National and global trends in higher education have demonstrated that academic programs and institutions such as UNM must be transformed to serve the changing educational needs of a knowledge economy. We must embrace new models of learning, including digital and online delivery tools, to make educational content available to degree-seeking students wherever they are, whenever they need it. In addition to providing the traditional bricks-and-mortar university experience, UNM can and must respond to the forces of disruptive innovation. Our strategic efforts through UNM2020 and the examination of new ways to construct the University budget have provided optimistic analyses of where our university and its traditions have come from and how we need to change for the future to sustain long-term institutional success.

Planning for the Future of UNM West
We have an incredible opportunity for the delivery of unique and specialized degrees at our campus at UNM West, and expanding options for degree completion to our students. This unique extension of the UNM main campus intersects with the community of Rio Rancho, with which we have enjoyed a mutually supportive and productive partnership for the past several years. As we look toward a 10-year horizon for the campus, we developed some concepts for the future development of UNM West based on emerging educational and workforce trends that will be presented to the campus' stakeholders. We are now in the process of soliciting community input from the citizens of Rio Rancho to lay plans for the future of the UNM West campus. There will be a community meeting at the UNM West campus this evening from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Finalists Selected for Vice Provost of Extended Learning
Delivering new models of education will require the development and exploration of new modes of teaching and technologies. Earlier this year, UNM Provost Chaouki Abdallah announced the merger of Extended University and Continuing Education into a new division of Extended Learning. This division will take UNM's educational resources to the citizens of New Mexico and around the world, offering both credit and non-credit classes to every type of learner. As the name implies, it is geared to extend the reach of UNM's classes and programs beyond our physical campus, delivering high-quality educational opportunities to strengthen and expand UNM's outreach to existing and new audiences and promote lifelong learning that will enhance our students' lives – both professionally and personally.

The selection of the best individual to lead the Division of Extended Learning is critical to our success. This week the following candidates will be visiting the UNM campus for open forums:

J. Kim McNutt: April 29, 3 - 4 p.m., SUB, Santa Ana A & B
Monica Orozco: May 1, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m., SUB, Lobo A & B
Curtis Madison: May 2, 4 - 5 p.m., SUB, Lobo A & B
William Getter: May 7, 2:45 - 3:45 p.m., SUB, Lobo A & B

I hope you are all enjoying the exceptional weather and are able to take some time to appreciate our beautiful campus. Have a great week and Go Lobos!