President Robert Frank
President Robert Frank

Robert G. Frank today announced that he will not seek a second term as president of The University of New Mexico. Frank said it was with mixed emotions that he made the decision not to continue as president after his current contract ends May 31, 2017.

“For personal and institutional reasons, I decided that it was best to let the Regents know of my intentions. By announcing my decision now, we can gear up to move vigorously ahead to finish what we’ve started,” Frank said. “It will allow for a thoughtful, well-planned transition that will keep UNM making steady progress. I am pleased with what we have accomplished during my presidency, and it will be with great pride that I hand over the reins to the next president, who can build upon our successes.”

Regent President Rob Doughty praised Frank’s tenure at UNM and pledged that the regents will continue working with him in accomplishing the mutual goals they’ve set for UNM.

“The UNM Board of Regents is grateful to President Frank for the work he has done to move the University forward over the past four years. President Frank has outlined his agenda for the remainder of his term, and has the Board’s full support to accomplish these initiatives. We feel confident that our mutual desire to continue UNM’s success will ensure that we work together and move forward as one university.”

Frank’s announcement gives the university and its regents eight months to select a successor.

“The Board of Regents will conduct a strategic review of the roles and responsibilities of the position, in order to refine the expectations that will be set for The University of New Mexico’s next president,” Doughty said. “We expect to begin a search for UNM’s 22nd President no later than early spring of 2017, and will appoint an internal interim president if that search has not concluded before President Frank’s term ends.”

In the meantime, Frank emphasized that he has much he still wants to accomplish as president. “I remain committed to the ambitious goals we outlined more than four years ago in our UNM strategic plan,” he said.  “We will continue moving forward to maintain the progress we have made and to tackle the challenges we face. Change is inevitable, but it will not deter us from our key mission.”

Frank outlined five principle goals that will guide the remainder of his presidency including:

  1. One UNM
  2. Student Success
  3. Campus Climate/Safety
  4. Fiscal Responsibility
  5. Research Partnerships and Economic Development

With support of the regents, he plans to focus on continuing to align UNM as one university that pursues excellence on all levels and enhances the commitment to the success of every student in a safe, inclusive environment.  He emphasized that the University must remain dedicated to achieving its best while thoughtfully handling drastic budget reductions and diligently working with public and private partners to create a strong economic future for graduates and the state.

“I ask that you join with me in finishing strong what we have started together, and in laying the groundwork for a smooth transition into the next stage of leadership at our university,” Frank said, in concluding his email announcement to the campus community.  

UPDATED: 4:40 p.m.

Statement from the full Board of Regents

"In accepting President Frank’s decision not to seek a renewal of his contract at the end of his term, the Board of Regents has signed an exit agreement with President Frank in order to facilitate his transition to a tenured faculty position in June.

"The exit agreement will serve as a primer to the contract to be negotiated by the Health Sciences Center, in which his position as Director of the Center for Innovation in Health and Education will reside. Chancellor Roth will determine the metrics and scope of the position. Frank will receive an annual salary of $350,000, which is aligned with the leadership, research and teaching roles he will undertake.

"We are pleased that President Frank will be able to apply his unique combination of executive skills in clinical healthcare and innovative applications to advance the mission of the HSC and the University of New Mexico."