UNM is Dreaming of a White Male Administration…Just Like the Administrations They Used To Know

UNMREGENTS

***Current UNM Board of Regents and President Frank***

Yesterday, Governor Susana Martinez announced her picks for three new Regents at the University of New Mexico. As per usual, none of the Regent selections were people of color.

That makes a Board of Regents at UNM that is completely lacking in diversity and does not accurately represent the student body. (Oh yeah… Regent Koch resigned, but was reappointed to fill Regent James position. Let’s not forget that 482 out of 492 faculty member’s voted no confidence in Regent Koch in 2010)

This should not come as a surprise to anybody. Just a few months ago, UNM’s first InnovateABQ board was selected and…you guessed it…none of the members were people of color or women. They were a bunch of older white males.

The public was outraged and UNM was forced to “expand” the board from 6 members to 11 members. One of the old white guys on the original board was furious and actually resigned his position. (He claimed that an 11-person board would be ineffective)

Now, you need to understand the process of getting selected for the InnovateABQ Board to understand why white males were selected in the first place. The Board of Regents reviews applications and makes the selections. So is it any surprise that a non-diverse Board of Regents selected a non-diverse InnovateABQ Board?

The University’s old, white, male President Frank is so excited about the expansion of the Board (maybe it has something to do with the city threatening to withhold $2 million unless the Board is expanded). He stated, “This makes up for our lack of diversity the first time…” Wow…I guess we should be grateful that they considered diversity after they were forced to do so.

This is just the tip of the non-diverse iceberg. There has never been a Hispanic, Black, or Native American Student Regent (in 20 plus years) and there are very few people of color in faculty positions. This total lack of diversity is sickening when you realize that 56% of New Mexico’s population is people of color and over 50% of the student body is people of color.

The sad fact is that the old white guard continues to control the establishments of America. They are not going to give up control easily. Racism, sexism, exploitation of the poor, and brutality (by the police and military) will continue as a means to retain power.

NNMC uses intimidation, bias, and ignorance to shape policies

NNMCdestroyedclassroom

The total disintegration of Northern New Mexico College continues. Our friends at the Northern New Mexico College Study Group exposed some commentary about an August 14, 2014 illegal NNMC Regents Retreat meeting, which violated requirements the Open Meetings Act. (full audio available from NNMC Study Group by request)

In the meeting, the Board of Regents can be heard repeatedly degrading students from the Espanola Valley area:

Regent Martinez complained, “Procrastination is part of the culture itself [in the Valley].”

He also explained that retention rates were low because, “We get students who can’t do fractions. We have a large population of students… with certain deficits.” Chair Garcia agreed with Martinez adding, “They’re not mature enough.”

According to the NNMC Study Group, Board Member Branch reaffirmed his belief that the program and faculty cuts were wise.  “Do you need an AA to work at Jiffy Lube?” asked Branch

NNMC REGENT BRANCH

NNMC Regent Michael P. Branch(right) and President Nancy “Rusty” Barcelo(left)

Are they serious? Do they know how much money an auto mechanic makes?

First of all, they obviously do not understand the importance of providing an education that will lead to jobs that are available in the region. According to NM Workforce solutions:

“Job opportunities are good or favorable, as there should be about 36 openings each year for workers in this occupation”

An auto mechanic, with a 2 year degree, in New Mexico earns a median salary of $36,350. In contrast, the median salary for a biologist with a graduate degree is just $51,000.

That may be “pocket change” for the Regents and administrators at NNMC, but to most people in the Valley $36,350 is a good living that will provide for their families. These are not “Jiffy Lube” jobs like Regent Branch seems to believe. Even if they were, with education and experience, a Jiffy Lube employee can make more than $50,000 per year.

Wait a minute… why does NNMC exist in the first place?

According to a letter from NNMC President Nancy “Rusty” Barcelo:

“I respect that the automotive program plays a vital role in an art form unique to northern New Mexico.”

That’s nice…but wait a minute. Isn’t the mission, vision, and philosophy of NNMC to protect the culture of the region?

NNMC Vision:

Northern New Mexico College is a Hispanic- and Native American-serving comprehensive institution that will be recognized nationally for cultural sustainability, quality student learning and developing economically strong communities among diverse populations

NNMC Mission:

The mission of Northern New Mexico College is to ensure student success by providing access to affordable, community-based learning opportunities that meet the educational, cultural, and economic needs of the region

NNMC Philosophy:

Northern strives to provide an educational program that reflects the needs of the communities of northern New Mexico

So… why not keep the automotive program if it plays a vital role in a cultural art form unique to Northern New Mexico, provides for the economic needs of the region, and projects to have sustainable job growth?

NNMC RICHVPOOR

So sorry rich people…but my parents cannot afford expensive trips

Secondly, how can they speak so lowly of students from New Mexico?

Provost Martinez and Regent Garcia complain that the students cannot do fractions and are not mature enough. What do they propose? Should NNMC stop admitting students from the Valley because they are not “mature” enough?

Maybe they should take some time to look at the state as a whole before they single out students from the Valley. 1 out of every 2 NM students who attend college need remedial course work. That means that 50% of students from ALL of New Mexico are unprepared for college.

So why do they think that the problem is unique to the students from the Valley? Do they have some sort of bias towards these children?

According to the NNMC Study Group, VP of Advancement Serna stated:

“We have students who are sheltered by the valley. We’re not diverse… we’re homogenous”

Regent Branch added that Espanola has “certain social problems” and Provost Martinez added “Our students are very provincial. Some of our students have never been out of the county.”

These comments are very telling of the lack of concern or empathy that the Regents feel for the local community that they are supposed to develop.

Almost 30% of Espanola’s population lives below the federal poverty level.According to the Census 87% of the population is Hispanic and 68% speak a language other than English at home. 25% of individuals age 25 and up do not even have a high school diploma and only 16% of the population have a college degree.

The NNMC students should be hailed as heroes for attempting to better their lives by attending college. Many of them come from broken homes, a lousy school district, extreme poverty, and are first generation college students.

So instead of complaining that they are not diverse enough because their parents cannot afford to take them on trips, maybe NNMC should highlight these students as inspirational members of the community.

NNMC DORMS

Instead of wasting time worrying about dorms to attract “other students”, maybe NNMC should do everything in their power to educate the population of the Valley. By increasing educational levels, there will be job creation and lower crime rates. It is proven that higher education reduces rates of assault which is one of Espanola’s top crimes.

A Change is Needed!

The people of Northern New Mexico deserve the best education possible. Many of the students simply cannot afford to leave their families. NNMC is their only option.

The current administration seems to be completely oblivious to the realities of the Valley. A change is needed to make sure that the people and the community are taken care of. The comments and actions by the administration at NNMC highlight the fact that they are not up to the job and need to be replaced by people who truly care about Northern New Mexico.

 

ALSO…

NNMCCENSORSHIP

Recently the Daily Loco posted REVEALED: The Connection Between NNMC, The Massacre in Gaza, and Border Security. As most of the Loco readers know, all factual allegations made here always have a link to the source.

Yet, Ricky Serna, Vice President of Advancement for NNMC, seems to believe that there are some untruths in the post. He sent the Daily Loco this:

On Aug 8, 2014, at 12:10 PM, Ricky Serna <donotreply@wordpress.com> wrote:

Name: Ricky Serna

Email: raserna@nnmc.edu

Comment: Request discussion regarding the several untruths you wrote about the MALCS Conference.

Ricky Serna
Vice President for Advancement 

Northern New Mexico College

A few days later I sent an email reply:

Date: August 12, 2014 12:38:42 PM MDT

To: Ricky Serna <raserna@nnmc.edu>
Subject: Re: ’[Burque’s

Mr Serna,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on the post. Please feel free to make a statement concerning the untruths that you claim are in the post. Please be aware that I believe in transparency and accountability. Any communication between us is public information and may be posted to the Daily Loco. I look forward to hearing from you.

Very respectfully,
John

To this date, the Daily Loco has not received any type of response from Mr. Serna. Why not? Is it because he was hoping that he could use intimidation to force the Daily Loco to remove the post? Who knows.

Whatever his reasons were, it is apparent that he could not address any untruths in the post.

 

 

 

 

 

UNM Innovate ABQ ignores its Moral Duty to NM and the Environment

Innovate

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the UNM Board of Regents has approved $7.3 million for the new UNM Innovate ABQ project. (http://www.abqjournal.com/324469/news/regents-give-the-goahead.html) Although we applaud UNM in its effort to spark job creation in our wonderful city, we condemn them for ignoring their moral duty and purchasing potentially contaminated property. The Board of Regents owe the people and the environment respect by giving all of that money to responsible land owners. They should not purchase land when the ground and water may be contaminated. They are making it clear that they will reward environmental contamination as long as they can’t be sued for it in the future.

The land that UNM is purchasing is located at Broadway and Central. The land may have contaminated ground and water, but the Board of Regents does not care about that. Their only concern is whether or not UNM can be sued in the future for the contamination. They forced the seller to agree to a “voluntary remediation plan” in which they take responsibility for the contamination. The most convenient part is that the sellers are the state Environmental Department and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Co. We all know how much these 2 entities care about cleaning up the environment.

Way to go UNM, sell out your morals to get a quick site for your project. UNM President Frank applauds you by saying “We appreciate the regents support and that they did all their due diligence. It’s a better project because of all the research and it’s a great day for UNM.” Their due diligence included turning a blind eye to UNM’s responsibility to set an example for our youth to emulate. Did this show our youth that they can ignore their responsibility to society as long as they can’t be punished for it? Is it o.k. for them to buy stolen merchandise as long as they are told that they will not get in trouble for it?

UNM should refuse to purchase the property until the site was cleaned and all contamination was removed. That may be a lengthy and difficult process, but it would have shown UNM’s dedication to improving this state. A public announcement from UNM would have been a bold statement that it is not acceptable to destroy the environment and then promise to fix it later. They could have demanded that it be fixed now.

Unfortunately that is an idealistic view of what UNM could be. The reality is that the almighty dollar speaks louder than morals. Our University could have made a statement to irresponsible corporations, the state, and the world. But they did not and that is the sad truth. They gave $7.3 million to purchase contaminated land and that “is not their problem.”