We had a busy and activity filled time last week, celebrating Homecoming. As an alumnus, as well as your President, it was especially enjoyable and meaningful. I had the opportunity to visit with many of the alumni who were on campus for meetings and events, and to hear from them their thoughts regarding our emerging UNM2020 Vision.
Many of our offices put creative thought into transforming the campus for our “Super U” theme. This matters because we should periodically celebrate who we are and who we are becoming. This is a transformative time for UNM on many levels, and the creativity and humor of the costumes and decorations was a good reminder that while we should take our mission and vision seriously, there is a time and place to have fun, and to take ourselves lightly.
Taking our Mission and Vision Seriously
UNM is a wonderful place, situated in a place of natural beauty, and with great resources that make it a great educational and research institution. The UNM2020 plan will become our guiding framework for our aspirations and tapping into unrealized potential. I know there have been many previous planning efforts at UNM that have not resulted in tangible results. Your input into the UNM2020 process is vital, and I encourage those members of the faculty and staff who have not yet contributed to the process on-line — UNM 2020 Vision — to come to the Isleta room in the SUB this Tuesday, Oct. 9, from 1 to 5 p.m. or Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. to speak with UNM2020 facilitators in live working sessions to have your questions answered. Input from students, parents, alumni and other member of our community will be solicited in a similar fashion as we continue to move through the process. Our final UNM2020 plan will be all the stronger for you input. UNM2020 will establish the goals that drive the university for the next decade. I hope you will choose to take the time to participate in UNM2020. The effort will be much richer if each of you contributes your ideas. If you will provide your input, I will make every effort, and work day and night, to implement your ideas.
Taking Ourselves Lightly
I am pleased that many of our staff were able to make it to the Tuesday Staff barbecue and concert. It was great fun to see all of the costumes all around campus. Congratulations to Renee Delgado-Riley from College Enrichment Outreach programs, who won for the best Super U costume, and to Traci Wenzl from the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, who won for best Lobo Spirit. Thank you to all of you who made the time to give blood at the United Blood Services van, and who contributed to the community service project by donating items for the APS Homeless Project and Ronald McDonald House. We demonstrate our commitment to our community through our support for organizations that care for those most vulnerable, and your generosity is appreciated.
Building a better Campus
We had some fun transforming our campus for the Homecoming festivities, and now I would like your help in transforming UNM in another way. There are two important General Obligation Bonds on the ballot for the coming November 6 election. General Obligation Bond B for libraries will provide $2.1 million for funding for the state’s public, school, tribal, college and university libraries to update their collections, equipment and databases. Libraries on main campus, the HSC and the four branches are included in the bond. General Obligation Bond C for higher education will fund $119.4 in infrastructural improvements for universities and colleges across the state. A significant portion of the $24.5 million that UNM will receive from the GO Bond will go to the renovation of urgently needed new chemistry and biology facilities. Chemistry and biology are foundational subjects for a number of disciplines, and our buildings are in poor shape, which not only affects our students, but the faculty and staff who must work there. The four branch campuses also have infrastructural improvements in this bond. The GO Bonds will not raise taxes. I urge you to speak with your family and friends about the GO Bonds and why they are important for our students and for New Mexico.
Finally, we had a tremendous turnout of more than 22,000 to watch our Lobos win over Texas State, 35–14. Congratulations to Coach Davie and our team for a great homecoming game.
Have a great week, and Go Lobos!