In 2013, University of New Mexico President Bob Frank was doing such a good job increasing student retention rates in his first year running UNM that regents paid him a bonus on top of his annual $360K-plus salary.
In September, when Frank announced he would not seek to renew his contract, which ends May 31, regents credited him with increasing graduation rates (a record number of degrees were handed out last year) and successfully linking the university to Albuquerque’s economic development (Innovate ABQ). And rather than sever ties, they offered him the option of taking a $350,000 job in the university’s Health Sciences Center.
That deal, which would create a new position in the wake of a nine-figure state budget crisis, drew outcry from a taxpaying public that has watched UNM repeatedly pay big bucks after contracting a bad case of coach/athletic director/president buyer’s remorse: Mike Locksley $750,000, Louis Caldera $713,000, Rocky Long $677,500, Ritchie McKay $600,000 and Fran Fraschilla $305,300.
And so now, just weeks after that $350,000 promise, not one but two reports casting Frank in a negative light have dominated hours of closed regents’ meetings, with another scheduled Wednesday.