The president of the University of New Mexico won’t be back after the current school year ends in May of 2017.
UNM announced that Robert Frank won’t seek a second term as president of the university in a press release sent Friday afternoon, announcing his final day would be May 31, 2017, when his current contract ends.
“For personal and institutional reasons, I decided that it was best to let the Regents know of my intentions. By announcing my decision now, we can gear up to move vigorously ahead to finish what we’ve started,” Frank said in a statement. “It will allow for a thoughtful, well-planned transition that will keep UNM making steady progress. I am pleased with what we have accomplished during my presidency, and it will be with great pride that I hand over the reins to the next president, who can build upon our successes.”
The move comes at a time of some turmoil for the university, thanks in large part to a dire state budget situation.
Earlier this week, Frank announced a hiring freeze because of possible budget cuts. The hiring freeze will last for at least six months.
While the moratorium does not impact the Health Sciences Center, the main university’s takeover of the HSC, which runs UNM Hospital, was another controversial high-profile event this year.
UNM Board of Regents President Rob Doughty praised Frank.
“The UNM Board of Regents is grateful to President Frank for the work he has done to move the University forward over the past four years,” Doughty said. “President Frank has outlined his agenda for the remainder of his term, and has the Board’s full support to accomplish these initiatives. We feel confident that our mutual desire to continue UNM’s success will ensure that we work together and move forward as one university.”
Doughty said the regents will begin looking for the university’s next president “no later than early spring of 2017.”
If that search doesn’t come up with a suitable replacement by the end of May 2017, the regents would appoint “an internal interim president” according to Doughty.