UNM Regents reach exit deal with President Frank

University of New Mexico President Bob Frank
University of New Mexico President Bob Frank

The UNM Board of Regents reached an agreement Tuesday morning regarding school president Bob Frank.

He is expected to leave the president’s job Dec. 31 and go on a paid professional development assignment. He still has a job offer to work at the Health Sciences Center at $190,000 a year, a much lower salary than previously disclosed.

Regents earlier this month had discussed the possibility of terminating Frank’s contract, which would have closed the door on the 64-year-old president’s $350,000 tenured position at the Health Sciences Center.

The regents did name provost Chaouki Abdallah as acting president, and Craig White, a dean at the Anderson School of Management, as acting provost.

It wasn’t immediately clear what that means for Frank.

That announcement came following an hour-long and closed meeting of the board Tuesday morning ahead of a regularly scheduled public meeting at 9 a.m. today. Frank did not attend the meeting as he’s currently travelling.

Antagonism between the board and the president has been high since late November when several documents critical of Frank were leaked to local media outlets.

The president’s attorney argued these documents were “defamatory,” while announcing his intent to sue the school and the seven-member Board of Regents. The regents huddled last week to discuss possibly firing or suspending Frank, whose salary as President is $362,136.

Instead after three and a half hours, the regents took no action and offered no comment to the roughly half-dozen reporters gathered outside a conference room where they met.

In September, Frank announced he would not seek to renew his five-year contract when it ends this May. The board of regents have since launched a search for a new president, and hope to have the position filled by spring.

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