Editor,

Staff at UNM were recently dismayed at comments made by Regent Tom Clifford and his assertion that UNM “[doesn’t] have a good product.” This claim is false. The University experience isn't a widget you either sell or don't sell or that works or doesn't work. Learning in higher education is challenging and success levels are complex. Degrees are not the only ‘product’ that UNM offers. Great teaching, mentoring, research and programming take place here to engage our students before, during and after they earn any degree.

Staff (alongside faculty and students) participate in meaningful endeavors across our campuses, many are world-class and one-of-a-kind. We have thousands of years of experience that we use to keep our university running and its priorities in line — including helping students to achieve their educational goals and our faculty with fulfilling their research and instructional roles.

Staff work tirelessly to make UNM the best university in the state — and they do. We contribute to many great UNM ‘products’ through a range of activities. Health Sciences staff work to serve patients and save lives. Facilities staff have won many awards for their energy saving building maintenance and make our campus a beautiful place to live and work. Still more staff work to support students directly through experiential programming and career development. Staff even teach courses and do ground-breaking research and share these ventures with the community. Regardless of the work any one individual is doing on campus, you can be sure it is valuable and serves to make UNM a great place to live, learn, and grow.

The University of New Mexico can, and should, always strive to be better. We welcome and encourage efforts by President Stokes to ensure that the University is on the right track. If anything, we have all the right components but lack the full support of certain regents to accomplish these goals. We welcome the fresh perspective that new leadership has and will continue to bring.

UNM Staff Council