The University of New Mexico (along with most of our State’s higher education system) wants to be all things to all people. External pressure is finally forcing some painful change, but are they the right changes and will it help our State or merely shift the proverbial deck chairs?
Let’s look at a few facts:
1) New Mexico already spends a lot on higher education (6th-highest in the nation);
4) The University’s sports programs operate at a deficit and plans to cut four sports have generated outrage and opposition from both candidates for Governor.
Cuts to athletics as were recently made by the Board of Regents are appropriate given the $4.7 million deficit facing the program (and issues with Title 9 compliance, but the exact makeup of the cuts is open to question.
It would seem that branch campuses should be on the cutting block, but absolutely no politicians seem interested in that. Enough money is being spent as former UNM President Chaouki Abdallah once told the Albuquerque Journal, “Our higher ed spending is more than most other states; the trouble is we don’t spend it wisely and (we) spread it across so many entities.”
It is a real mess and the only thing politicians seem to want to do about it is to spend more money.