UNM Regents Jack Fortner and Bradley Hosmer will remain on the board past their allotted terms after the New Mexico Senate did not complete the confirmation hearings necessary for their replacements during the recently-adjourned legislative session.
The nominated replacements — former state Sen. John Ryan and Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce CEO Alex Romero — were selected by Gov. Susana Martinez and sent on for approval by the Senate Rules Committee.
However, the session ended before these hearings could be held.
Martinez commented on the situation, saying that the Senate "actively defied the Constitution” in failing to carry out the necessary confirmations during the regularly scheduled session.
Hosmer did not comment on Martinez's claims about the Senate.
"I know the Senate has issues to deal with. It doesn't surprise me that they haven't gotten around to what are relatively minor matters for the state, like confirming the regents," he said. "I have no idea what they have in mind and it would be inappropriate for me to speculate.”
Fortner said he understands that the Senate has their own timetable and responsibilities outside the concerned appointments.
The two regents said they chose to remain on the board in the absence of these confirmations rather than taking the option to resign.
This will be Fortner's 18th consecutive year on the board, the longest tenure for any regent in UNM history.
"At a crucial time for the University, with declining revenue and a new president, I'm assuming the thoughts are that we have some continuity, at least for the near future. So under the circumstances, I am happy to keep serving," Fortner said.
Hosmer acknowledged that this is a time when important decisions are being made for the University, including the selection of the next president and budget deliberations.
“So I thought I would go ahead and continue to serve,” Hosmer said. “I enjoy it.”
The Board of Regents is currently in the process of selecting the University's new president, which both remaining regents said they are looking forward to participating in.
Gabriela Garcia-Huff is a news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @thegreen_gablin.