New College for Social Transformation Proposed at UNM


UNM degrees enter realm of nonsensical

“I WOULD LIKE to suggest that the proposed College for Social Transformation at UNM be named instead the College of Academically Marginal and Outright Nonsensical Programs.”


Help current, not bogus, UNM programs

“WOULDN’T OUR tax dollars be better spent on existing colleges at UNM — especially teacher prep — than on the new “College for Social Transformation” with all of its bogus degrees? Also, how are kids with degrees in African, Chicano, peace, women, etc., studies going to pay off their student loans?”


These are reader comments related to an Albuquerque Journal article concerning a proposed College of Social Transformation at UNM. These opinions seem to indicate that any program at UNM that studies cultural or liberal arts is worthless and pointless. The new College (CST) is not proposing anything new. Almost every other university in the U.S. recognizes the importance of programs like Chicano/a Studies, Africana Studies, Women’s Studies, Asian Studies, Peace Studies, Sustainability Studies, and other such programs. They give these programs control over faculty hiring, budgets, and curriculum. UNM is one of the few that does not recognize these departments as important. Although these programs exist, they are separated into different colleges and have very little power. They are controlled by other College’s and are treated as “stepchildren” in those College’s. They are not taken seriously. Please take the time to support the CST movement by writing letters to the editor, letters to UNM president Frank, and letters of support to your representatives. Join us on Facebook at UNM College for Social Transformation.

Here is the recap of the first community meeting at UNM:

On Wednesday, November 13th, an event took place that could dramatically alter the future of students at the University of New Mexico and the communities that they come from. Faculty members, students, and community members gathered at the Law School to discuss the creation of the College of Social Transformation. The proposed College will encompass Chicana and Chicano Studies, Africana Studies, Native American Studies, Women Studies, Peace Studies, and Sustainability Studies and other campus units. Faculty representatives stated that it is time for the University to recognize the significance of ethnic, gender and cultural studies programs that play an integral part in the strengthening of communities in New Mexico.
The proposed College of Social Transformation will bring academic, research and student services units under one umbrella. The College will provide these programs with more autonomy and freedom to make decisions that impact their growth and development. In a CST college structure, these programs can initiate budget decisions and hire and promote of full-time, tenure-track faculty. UNM is one of the few tier 1 campuses in the U.S. whose structure does not provide these decision-making abilities to programs like Women Studies, Africana Studies and Chicana and Chicano Studies.  The departments also want to build a curriculum that involves more university/community collaboration. They argue that developing programs that focus on community issues will give students a sense of belonging and purpose during their undergraduate years.
The forum attendees were asked to get into small groups to formulate 2 questions directed to the panel of faculty. Most of the questions centered on the university/community partnership. Other questions gravitated towards the College leadership structure and budget concerns. The faculty acknowledged that they have discussed a new type of power structure in which all units have an equal say in leadership decisions, but they also understand that the university would be more comfortable with a traditional college structure under the supervision of a Dean. Members of the student body were concerned with where the College would be housed and requested a central location.
The CST group reported that the Provost approved the concept for a College for Social Transformation,, which allowed the faculty to reach out to the community. The current timeline has the official proposal being submitted by Fall 2014 and the launch of the College of Social Transformation by the school year 2015-2016. For more information contact505-277-3917 or
Find us on Facebook at UNM College for Social Transformation
Check out the news coverage at by the Albuquerque Journal


  1. Thanks, John, for helping to publicize the idea of the College for Social Transformation. UNM and every other university in the country has an enormous business school teaching how to sell more stuff; yet what our country needs is more organizing and many more organizers trained in history, sociology, economics, and especially the historical tradition of mass movements.

    • Mark,

      I completely agree with you. I think that the U.S. has lost sight of the true meaning of education. A college student should attend a university with the intention of making a better society. The university needs to teach the students about society and how each person is responsible for that society. For some reason we focus on individualism and wonder why we have so many social problems.
      Students should not go to college only to be trained as “soldiers for corporations.” The mainstream seems to be brainwashed into fulfilling the employment needs of big business (i.e. the Koch Brothers). The U.S. saddles students with debt to ensure that they do not get involved in social issues and organizing. They are afraid of the youth organizing. Your generation is a perfect example of the potential power of such a mass movement.
      The system is designed to scare students away from history, sociology and mass movements. Students question, “What am I going to with a degree like that?” or “How will I pay off my student loans?”
      Unfortunately they grew up in a society that puts the “i” first, and everybody else second. Hopefully we can ignite some sort of spark in the next few years. I really like the idea of a “debt strike.” That would bring the institution to its knees. If we could convince students (and others) that they have the power to control corporations with their wallets, we could dictate policy. The is a dream and will be very difficult to achieve.


  2. Wish this had been a program offered in the 80s when I was at UNM. I believe this was what I couldn’t find.

    • Davetta,

      Thank you so much for the reply. I have heard many current college students say the same thing. They crave a more meaningful education. Please support this College by spreading the word. It may be late for us… But we can change the world for future students. I hope you enjoy the Daily Loco and keep coming back. I look forward to any other input that you have. We are going to have new authors starting soon. Happy holidays! Stay loco!

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