One of Michelle Lujan Grisham’s first duties as the governor of New Mexico will be to appoint five nominees to the University of New Mexico Board of Regents, to then be approved by the State Senate. This includes the Student Regent, a current UNM student who will serve on the Board as a student representative.
The process for selecting a new Student Regent differs from the process of selecting of any other person for the Board, with both the Associated Students of UNM and the Graduate and Professional Student Association producing nominees for the position. UNM President Garnett Stokes then interviews the candidates and sends the list to the Governor’s Office. Lujan Grisham will then pick one student as her official nominee, which acquires approval by the Senate.
The Daily Lobo, upon request, obtained lists of nominees from both ASUNM and GPSA, who both had three each.
The ASUNM nominees are:
- Mason Martinez (former chief of staff for Noah Brooks)
- Selina Montoya (current ASUNM senator)
- Adrian Schmitt (fromer programs coordinator for ASUNM Governmental Affairs)
All three nominees have previously worked for ASUNM in some capacity. In a statement to the Daily Lobo, ASUNM Director of Communications Brendon Gray said 11 candidates took part in an interview with the selection committee, which began in October 2018. He said half of the candidates interviewed had prior experience in student government at UNM.
The selection committee consisted of the ASUNM president, vice president, the joint council representative, the attorney general and the chief of staff, according to the Office of the President.
“I am confident the selection committee chose those candidates who carried the best qualifications to represent student interests on the Board of Regents,” Gray wrote.
The GPSA nominees are:
- Melissa Henry (former GPSA chief of staff)
- Tracy Mallette
- Ivet Rosev (former GPSA chief of staff)
The Daily Lobo could not get confirmation of the makeup of the GPSA committee, but Gray said that it was of a similar makeup to ASUNM’s committee.
Cinnamon Blair, one of President Stokes’ chiefs of staff, confirmed that Stokes interviewed the candidates and sent the list unchanged to Lujan Grisham.
Student Regents serve two-year terms, while other regents serve six years. Five of the seven BOR positions became vacant at the end of 2018. Only BOR President Robert Doughty and Vice President Marron Lee remain.
The previous Student Regent, Garrett Adcock, recently completed his term last semester. Adcock, a former UNM football player, made headlines over the summer when he made a last-minute speech that prevented the diving component to Women’s Swimming & Diving from being cut from the Athletics Department.
It is not clear when Lujan Grisham will put all of her nominees for the Board before the Senate for approval.
Kyle Land is the editor in chief of the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kyleoftheland.