Garnett S. Stokes was selected and approved as the University of New Mexico’s 22nd president in a unanimous Board of Regents vote this week, according to the UNM Newsroom. She is the first female president in the University’s history.

Board President Rob Doughty made the announcement, saying, "We are proud and honored to announce that Garnett Stokes has accepted our offer to become UNM's next president. This is a transformational time at UNM, and Dr. Stokes brings the experience, skills and vision that UNM needs in a president to drive UNM beyond just its potential.”

The decision follows a 10-month search conducted by a 22-person committee chaired by Doughty and aided by a national executive search firm, as well as three weeks of subjecting the finalists to public input, Board of Regents inquiries and administrative meetings, the UNM Newsroom reported.

Stokes will join the UNM family after a variety of high-ranking administrative roles at other institutions, according to the UNM Newsroom. She currently serves as provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Missouri, and briefly served as Interim Chancellor this year. She previously also held administrative positions at Florida State University, as provost, executive vice president for academic affairs and interim president. At previous institutions, she was known at these previous institutions for her dedication to diversity, administrative efficiency and the promotion of civil rights to enhance and protect the student experience.

Stokes will operate under a five-year contract and an annual salary of $400,000, and will assume her role on March 1, 2018, the UNM Newsroom reported.

She will replace Interim President Choauki Abdallah, who remarked in a campus-wide email, “It has truly been an honor to be a part of the University's journey during the last year, and I look forward to welcoming the new president to the campus in March 2018.”

“I am honored to be selected as the University of New Mexico’s new president,” Stokes said. “I am enthusiastic about what we can accomplish together to benefit UNM’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni.”

Gabriella Rivera is a news reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter as @gabbychlamps.