A panel discussion, "Affordability of Higher Education," features four Rhodes Scholars – Elizabeth Keller, Manuel Montoya, John Morrison and Heather Wilson. The discussion is Tuesday, April 24 at 4 p.m. in the Hibben Center on the UNM main campus. A public reception follows.

This is the first panel discussion in connection with the activities of the University Council on Academic Priorities (UCAP), as was announced by Provost Chaouki Abdallah.

Heather Wilson's record of public service dates to age 17, when she packed her bags for the U.S. Air Force Academy in the third class to include women. As a Rhodes Scholar, Wilson earned her master's and doctoral degrees in international relations from Oxford University in England. As an Air Force officer, she worked with NATO allies and in the United Kingdom. In 1989, she became director for European defense policy and arms control on the National Security Council staff at the White House under the first President Bush. In 1995, New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson appointed her to take charge of New Mexico's Children, Youth and Families Department where she helped reform child welfare laws, modernize the juvenile justice system and improve early childhood education. In 1998, she was elected to the Congress where she served for 10 years and worked on health care, energy, public lands policy and national security. She was a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

John H. Morrison received his B.B.A. degree from the University of New Mexico. As a Rhodes Scholar he earned a B.A. in Jurisprudence from Oxford in 1957. As a regular Navy officer, he served three years in the Pacific Fleet. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he joined Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago where he practiced antitrust law and commercial litigation. Since 1987 he has served in leadership roles in the International Bar Association. He is president-emeritus of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars. He was named a Distinguished Friend of Oxford University, and he was made an honorary officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). As an alumnus of UNM, he was honored to receive the Erna S. Fergusson Alumni Award of Distinction in 2003. He served on the UNM Foundation Board of Directors 1989-98, and has served on the National Advisory Board and the Anderson Alumni Council Board at the Anderson School of Management since 1999. In 2000, he was admitted to Anderson's Hall of Fame as a distinguished alumnus.

Manuel Montoya is a professor of global structures, an interdisciplinary scholar of globalization and the factors that produce a global political economy. A Mora, NM, native, he has returned to UNM because of his interest in New Mexico as a global emerging economy. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a Rhodes Scholar and Truman Scholar. He is the CEO of his own global consulting firm, In Medias Res Consulting, which has provided support to global NGOs and INGOs. He has taught a broad array of coursework from global culture and the history of economic thought to international management. Montoya is also an author, working particularly in the genre of short stories. Some of these stories have received national circulation.

Elizabeth Kistin Keller was born and raised in Sandoval County, NM. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Latin American Studies from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Upon receiving a Rhodes Scholarship, Kistin Keller continued her studies at Oxford University where she received her master's and Ph.D. in International Development Studies. Kistin Keller has spent time working on water resources issues in Southern Africa, South East Asia and North America. She currently serves as program leader for the Sandia Science and Technology Park in Albuquerque and teaches as an adjunct professor in UNM's Water Resources Program.

The University Council on Academic Priorities (UCAP) is a group of faculty, administrators and students working with Provost Abdallah to identify the principle features of the context of higher education in the country and for UNM to come up with possible sets of alternative academic directions. The effort is conceived as a prelude for more academic planning that will set goals and make definitive plans.

Media contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; email: cgonzal@unm.edu