University of New Mexico General Counsel Loretta Martinez has accepted a position at Loyola Marymount University in California as the institution’s first Senior Vice President & General Counsel.

Martinez has served as general counsel for UNM since October 2018, and will be ending her tenure on March 29.

Loretta Martinez
Loretta Martinez

“I would like to thank Loretta for all she has contributed to UNM and wish her the very best in her new position,” said President Garnett S. Stokes. “We have been very fortunate to benefit from her leadership of our Office of University Counsel (OUC). Her depth of experience, understanding of issues in higher education, and desire to strengthen the education and support of our students at UNM have been truly remarkable.”

Martinez’s tenure at UNM has included navigating the complexities of statutory requirements, regulatory systems, legal claims and risks, not to mention the challenges presented during the Covid-19 pandemic and in the wake of Federal mandates and rulings and growing significant issues involving constitutional free speech, racism, civil rights and diversity and inclusion.

“It has been my sincere privilege and honor to serve the compelling mission of UNM since 2018,” said Martinez. “I will miss the beauty and culture of New Mexico, the committed leaders I have worked with during my time here, and most of all, my hard-working and creative legal team/family.”

In her role, Martinez served as an advisor to the UNM Board of Regents. “We wholeheartedly support Loretta as she steps into this well-earned new career opportunity,” said Board President Kim Sanchez-Rael. “I am, however, truly and deeply saddened to say goodbye. Loretta brought a powerful, strategic, and heartfelt commitment to our mission, and her leadership has left an indelible mark. The shoes she leaves behind are indeed very large to fill.” 

Prior to UNM, Martinez served the majority of her more than 30-year career in higher education at a number of institutions in Colorado and on the East Coast including as the general counsel and vice chancellor for Legal Affairs for the City University for New York (CUNY), Colorado State University, Metropolitan State University, Colorado College, University of Colorado and Harvard University, where she began her career as an associate attorney in the Office of General Counsel.

“We will be working closely with OUC and other campus constituencies to ensure that our legal enterprise continues to serve the needs and interests of the University,” said Stokes.