University of New Mexico President Garnett S. Stokes today delivered her first State of the University address on the date that marks her 200th day in office.
The theme of Stokes’ speech was “Doing Even More,” a challenge to the UNM community to do things smarter, with courage and creativity, to always do the right thing and to work together to do even more for all of New Mexico.
President Stokes reaffirmed her commitment to take the time needed to understand the campus, the communities that surround it, and the state of New Mexico. In her first 100 days, she participated in nearly 100 student, staff, faculty, alumni, and community events in Albuquerque, learning as much as possible about what UNM has to offer, and listening carefully to campus community needs.
In her second 100 days, Stokes embarked on a statewide listening and learning tour. From UNM branches to communities throughout the state, she listened to the unique needs and challenges faced by different populations in New Mexico. By the numbers, she traveled over 4,000 miles through all 33 of New Mexico’s counties, visited 38 cities, and met with more than 1,300 people.
Some of the common themes that came out of the listening tour were the need for more qualified teachers, more health educators and access to affordable healthcare and the expansion of tribal engagement.
Stokes’ remarks also addressed the importance of continued and new research, stressing the importance of public/private partnerships, strengthening the University through fundraising and alumni engagement and ensuring student success, especially for those populations that have special needs.
While recognizing the tremendous accomplishments and phenomenal work taking place at UNM, Stokes also reminded listeners that the University must continue to evolve and adapt to ensure a bright future.
“We at UNM have much to be proud of, and we should celebrate and build on our successes,” Stokes said. “However, we also must acknowledge the very real challenges we still face. While we continue to pursue excellence and remain affordable and accessible to the people we serve, we need to translate our value in all that we do.”
In addition to the speech, which is available online, several events and symposia have been planned throughout the week. The events and symposia are open to the public and will showcase the excellent research and teaching that UNM is known for, and celebrate the students, staff and faculty who define The University of New Mexico.