Now into my second month in the President's office, I am becoming reacquainted with UNM and with the Albuquerque metro area. I am excited about the strengthening partnerships that I see between UNM and the communities we serve. We have much to offer each other and collaboration helps all of us use our resources more efficiently and wisely. These connections bring us closer to our mutual goals of a richer life for the people who live, work and go to school here. As we move forward toward a vision of UNM in 2020, an expanded concept of collaboration is essential to our success. I hope we can develop goals for collaboration in New Mexico as well as the global landscape. Global connectivity provides diversity of ideas from multiple disciplines and perspectives that create value on a greater scale.
UNM and Albuquerque: Connecting, Cooperating, Creating
UNM's main campus and the city of Albuquerque are closely intertwined and becoming even more so as our classrooms literally move off campus right into the hustle and bustle of downtown. This week the School of Architecture and Planning opened it's UNM + ABQ CityLab in the old Sears building at the corner of 5th Street and Central. The city leases the space, while the University supplies furnishings and equipment for a graduate course and design/planning studio right in the heart of the Route 66 corridor. This innovative teaching environment is a great example of how we are making the transition from college to the working world faster and smoother for our students. Congratulations to Dean Geraldine Forbes Isais and the faculty of the College of Architecture and Planning.
This downtown venture comes on the heels of the launch of the - "Where's my bus?" - mobile application developed by our Information Technology Department. It's another collaboration between UNM and the City, which allows one to see where one's bus is on a smart phone Google map. The city supplied the GPS tracking hardware for UNM to install in 10 shuttle buses that travel between the main campus and south campus, where many students park.
Another new partnership this year is the "Healthy U at the U." The Department of Health, Education and Sports
Sciences in the College of Education has sponsored this summer sports program for more than 40 years. This summer
we joined with the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County in getting kids from their programs transported to
and from community centers and campus. We would also like to give a big thanks to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NM for a
$10,000 gift of support for the operation of this program.
Expanding our Commitment
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to be a part of the dedication of our new facility, the UNM Sandoval County Regional Medical Center. SRMC joins UNM West in serving residents of Rio Rancho, Bernalillo and Sandoval County. It will not only provide a venue for training future generations of health care professionals, but it is also a tremendous economic boost for the area, creating more than 300 new, high paying jobs. Once again, this would never have happened without collaboration. It took many people working together over a number of years to
make the building of this state-of-the-art medical center a reality.
The first step was the help that Regent Jamie Koch provided in acquiring and securing the land. Then in 2008, the people of Sandoval County showed their support by approving the Hospital Mil Levy with a 53 percent "yes" vote. The next year, the University contributed $46 million to form a new corporation to develop the hospital and medical office buildings. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development completed the financing package for $143 million in 2010. Now two years later, we are opening an incredible facility. The collaboration that
led to the creation of the SRMC is a testament to why these types of inclusive partnerships are needed for future patient care, medical education and clinical research at our academic health sciences center.
Designing a Blueprint for Our Economic Future
Institutions of higher education are powering the knowledge economy. UNM's efforts to expand collaborative outreach will continue this fall with a summit to explore UNM's role in current and future economic development, and to create a plan for how the state and UNM can creatively work together in advancing our economy. The University is partnering with New Mexico economic developer Mark Lautman and architect Dale Dekker to develop ideas for how the University can support and grow the economy of our state.
For every dollar invested in the University's $2.4 billion budget and our 7,000 plus employees, $1.83 returns to the State's economy. There is a growing role for higher education to take a leadership position in state economic development UNM's research efforts, talent for developing new knowledge and mission to produce many opportunities to create new businesses in New Mexico. These new ventures, in turn, can create new jobs and opportunities for our graduates and faculty.
Time to Say "Thanks"
Nothing we do, on or off our campuses can happen without the people who make up this university. July is a month in which we take an opportunity to say thank you to one of these vital groups for their commitment and contributions to UNM: our staff. It is important that we all take time to honor the dedication of our staff.
During Staff Appreciation Month, we have a myriad of events planned to demonstrate how important staff are to UNM. Among the planned events are a series of mini-lectures on topics such as history, personal safety and even pet behavior. Please join me for the Staff Council Reception next week on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Faculty Staff Club on Las Lomas. The staff picnic is set for Saturday, July 21 at Isotopes Park. For $5 you get admission to the game, a "ballpark meal," and a fun evening with your friends, family and co-workers. I understand one of the most popular events is the LOBOurrito Breakfast on Thursday, July 26. The month-long calendar of events ends with an Ice Cream Social and free
chair massages. For a complete list of events, visit: Staff Appreciation Month.
I encourage supervisors to allow flexibility in staff schedules so that staff can participate in some of these celebratory events this month. On behalf of the University, I want you to know that your work and expertise is appreciated and valued not only in July, but year-round.
Collaborating to Tell the UNM Story
Everyone here at the UNM should be encouraged to both express and represent the many distinctive, revealing, human stories that unfold everyday throughout the University. As I had mentioned two weeks ago, Dianne Anderson, a long-time news anchor in New Mexico, has joined our ranks as the new Director of Communication. Dianne and her staff are excited about getting the University's messages out to those communities that we serve. They are interested in hearing more of your stories and finding opportunities to pass them along. In an effort
to showcase how cooperation, collaboration and partnerships on campus allow us to do the same out in the community, I encourage members of the entire UNM community
to take the opportunity to reach out to Dianne at email@example.com with ideas.
Have a great week and Go Lobos!