UNM Town Hall
President Robert Frank discusses UNM's budget challenges during an informal town hall recently for faculty, students and staff. Administrators are seeking ideas to trim expenses in preparation for UNM's new budget
Credit: Steve Carr

President Robert Frank and Provost Chaouki Abdallah recently discussed The University of New Mexico’s budget challenges during an informal town hall for faculty, staff and students.

Administrators are seeking ideas to cut expenses, and increase and find additional sources of revenue in preparation for the new budget.

Each year, the State creates a budget by looking at the increase in revenue from the year before. With the price of oil dropping to a historical low causing a decrease in State revenues, there is now fierce competition for the available State dollars.

The total rescission for the entire University, out of the current budget, is $1.9 million. UNM is managing these cuts through spending reductions. The University is planning for a roughly $8 million funding cut for the next year.

“Every university—higher educational institution—had about 2.4 percent taken out of its budget, “said Frank. “Because we’re the biggest university, it adds up to a lot more for us.”

As UNM looks for sustainable solutions to the budget cuts, the administration is focused on prioritizing investments in student success programs and initiatives, growing online degrees, supporting shared credit programs and supporting the new branding campaign for the University.

“We are great buy, a great university, we do great work, but nobody knows it,” said Frank. “We need people to know more about our university.”

With no simple solutions in sight, UNM will be making principle-based decisions.

“We cannot cut our way out of this—what we need are new revenue sources. That is the conversation that will benefit us,” Abdallah said.

Several weeks of discussions will take place before UNM presents its initial suggestions for next year’s budget to the Board of Regents on March 22.