative goals,” and said he wanted to raise $1 billion from the private sector by 2020. He also offered an olive branch to the UNM Health Sciences Center, which he and others have said at times seems almost like a competing institution.
Frank spoke to a crowd of about 150 in the first of several “Lobo Day” birthday events. He described the birthday as an “auspicious occasion.”
He used the opportunity to tout the concept of “synergy” and praised the HSC and other campus agencies, noting that the Latin phrase found on the Great Seal of the United States, “E Pluribus Unum” – “from many, one” – aptly applies to the university.
Borrowing from Provost Chaouki Abdallah, who a year ago recast the phrase as “E Pluribus UNM,” Frank said it “offers us a powerful statement of our institutional commitment to persist as one university, many people from many different backgrounds and beliefs, and it challenges us to remain one university, while respecting and valuing the diversity of our parts.”
Frank in the past has criticized the governance structure of the HSC and its board of directors. He has said the HSC setup essentially creates two universities, separated symbolically by Lomas Boulevard. The HSC board was created after its governance structure was approved by UNM regents in 2010, before Frank was named president.
In his opening words, Frank referred to UNM’s “mission of … health care.” One of several “transformative goals,” he said, is “improving public health and health care to the populations we serve, and working with community partners to advance health and health equity in New Mexico. We will provide an excellent education in the health sciences, with a focus on the priority health needs of the communities we serve.”
The others are for UNM to become a destination university; prepare students for lifelong success; promote institutional citizenship; engage “people of all identities, and from all backgrounds, cultures and communities”; advance discovery and innovation; ensure UNM’s financial integrity and strength; and advance and accelerate economic development.