Throughout 2018 the University of New Mexico has seen the retirement, transfer and resignation of staff from many different positions.
A recent resignee includes Elizabeth Washburn, Chief of Staff in the Office of the President at the University of New Mexico and as Chief Compliance Officer.
Washburn said she is leaving the University to be with her husband, Kevin, as he begins his tenure as Dean of College Law at the University of Iowa, adding that her departure “has nothing to do with athletics.”
Her last day at the University is Aug. 31.
Washburn was appointed by former UNM President Robert Frank to be the Chief Compliance Officer in 2016 and became the Chief of Staff in 2017 under former President Chaouki Abdallah — she held both positions during her tenure at UNM.
“(Presidents Abdallah and Garnett Stokes) were both wonderful to work with. They have great strengths in different areas. It was an honor to serve as the Chief of Staff to both of them,” Washburn said in a statement to the Daily Lobo.
Washburn said one of her UNM career highlights was her work between the University and the Department of Justice by making progress against sexual assault and misconduct response, and providing “in-depth Title IX training across campus.”
“I am also pleased with the training that has been provided on the campus in the last two years,” she said. “We have trained people to conduct internal investigations and handle whistleblower complaints.”
Stokes announced three interim appointments to fill Washburn’s place beginning Sept. 1, according to a report from the UNM Newsroom.
Francie Cordova, the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, will serve as Chief Compliance Officer while the Chief of Staff position will be held by two people — Cinnamon Blair and Terry Babbitt.
Blair, the chief marketing and communications officer, said she will serve as interim Deputy Chief of Staff and play an external role in the cabinet such as strategic communication.
Blair said Babbitt, the vice president for enrollment and analytics, will serve as interim Chief of Staff and hold an internal role managing the Office of the President and serving as a bridge between multiple University offices.
“The President was looking for some people who had the skill sets and the bandwidth to fill in while she determined what she would need for a permanent structure. She’s got some pretty big positions to fill in the upcoming months,” Blair said, mentioning the search for a new provost.
While the Chief of Staff position will be shared, Blair said she doesn’t know of any plans to consolidate the position into one person.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to support the President and the Office of the President to the best of my abilities to make it a successful transition,” Blair said.
Cordova, Babbitt and Blair will retain their original positions after Sept. 1 along with starting their new ones.
In her President’s Weekly Perspective on Aug. 6, Stokes thanked Washburn for her service at the University. “I am thankful for everything she has put into place for the future success of my administration,” she said.
Anthony Jackson is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TonyAnjackson.