As universities around the nation struggle to ensure disparate communities have access to higher education, New Mexico-based institutions are working to find solutions and discuss best practices to contend with socio-economic, cultural and geographical barriers that hinder both access and continued success for first-generation and low-income students.  

The Council of University Presidents, an organization supporting seven of New Mexico's public universities through information sharing, collaboration, strategic planning, policy development, and community outreach, hosts a screening of the documentary film “Unlikely” Thursday, May 30. 

Special guest will be filmmaker Jaye Fenderson, who produced “Unlikely,” a film that dives into the nation’s college dropout predicament and the barriers students face in the pursuit of higher education and finding a career post-college. Also as part of the screening, Georgia State University’s Vice President for Student Success Tim Renick will present “Campus Matters: The Promise of Big Data.” 

The event is open to the public. Registration for public attendees begins at 12:30 p.m., followed by the screening at 1 p.m., “Campus Matters” presentation is set for 3:15 and the panel discussion from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

The open panel discussion will include presidents from The University of New Mexico, New Mexico Highlands, Western New Mexico, New Mexico State, and Eastern New Mexico universities, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology and Northern New Mexico College, as well as New Mexico Higher Education Secretary Kate O’Neil. 

Attendance is free to the public but seating is limited. Those interested in attending should RSVP to Therese Graham or Yvonne Quintana to ensure their spot for the screen and panel discussion. 

For more information, visit Council of University Presidents.