Robert G. Frank was named UNM's 21st pres­i­dent.
The Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico Board of Regents has selected Robert G. Frank as the 21st pres­i­dent of UNM. Frank, 59, will suc­ceed David J. Schmidly, who announced in April 2011 that he would step down after five years as pres­i­dent. Frank will take office in June 2012.

Frank's selec­tion fol­lows a six-month search by a com­mit­tee that included Regents, fac­ulty, stu­dents, staff and alumni. The 29 member-committee was chaired by Jack Fort­ner, pres­i­dent of the UNM Board of Regents.

Frank was selected by the UNM Board of Regents, after a week of pub­lic meet­ings with the final­ists and mem­bers of the uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity, as well as meet­ings with UNM admin­is­tra­tors and the Board of Regents.

In mak­ing the announce­ment Fort­ner said, "We are delighted that Bob Frank has accepted our offer to become UNM's next pres­i­dent and we look for­ward to his arrival on cam­pus this sum­mer." He added that Frank emerged from a field of can­di­dates as the best per­son to lead UNM to new fron­tiers in aca­d­e­mic excel­lence. "I am con­fi­dent that with his pas­sion for edu­ca­tion and expe­ri­ence fos­ter­ing cutting-edge inter­dis­ci­pli­nary teach­ing and research that he's a great match for UNM. He shares the aspi­ra­tions of the Board of Regents and Uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity for fur­ther enhanc­ing the excel­lence of UNM."

Tim Ross, fac­ulty sen­ate pres­i­dent and mem­ber of the pres­i­den­tial search com­mit­tee said, "Bob Frank is clearly a Lobo and has roots in the state. He has the savvy to run a com­plex uni­ver­sity. We look for­ward to work­ing with him."

Frank stated, "The chance to be pres­i­dent at a uni­ver­sity with as much poten­tial as UNM is the most excit­ing oppor­tu­nity I can imagine."

Bob Frank has been Provost and Senior Vice Pres­i­dent for Aca­d­e­mic Affairs at Kent State Uni­ver­sity since July 2007. Kent State is one of the nation's larger uni­ver­sity sys­tems with eight cam­puses that pro­vide more than 280 aca­d­e­mic pro­grams to more than 41,000 under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ates stu­dents. Prior to that, he was the dean of the Col­lege of Pub­lic Health and Health Pro­fes­sions at the Uni­ver­sity of Florida, where he also served as a pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Clin­i­cal and Health Psychology.

Among the ini­tia­tives imple­mented dur­ing his tenure at Kent State, the uni­ver­sity estab­lished a Col­lege of Pub­lic Health, increased enroll­ment by 23 per­cent, increased reten­tion by three per­cent, and revised pro­mo­tion and tenure rules. Dur­ing his tenure at Florida, the Col­lege estab­lished the Pub­lic Health pro­gram and reor­ga­nized as what is now rec­og­nized as a CEPH accred­ited Col­lege of Pub­lic Health.

Kent State Uni­ver­sity Pres­i­dent Lester A. Lefton com­mended Frank on his accom­plish­ments and inno­va­tion while at KSU. "The Kent State Uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity is grate­ful to Dr. Frank for his unwa­ver­ing lead­er­ship and ded­i­ca­tion to stu­dent suc­cess and I thank him for his con­tri­bu­tions to our excel­lence agenda," Lefton stated. "The Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico is for­tu­nate to have Dr. Frank and we wish him well."

A grad­u­ate of May­field High School in Las Cruces, Frank received three degrees from UNM. He grad­u­ated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in 1974 and an M.A. in 1977, both in Psy­chol­ogy. He received his Ph.D. in Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­ogy in 1979. He is the first UNM Pres­i­dent to hold three degrees from the Uni­ver­sity. He and his wife Janet have two chil­dren, Daniel, 26, and Brian, 23.

At UNM, Frank said his job will be to ask a lot of ques­tions and to lis­ten care­fully to the cam­pus com­mu­nity. Even though he is a grad­u­ate of UNM, Frank under­stands that he has a lot to learn in his first 100 days.

As Pres­i­dent, his pri­or­i­ties would cen­ter on enhanc­ing the edu­ca­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties for UNM's richly diverse stu­dent body.

"I rec­og­nize the excep­tional tal­ent of the UNM fac­ulty, and the dis­tinc­tive learn­ing envi­ron­ment at UNM," said Frank. "The breadth and depth of pro­grams here are stun­ning. I am com­mit­ted to lead­ing the uni­ver­sity in a col­lab­o­ra­tive and thought­ful man­ner to real­ize its full potential."

"It's great to be back in New Mex­ico and at UNM," added Frank. "Janet and I are thrilled at the oppor­tu­nity." The Franks and their dogs, Lobo and Bai­ley, will reside at Uni­ver­sity House.

Media con­tacts: Cin­na­mon Blair, (505) 277‑1806; e-mail: or Karen Went­worth (505) 277‑5627; e-mail: