The University of New Mexico Board of Regents met on Tuesday morning to discuss veterans programs, global and national security degrees, medicare and more.

President Garnett Stokes spoke about her statewide “listening and learning tour,” which wraps up this week. She said she has traveled over 4,287 miles and met over 1,100 people across the state of New Mexico. Stokes is now working to create initiatives based on the information gathered and issues discovered on her tour.

Some of these initiatives include growing the teaching and healthcare workforces, coordinating with businesses to create more internship opportunities for students, and increasing alumni engagement and community outreach.



Stokes also talked about one of the University’s newest programs she is implementing, the Veterans’ Preference Hiring Program. This is part of the president’s goal to make UNM a more friendly university for veterans.

“This program is designed to increase the number of military veterans who are considered for employment in staff positions at UNM,” Stokes said.

Veterans applying for staff jobs still have to meet all the requirements, but the new program is to help them get an initial interview. The Veterans’ Preference Hiring Program will be tested out this academic year.

Director of UNM’s Global and National Security Policy Institute, Emile Nakhleh spoke to the Board of Regents on creating a master’s of science in global and national security degree (MSGNS).

As stated on the Global and National Security Policy Institute’s website, “The master's degree program would be based on a series of interdisciplinary modules that draw on multiple perspectives to address such issues as international systemic risks, impact and management of technological change, and the interface of institutions and cultures.”

Director of Financial Operations for Academic Affairs Nicole Dopson said the graduate degree program will work closely with the national labs, receiving seed funding from them as well as creating internship opportunities for their graduate students.

The motion was passed by the regents, which Nakhleh said is the last of many steps they had to take to get the program approved by the University.

“From here, we take this on to the state council of graduate deans and the board of higher education. But this is the last step at UNM and we are very excited,” Nakhleh said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved the creation of the Dr. Luis Ben Curet Professorship in OB/GYN. Luis Izquierdo was named as the first person to hold the Curet professorship title. Christine Kasper was also recognized and appointed to the position of Virginia P. Crenshaw Endowed Nursing Chair.

The Board of Regents will hold a special meeting on Friday, Aug. 17, to discuss cuts in University athletics, following Attorney General Hector Balderas’ call for another meeting due to what he says are Open Meeting Act violations on the part of the regents.

Catherine Stringam is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @cathey_stringam.