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UNM clarifies pay raise funding donors

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In an attempt to set the record straight, University of New Mexico President Bob Frank has released a letter clarifying that the pay raises recently approved for university staff will not be paid with UNM Foundation funds.

The letter, co-signed by Henry Nemcik, president and CEO of the UNM Foundation, said that, instead, UNM will reduce the amount it gives to the foundation next year by $500,000 so it can use that money for the pay raises.

Frank and Nemcik said in their letter that donations “made to the University of New Mexico Foundation go to support students, research and campus facilities. We’d like to emphasize that those funds are not being used to pay for an increase in compensation to UNM staff.”

A Journal article and editorial, referring to comments initially made by Frank, said increasing the staff pay raise from 2 percent to 2.5 percent would be covered by moving $500,000 from a foundation fund to the university’s general budget.

Frank said Thursday that he had misspoken.

“Usually, I do a better job of wording things, alas, not that long day,” he said. Frank had made the comments last week after a lengthy regents meeting.

A university spokeswoman said UNM’s annual allocation to the foundation is “an across-the-board charge” that all UNM departments and schools have provided since 2012.

The university is in the final stages of preparing its budget for fiscal year 2014-15, which must be sent to the state by May 1.