Continuing Education Dean Rita Martinez-Purson has announced her retirement from the University of New Mexico. Martinez-Purson served nine years from 2003 to 2012 as dean. From 2007 to 2008 she served as interim vice president for Institutional Diversity, appointed to launch UNM's diversity efforts, including the university's first institution-wide plan for diversity.

She has served a total of 32 years in executive level leadership roles in the New Mexico higher education system, and is nationally recognized for her tireless efforts in developing best practices for the field of continuing education and lifelong learning.

"During her tenure at UNM, Dr. Martinez-Purson has provided exemplary leadership in planning, developing, and implementing thousands of outstanding programs and services," said Provost Chaouki Abdallah. "Her contributions include nationally recognized models and standards for the field of continuing education, workforce development and lifelong learning. We have been very fortunate to have her as a member of the senior leadership team at the University of New Mexico. I extend her my warmest regards and best wishes as she moves on to the next stage of her life and career."

Abdallah will soon announce his plans for filling the permanent position. Joe Miera, current associate dean of Business Operations at Continuing Education will serve as interim dean.  Sherry TenClay, will serve as the interim associate dean of Instruction. Both have demonstrated excellent leadership and knowledge in their areas of continuing education administration.

Continuing Education serves more than 30,000 students annually with professional, business and technology training, customized training, conference center services and lifelong learning programs.