Kevin Malloy, Professor Emeritus, Physics and Astronomy
“Mike was the kind of person that 10 minutes after you met him you wanted him to be your best friend and 10 minutes after that you were convinced he was your best friend,” said Physics and Astronomy Professor Emeritus Kevin Malloy. “Most people enjoyed his company that much, and he was a welcome presence in any position, forum or committee. He was dedicated to UNM and made many parts of it better.
“People felt Mike deeply understood their issues and ultimately cared about their concerns. That’s not to say that he automatically agreed with them - one of his favorite stories was how he managed Office Hours for his extremely popular (Woodward Hall’s biggest lecture room) Intro to Psychology class - If a student came in during office hours to complain about a grade or assignment, Mike would listen patiently, then explain why he couldn’t make a change but then offered the student a large jar of candy, saying ‘while I can’t change your grade, I can let you have your choice from this jar.’ Invariably, the students would leave feeling at least partially mollified. Mike was named UNM’s Teacher of the Year in 1995.
“Mike brought these skills to the half of his UNM career he spent as an Academic Administrator. He developed a wide appreciation of the people at UNM and a deep understanding of how UNM operated, making him an extremely effective and popular administrator. One of his administrative innovations was to hold any meeting after 4 p.m. at Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro - a surprising number of successful UNM projects were developed there.
“Mike was passionate about UNM’s Research Mission and was frustrated by the dichotomy between a faculty that often dedicated half their careers to creating new knowledge and understanding and an administration often forced to focus on secondary aspects of UNM’s mission. His own research career is sprinkled with awards from the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral Analysis International, where he also served as President. In 2003, as Associate Dean for Research, he helped launch the Research Study Group at UNM, chaired by Professor Carl Caves of Physics and Astronomy, to evaluate aspects of research support at UNM. Their recommendations greatly improved interactions between faculty and research administration staff, but more importantly, Mike practiced what he preached when as Associate Vice President then Vice President for Research, he became one of the few academics to be a familiar sight in the Perovich Business Center.
“In spite of his dedication, Mike had a rich life outside of the academy. He was a scholarship football player his freshman year at UCLA and tells the story of getting run over by 6-3, 225 lb. All American Sam Cunningham of USC. He loved skiing and Psychology Department ski trips are a great source of stories all by themselves. He became a Certified Bareboat (sailing) Captain which created a whole other set of stories. He began his retirement by incredibly running the Lobo Stadium steps twice a week. Ultimately, he fell in love with PickleBall, playing for three hours, 5 days a week.
“Finally, almost immediately after retirement, Mike became a member of the UNM Retiree Association’s Board of Directors, continuing his long history of contributing to the UNM community.”