The New Mexico Senate has confirmed Barbara Damron as the secretary of the Higher Education Department. It was a breeze, starting this morning with a lovefest in the Senate Rules Committee.
More than 30 people, from university presidents to hospital administrators to non-profit directors, stood up to sing Damron’s praises. With her background in educational psychology and nursing, and more than 20 years in administration,supporters pointed out how qualified she is for the position. Her most recent post was as associate professor at the UNM Health Sciences Center.
Damron listed her goals as making college affordable, graduating students as quickly as possible and producing a workforce that matches the state's needs. Senators reminded the secretary about the challenges facing small community colleges, a Higher Education Department known for its vacancies and turnover, and the need for a higher ed master plan in higher education.