On Wednesday, Sept. 1, 1999, the Public Affairs Department created the UNM News Minute. On Thursday, June 5, 2014, University Communication and Marketing presents UNM News Minute #1,000.
The Public Affairs Department, under Frank D. Martinez, director, compiled and sent out that first missive – created in the old Pine email system and sent out through Linux – which required lengthy directions, logins and protocols.
“It was created as a way to capitalize on a few important news items and get them out in an expedient way. The items that were chosen were those that cut across campus,” Martinez said by phone from his residence in Tucson, Ariz.
UNM News Minute #1 spread the word that the inauguration of President William C. Gordon was set for October 10. It proclaimed that NOVA was coming to campus to interview UNM anthropologists Joe Powell and Anne Stone about the first Native Americans. It announced that a student survey revealed, “Undergraduate students highly value their UNM education;” and 93 new faculty came to campus that fall, bringing faculty ranks to 1,065.
University Communication Representative Steve Carr took over the responsibility for compiling and sending out the News Minute when he was hired in September 2000. “It didn’t have as much content as it does today,” he said, adding that the selection of items remains true to the original intent to feature items important across campus.
The News Minute has consistently reached more than 4,500 subscribers, but in recent years many members of the media have been added since it provides good content for their consideration.
Carr scanned his computer, which stores the News Minute archive. “It was sent out on Wednesdays until November 2006.” Carr announced via News Minute #339, “Beginning today, the UNM News Minute will be distributed twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays during the fall and spring semesters. Additionally, during the upcoming 60-day legislative session beginning in January, University Communication and Marketing will distribute a weekly legislative recap as part of the Thursday News Minute.”
Carr said, “I realized we were receiving more information than ever before. The News Minute was getting too long, too cumbersome.“ Mondays featured calendar items, “to inform the campus about the week ahead,” he said. Thursday’s News Minute was the accumulation of “grants, awards and significant accomplishments,” he said.
Also included through the years were Special News Minutes. “They represented incidents or events that required immediate attention. They were often weather-related, prior to Lobo Alerts,” Carr said.
Carr tells his colleagues to have things posted in the UNM Newsroom by noon on Mondays and Thursdays to be included in the News Minute. He said, “We try to take care of all requests we receive, even those at the last minute. Departments hosting conferences, lectures and meetings need the help to publicize their events and the UNM News Minute is an important communication vehicle whether it's well in advance or at the last minute. We try to accommodate one and all more often than not.”
Evy Todd, publicist/station relations for New Mexico PBS (Ch.5.1), said, “The UNM News Minute is extremely valuable to me. It helps broaden the reach of our messages and I deeply appreciate being included with all of the other wonderful stories about events, news and research happening at the university. The News Minute also helps me to reach out to members of the press and to communities that may not normally receive my press releases.”
She added, “I’m extremely grateful to work with such understanding professionals, who realize that sometimes news breaks just prior to deadline. Thank you and congratulations to everyone at UNM Communication & Marketing, for all of your diligence and hard work. You are much appreciated!“
The milestone of the 1,000th has been reached, but that doesn’t mean Carr is content with the status quo. “One of my projects this summer is to revamp the presentation of the News Minute by working in some graphic components and other aesthetic improvements,” he said. "Our subscribers will be impressed."
UCAM will roll out the new, redesigned UNM News Minute on Thursday, Sept. 4.
Highlights through the 100s
News Minute #100, November 7, 2001 - DR. KARL JOHNSON, a world famous virologist and adjunct professor with joint appointments in the Biology Department and the School of Medicine, was recently awarded "La Orden de Manuel Amador Guerrero Medal" from Panama.
News Minute #200, January 21, 2004 - THE “NEW” CAMPUS NEWS will be in your mailbox tomorrow. President Louis Caldera will share his goals for the legislative session on page one. New features include branch campus news and student research.
News Minute #300, February 1, 2006 - ROGER SCHLUNTZ, dean, School of Architecture and Planning, will serve on the task force “Our Communities, Our Future” at the request of Gov. Bill Richardson. Originally conceived as a “Smart Growth” policy task force for New Mexico, the group will be looking at infrastructure financing, economic development, land use planning, real estate location and other development oriented issues.
News Minute #400, July 2, 2007 - FOR THE SIXTH consecutive year, a popular two-week intensive course on curanderismo, or the art of Mexican folk healing, will be held on the UNM’s main campus.
News Minute #500, July 10, 2008 - UNM IS ONE OF 10 universities “doing the right stuff” as cited by the National Council on Teacher Quality as it pertains to teaching future teachers to teach elementary math.
News Minute #600, August 24, 2009 - UNM IS PLANNING far in advance for what could be a very significant flu season. Not only is the UNM Health Sciences Center planning for the annual seasonal flu, but also the next anticipated wave of the H1N1 flu, sometimes called “swine flu.”
News Minute #700, October 21, 2010 - THE LARGEST DEPARTMENT in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNM is the Biology Department. In the last 10 years, biology majors have increased 275 percent at UNM. The growing student enrollment has placed significant pressure on existing facilities to support research and instruction. Castetter Hall, which houses the department, was originally designed in 1968. Renovations the past three years have helped ease the burden of a 20 percent average increase spanning 10 years of department growth. General Obligation Bond D will help complete Phase II and III if passed in November’s general election.
News Minute #800, January 9, 2012 - IN 2007, UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES’ Center for Southwest Research was funded by the UNM Center for Regional Studies to build a searchable, collaborative digital archive with images from museum collections throughout the state. The new digital archive was recently unveiled in connection with the celebration of the State of New Mexico’s Centennial, 1912-2012.
News Minute #900, March 18, 2013 - THE UNM LATIN American & Iberian Institute and Department of History present Gilbert Joseph, Farnham Professor of History and International Studies at Yale University, for his presentation, "In from the Cold: Latin America's New Encounter with the Long Cold War.” Joseph also leads a discussion, "Historical Editing: Academic Journals, Academic Essay Collections, Academic Book Series.”