The University of New Mexico, UNM-Gallup Campus and the Pueblo of Zuni are embarking on an innovative partnership aimed at redesigning the function and potential of the branch campus.
At the heart of this new collaborative effort is the opportunity for the Pueblo of Zuni to assume the lead in expanding the higher learning and community educational service programs through a transition plan that will transfer management and operational responsibilities to tribal governance.
UNM-Gallup has been a part of the educational landscape of the Zuni Pueblo since 1985 when classes were first offered in the old Zuni Elementary School Building on the Twin Buttes High School campus. Since that time, the relationship between the Zuni Tribal Council, the Zuni community and UNM-Gallup has grown to include a newly constructed building in 2002 and a range of academic, adult education and career technical education class offerings.
UNM-Gallup recently undertook an assessment of the Zuni campus which included input from members of the Zuni Pueblo Council, and administrators from the main campus in Albuquerque. The resulting plan calls for a more responsive and contemporary community-based approach to higher education. Using a model that includes broad-based partnerships as well as comprehensive community input, the Zuni campus will use open forums and surveys to gather information that answers the question of “what can be?”
Currently under consideration are new offerings such as a charter school, vocational and other certification programs, and the upgraded use of technology in the form of distance and online learning.
Hayes Lewis, Superintendent of the Zuni Public School District notes, “All parties will move expeditiously, yet thoughtfully, to create a transition plan that fosters partnerships, identifies critical transition actions and maximizes limited resources over the next six months.”
Dr. Christopher Dyer, UNM-Gallup Chief Executive Officer, echoed the benefits of the partnership model, “UNM-Gallup is committed to continue as a partner in this endeavor and will explore a diversity of educational delivery systems and programs that will represent a robust and ongoing educational presence in the Zuni Pueblo.”