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UNM’s CIO loses job in latest administrative shuffle

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Administrative shuffling at the University of New Mexico has claimed its first casualty.

The Journal learned UNM officials told IT employees Tuesday morning that Gil Gonzales is no longer chief information officer for the school and that they’ll be seeking an interim director. Executive vice president David Harris confirmed the move via email.

“UNM is moving the IT department in a direction that differs in size, in scope from the current structure, which requires new leadership,” Harris said.

GONZALES: Will remain on staff until end of year

GONZALES: Will remain on staff until end of year

Gonzales’ contract will not be renewed at the end of the year, but he will remain on staff until then with a salary of $196,700. It wasn’t clear if the new IT department would be smaller or larger than the current one.

In 2008, Gonzales joined UNM as CIO for the IT department, which oversees university email, internet access on campus, computer labs and other technology-related services. Gonzales also oversaw a project to post the salaries of UNM’s employees online in 2012.

Gonzales’ departure is the latest in a series of administrative changes that started earlier this year. As part of that process, the university’s regents voted in April to restructure oversight of the Health Sciences Center, which critics characterized as a “power grab.”

UNM President Bob Frank ordered a review of several departments, including of 26 employees in those areas. Twenty-one of those employees received a six-month instead of a yearlong contract. The remaining five do not have a contract, but are under review. No one else has been removed from their position as of Tuesday, staff said.

An outside firm also presented preliminary findings to Frank that called for a revamped IT department, prompting the university’s removal of Gonzales as current CIO, according to the school.

A person who answered the phone at the CIO’s office said Gonzales was not there on Tuesday. Another attempt to reach Gonzales through email was unsuccessful as of late Tuesday afternoon.

Harris praised Gonzales’ time with the university.

“During his tenure we have achieved much to be proud of, particularly successful efforts to address IT security and compliance issues campuswide,” Harris said.

Staff would not say whether Gonazles was removed because of job performance or as a cost-saving measure. No one else in IT has seen a change in their jobs, staff said.

It was unclear Tuesday who will take on Gonzales’ former role. Staff said they didn’t expect any interruptions in IT services and Harris said, “we will begin an internal departmental search immediately for an interim CIO.”

Other employees under review include staff from IT, marketing and budget departments both on the main campus and the HSC.

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