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Regents: End near for UNM president search

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Rob Doughty

The University of New Mexico’s next president might be on campus by mid-May – if only in the capacity as a job interviewee.

The school’s Board of Regents could announce five finalists and conduct on-campus interviews by the time spring classes conclude, according to the latest official update on the search for the university’s 22nd president.

Rob Doughty, president of the school’s regents and chairman of the presidential search committee, said in a statement earlier this month that an advisory search committee had reviewed information about “a number of highly qualified candidates” and would continue evaluating them for the next few months.

The “current intention” is to identify finalists and bring them to campus by semester’s end. The spring session formally wraps up May 13.

The public has little insight into the largely secretive selection process until regents announce the finalists.

UNM has hired an outside firm to help identify the school’s next president, paying Isaacson, Miller a total of $111,000 in fees and expenses.

The process also involves an advisory search committee of about 20 people. It includes Doughty and fellow regents Thomas Clifford and Marron Lee; state legislators; UNM faculty members, administrators, students and the school’s baseball coach; and members of the business community.

But committee members – who will recommend at least eight semifinalists to the board for consideration – had to sign agreements to keep applicant information confidential, and only Doughty can speak publicly about the search.

Doughty did not return a Journal message seeking comment last week.

UNM is seeking a successor to Bob Frank, who stepped down in December. His annual salary was $362,136. Frank cut short his scheduled five-year term several months early amid a bitter dispute with regents.

Presidential turnover has been a recurring theme for UNM. Nobody has held the position for more than five years since Richard Peck (1990-1998).

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