Richard Wood has been a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico since 2002. However, in the past couple of years that he has served in his biggest role yet — Interim Provost & Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs. 

During nearly one year in the position, Wood has faced a host of issues at UNM, including budget cuts, decreasing enrollment and struggling to retain faculty. He recently sat down with the Daily Lobo , just before his replacement, James Holloway, fills his position in July. 

“Jackson Weller was one of the classiest kids I’ve ever coached,” Lobo Baseball Head Coach Ray Birmingham said as he held back tears. “This was the first time in 42 years I’ve lost one of the players on my watch.”

Birmingham, Athletics Director Eddie Nuñez and outfielder Brayden Merritt spoke with members of the media about Weller, who was shot and killed outside of a Nob Hill nightclub early Saturday morning. 

During the press conference, Birmingham and Merritt reflected on how Weller came to play for the Lobos and what he meant to the team, despite never throwing a pitch in a series game. 

Last week there were three unrelated demonstrations at the University of New Mexico — each one larger than the last. 

On Tuesday, the UNM faculty marched to Scholes Hall chanting and using an airhorn. The march followed a meeting discussing the agreement between United Academics of UNM (UA-UNM) and the University to allow a  vote on the existence of a faculty union. UNM President Garnett Stokes has promised to honor the outcome of the vote. The group of about 30 faculty dispersed after an hour. 

On Wednesday, graduate workers walked out in order to advocate for “living wages.” That protest swelled to around 200 people and lasted over two hours.

On Friday, hundreds of Albuquerque students walked out of class to bring attention to human-caused climate change. This in conjunction with the worldwide movement, School Strike for Climate. 

Few students will ever have the ability to impact the University of New Mexico like Becka Myers has. 

Myers has served as a coordinator, a senator, a chairwomen and, most recently, as the president of the Associated Students of UNM, undergraduate student government. While many students disregard ASUNM, which has been expressed multiple times by senators during meetings, all students are affected by their decisions. When administrators need student input on a decision, like raising tuition, they go to ASUNM. If they can, they go to Myers. 

Myers was born in Texas but sees Anchorage, Alaska as one of her homes. She went to South Anchorage High School, one of eight high schools in a city with a population of less than 300,000. 

“We got super excited when the Target opened,” Myers said. “We couldn’t get into Olive Garden for months.” 

Alaska was the 

UNM baseball player shot and killed

Jackson Weller, 23 years old and a University of New Mexico Baseball Player, is dead after a shooting outside Imbibe Nightclub in Nob Hill early Saturday morning.   

Weller was a transfer from Gateway Community College in Arizona. He had not yet appeared for the Lobos after joining the program in the fall of 2018 and was sitting out this season due to injury. He had plans to rejoin the program next fall, according to an Albuquerque Journal story. 

ABQ students walk out for climate action, participate in global movement

The youth have spoken on climate change, and their message is clear: inaction will no longer be tolerated.

Over 200 students from the Albuquerque area walked out of class on Friday afternoon and converged on Johnson Field in protest of governmental failures to address climate change. The student-led demonstration, in lockstep with a growing worldwide movement known as the School Strike for Climate, demanded elected officials and businesses face the reality of human-caused climate change and take steps to mitigate it.

It was organized by Fight For Our Lives, a student-activist group formed in response to the Stoneman Douglas high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., in February of last year. The protest ended in a march from Johnson Field to the intersection of Central and Carlisle, where the junction was blocked for the better part of an hour.

Graduates protest for higher wages

“Who are we? Graduate Workers! What do we want? A living wage!”

That was one of several chants shouted by around 200 (mostly) graduate workers during a march and protest for higher wages on Wednesday. 

UNM, Union reach agreement (updated)

The University of New Mexico and United Academics of UNM (UA-UNM), the proposed faculty union for the state’s flagship university, reached an agreement late Monday night, according to multiple sources close to the matter. 

The compromise reached between the University and the union includes two bargaining units organized under UA-UNM. One bargaining team will represent full-time faculty and a separate unit will represent part-time faculty, according to Associate Professor Matías Fontenla, a member of the union’s organizing committee. He also said faculty from branch campuses will be included in the full-time bargaining team — which was a sticking point in negotiations.

Both Fontenla and James Montalbano, an attorney representing the union, said the exact language of the agreement would be publicized Tuesday morning, sometime before a meeting of the general faculty at Popejoy Hall at 10 a.m. 

UNM to hold hearing on faculty union Monday

The next chapter of the University of New Mexico faculty’s effort to form a union will take place on Monday, April 29. 

The UNM Labor Management Relations Board (LMRB) will hold a hearing on Monday. The three-person board which handles all UNM labor disputes are weighing the certification or rejection the faculty’s petition to unionize. The petition was signed by over 900 part-time and full-time faculty members. There is no guarantee the board will make a final decision on Monday. 

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Marriott Pyramid North Hotel. UNM spokesperson Cinnamon Blair said the hotel was selected because it is a neutral location.

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