Governor Susana Martinez has announced nominations for the University of New Mexico Board of Regents and other universities around the state. In an unusual move, Governor Martinez reappointed long time Regent Jamie Koch to fill the seat vacated by Regent Conrad James, who resigned after being elected to the state House of Representatives. Koch’s term was set to expire at the end of this year, but he will now remain on the board for another four years for the duration of James’ six year term.
The governor named Robert Doughty III, an attorney and chair of the New Mexico Racing Commission to replace Gene Gallegos, a Santa Fe attorney. She also tapped former District Attorney Matt Chandler of Clovis to fill the position vacated by Koch. Both are Republicans.
“The individuals I am nominating today come from a variety of backgrounds and are well-suited to help manage our state’s universities, Martinez said. “They will provide thorough financial oversight and planning for these institutions, and I am confident they will adopt reforms designed to graduate our students more quickly and prepare them for the workforce New Mexico needs.”
The governor did not name a replacement for Regent Heidi Overton, who graduates in May from the UNM School of Medicine. Overton has agreed to stay on until graduation or the governor makes a decision on a new student regent
Koch expressed gratitude that he would continue to serve as regent, calling it a “tremendous honor” and “one of the most rewarding experiences of his life.” Koch, who is a Democrat, said the governor reaffirmed to him her commitment to work across party lines for the good of higher education.
“We must continue to build partnerships to advance research with the national labs and higher tech, for she wants the university to work with the business community to give our students the opportunity to earn a living right here in New Mexico when they graduate, hopefully in four years,” he said.
Along with continuing to serve with Regent Koch, Board President Jack Fortner said he looks forward to what the new regents will bring to the table. "Their legal background will be very valuable in dealing with all the complex issues that the Board deals with,” Fortner said. “Matt Chandler is a friend that I look forward to working with. Rob Doughty’s experience on the racing commission and the Gaming Board will be very valuable in dealing with UNM issues.”
UNM President Robert. G Frank said he believe the governor made a wise decision with her selections for UNM’s new regents. Reappointing Regent Koch will provide continuity and leadership at a time when big changes in the board had been expected with a majority of its seven members stepping down.
“Regent Koch is a voice of experiences and a great advocate for UNM,” Frank said. “I’m sure he will continue to do great things for this university.” Frank has not yet met the other two regent appointees but said he has heard good things about them and looked forward to working with them.
All of the appointees must still be confirmed by the New Mexico State Senate.
More about the appointees
Matt Chandler is a practicing attorney in Clovis and a longtime New Mexico public servant. At Chandler Law Firm, he focuses on family and employment law, estate planning, and complex litigation. Chandler previously served as District Attorney for the Ninth Judicial District of New Mexico from 2004-2014. He was the youngest District Attorney to be elected in New Mexico at the age of 27 and has over 12 years of prosecutorial experience. While working as a prosecutor, one of his highest profile cases involved the 2005 murder of 10-year-old Carlos Perez, which led to the convictions of five individuals and international manhunts for Noe Torres and Edward Salas (the former was charged with murder, but fled to Mexico before trial; the latter escaped to Mexico after being sentenced for his role in the killing). In 2012, Chandler teamed with Governor Martinez, the U.S. Marshal Service, and Mexican authorities to successfully locate and extradite Torres to New Mexico. Salas was later found and extradited as well. During his tenure, Chandler was appointed Special Prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s Office and assisted in the investigation, indictments, and convictions of dozens of members of the white supremacist gang known as the Aryan Brotherhood. He is admitted to the New Mexico Bar and licensed to practice in state and federal courts. Chandler completed his final year of law school at the University of New Mexico School of Law as a visiting student. While competing for the UNM Law School’s Mock Trial team, Chandler was awarded “Top Advocate” at the Regional Mock Trial Competition in Spokane, Washington. In 2000 and 2001, Chandler led the University of New Mexico’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) program, a faith-based student athlete ministry with a focus on devotion, integrity, serving, and teamwork. Chandler holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Eastern New Mexico University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Robert Doughty III is an alumnus of the University, Doughty is a practicing attorney bringing decades of service to New Mexico and his community. His law firm, Doughty, Alcaraz, & deGraauw, P.A., focuses primarily on civil claims and litigation in the areas of insurance defense, governmental entity representation, risk management, personal injury, construction defect, and medical malpractice, among others. Doughty is admitted to the New Mexico Bar, the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He was appointed to the New Mexico Racing Commission in 2011, where he currently serves as Chairman. While on the Commission, Doughty has been a strong reformer, raising standards for racing conduct and cracking down on the doping of racehorses. He also serves on the board of directors for the Rocky Mountain District of the Lutheran Church. Doughty holds a Bachelor of Criminal Justice from New Mexico State University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico.
Jamie Koch has been a member of the UNM Board of Regents for 12 years, and is a longtime New Mexico public servant. Currently, he serves as Chair of the Finance and Facilities Committee and the Lobo Development Corporation. In recent years, Koch has shown strong leadership in financial oversight and has championed reforms designed to increase the number of graduates at the university and decrease the number of years it takes students to earn their degree. He previously served as a state legislator and was an original author of the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act. Koch is the former President of Daniels Insurance and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of New Mexico.