From September 23
UNM President Bob Frank will not seek a second term with the University after his contract expires on May 31, 2017, he announced in a University-wide memo.
He will, however, stay with UNM in a different capacity.
Frank, the 21st president of the University, has been with UNM since 2012.
The UNM Board of Regents will begin a search for Frank’s replacement “no later than early spring 2017,” according to a University release. If administration is unsuccessful in that pursuit by the time Frank’s contract expires, an interim will be appointed.
UNM regents also announced on Friday afternoon that next summer Frank will transition to a position at the UNM Health Sciences Center, where he will hold the position of director of the Center for Innovation in Health and Education.
He will receive a salary of $350,000 in that role, which is about $12,000 less than he currently earns as president, according to UNM’s Salary Book.
“We are pleased that President Frank will be able to apply his unique combination of executive skills in clinical healthcare and innovative applications to advance the mission of the HSC and the University of New Mexico,” the Board of Regents said in a joint statement.
The news comes in the midst of tough financial times for the University. On Thursday, UNM administration held a town hall meeting, at which leaders foreshadowed another year of receiving less money from the state.
There has not been an individual in the position for longer than eight years since Thomas Lafayette Popejoy, who was president from 1948 to 1968. The three presidents before Frank were at the University a combined total of nine years.
Associated Students of UNM President Kyle Biederwolf said in a statement that the undergraduate student governing body looks forward to participating in the search for the next president.
“We appreciate President Frank’s vision and leadership for this University and wish him well in this next chapter of his career,” Biederwolf said. “We will continue to work with President Frank towards the goals he set for the remainder of his term.”
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In his memo, Frank said he would remain dedicated in those goals such as student success, safety and financial responsibility as his time in office comes to a close.
“We will continue moving forward to maintain the progress we have made and to tackle the challenges we face,” he states in the memo. “Change is inevitable, but it will not deter us from our key mission.”