No Confidence

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I read in the Journal that ASUNM and GPSA Presidents Ashley Fate and Christopher Ramirez are requesting a truce between the UNM administration and the UNM faculty. As a UNM student, I’m appalled that these two are supposed to be representing us.

This UNM administration has taken money from academic and research departments and used it for its own purposes; it has mercilessly increased tuition, increased fees and creatively created new fees to wring UNM students dry; it has reduced the number of tenure-tract professors to an all-time low, increasing student-to-teacher ratios and reducing the quality of our education; it has more than doubled the number of upper-level management (VPs); it has nearly doubled the salaries of those same upper-level managers while all UNM departments are having to leave open positions unfilled; it has talked the talk of diversity while proposing budget cuts to ethnic centers necessary to achieve those diversity goals; and it tried to hire President Schmidly’s son for a $90,000 position for which he was unqualified.

Am I missing something?

I can assure you that most UNM students aren’t either. Everyone I’ve spoken with, inside and outside the institution (including legislators), cannot believe the self-serving tone deafness of this administration.

Daily Lobo reported that the emergency ASUNM meeting wherein President Fate unbelievably asked for a vote of confidence in the administration was overrun with undergraduates who disagreed with Fate’s take. If Fate thought she had the votes, she thought wrong because the vote of confidence was indefinitely tabled thanks to mass student pressure on ASUNM senators.

I recently attended an UNM GPSA Council meeting where Ramirez asked graduate and professional students to be understanding, not be adversarial and keep their concerns about the administration quiet lest the Legislature take away our funding. Does Ramirez think our esteemed legislators are unconnected and stupid? They already know what’s going on. Despite the fact that the GPSA Council is about to pass a resolution supporting the faculty position of no confidence, the words Ramirez spoke sounded exactly like the UNM party line.

The UNM Board of Regents and the UNM administration have total, unchecked control of not only hundreds of millions of public dollars but also of the educational future of our state—and yet they are evidently accountable to no one. At least the UNM faculty and staff are raising a red flag in an attempt to warn the governor and the Legislature that something is seriously wrong.

If Ramirez and Fate really want to represent the best interests of UNM students, perhaps they should join hands with faculty and staff (and the student body) in their vote of no confidence for this UNM administration.

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