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Justin Garcia

The Setonian

Loreena Cain discovered passion, friendship at UNM

From the Department of English Language and Literature, to the front page of the Daily Lobo, Loreena Cain covered the University of New Mexico with her stories. Now, Cain is ready to open the next chapter of her story.  Cain graduated from UNM this week with a Bachelor's Degree in English and Philosophy. It took her just three years to complete, even as she bounced from music to archeology and eventually to writing.

The Setonian

UNM prepping for up to $53 million budget cut from the state

State funding for the University of New Mexico could soon plummet some $53 million or 15%, according to UNM’s top finance administrator, raising questions about cuts and reductions across the University in the coming months. Teresa Costantinidis, UNM’s vice president for finance and administration, told the Board of Regents on Tuesday that UNM is prepping budget scenarios for the likely loss of a significant chunk of state funding due to a historic crash in oil prices and a reeling COVID-19 economy.

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COVID cost UNM nearly $50 million in lost revenue

The novel coronavirus hit the University of New Mexico’s budget hard. Teresa Costantinidis, UNM vice president for finance and administration, told a Board of Regents Committee that COVID-19 has cost UNM $49.8 million in lost revenue.  Administrators didn’t say what actions they might take to stem off repercussions of the revenue lost beyond lobbying the federal government for more relief. However, Provost James Holloway told the Daily Lobo that UNM is under a hiring freeze with an undetermined end date.  “We do expect (for fiscal year 2020) additional allocations of approximately $10 million in total,” Costantinidis said. 


Bucking popular vote, committee moves forward with new seal

The popular vote wanted design A.  Supporters said in write-in comments that they preferred the artwork, that it provided a sense of pride and that it told a story better than other options.  The Regents disagreed.  Despite not receiving popular support, design C was chosen unanimously by the Academic, Student Affairs and Research Committee (ASAR) over four other designs. The seal is not the logo. Instead, the seal is reserved for official documents, including diplomas. 

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Kiana Caalim and Nahje Flowers considered for posthumous degrees

Posthumous degrees for Nahje Flowers and Kiana Caalim unanimously approved the Academic, Student Affairs and Research Committee Thursday, signaling approvals at an upcoming Regent’s meeting.  Flowers died November 5, 2019. Caalim died on December 11, 2019.  “The University of New Mexico recognizes that earning a degree is a matter of legitimate pride of achievement not only for students themselves but also for the family members and friends who provide students with vitally important support,” read Caalim and Flowers’ posthumous degree request form. 

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New Mexico sees anti-quarantine protest as deaths, cases continue to climb

SANTA FE — Circling the mostly empty state capitol building, about 16 cars blared their horns in a parade-style protest Monday afternoon. Many had adorned their vehicles with American flags and slogans like “F the Governor” and “Reopen New Mexico.” “High NOON drive around the Capitol — honk horns, paint cars or bring signs. SHOW UP. Do not park and walk — stay in your vehicles!” the event post on Facebook read.   The protesters called on Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to “reopen” New Mexico after the state closed all non-essential business until at least April 30 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  While much more subdued, the Santa Fe protest coincides with protests across the country to reopen the United States’ shuttered economy, despite warnings about the lethal consequences of doing so.  The orders are meant to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus and are overwhelmingly endorsed by public health officials, doctors and researchers.  Still, fear of the virus that has killed 40,724 American’s as of April 18 — including 58 New Mexicans — was not enough to keep Monday’s protesters away. 

Courtesy of UNM Hospital

Meeting to fast-track med students graduation canceled

A Board of Regents meeting that would have graduated medical students early was canceled Monday after a residency accreditation body issued new guidance on the matter.  The cancellation comes as some medical schools across the United States, but largely in the pandemic’s American epicenter of New York City, are graduating students ahead of schedule to bolster hospital ranks to handle surges of COVID-19 cases.  Health Sciences Center Public Information Officer Alex Sanchez said that some medical students at the University of New Mexico had expressed interest in early graduation as a means to assist the fight against the coronavirus last week. 

Courtesy of UNM Hospital

UNMH begins clinical trials for COVID-19 treatments

The University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) started one clinical trial and is preparing another to examine potential treatments for COVID-19, as deaths and cases swell across the world. A trial for hydroxychloroquine, a drug typically used to treat malaria and lupus, started last week, while an upcoming trial for remdesivir, an antiviral developed during the 2015 Ebola epidemic, is in the works.  Both trials are small parts of an unprecedented global research effort to find treatments and a vaccine.


Stokes to host town hall, address COVID-19 response

University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes will host a virtual town hall and Q&A Friday at 12 p.m. According to a press release, the town hall is meant to address UNM's response to the local outbreak of COVID-19. As of March 25, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said there are at least 112 cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico, including 48 in Bernalillo County. As a result, Lujan Grisham issued an emergency declaration and closed dozens of nonessential businesses to limit person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus.

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