UNM Just Doesn’t Get It

Before the legislative session, we at the Rio Grande Foundation recommended that spending on higher education be cut. The University of New Mexico has experienced some cuts (totaling approximately 12 percent) since the recession began, but that doesn’t mean they have a “lean and mean” operation by any stretch of the imagination.

For starters, there is the lobbying. While we have not previously commented on this specific issue, it seems rather unfair that taxpayers are paying the salaries of these officials who (at taxpayer expense) ply elected officials with drinks, and ultimately are lobbying for more of our taxpayer money. Where are the taxpayer-funded lobbyists for LESS government spending???

Oh, and, in what might be the worst idea since Michael Weiner advocated buying the County Line Restaurant and turning it into a community center, today the Albuquerque Journal reports that the University wants to spend $3 million on a new baseball stadium because Isotopes Park is “inadequate.” Complaints include “too many empty seats” and that the park “doesn’t feel like our home.”

Wow. Is this a university or a sports franchise? Certainly, there are efficiencies to be had throughout the UNM budget (including academics), but asking for a $3 million stadium when you have a perfectly fine (even professional grade) facility right next door takes some real gall. If UNM’s regents have any brains at all, they’ll turn this ridiculous proposal down.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 Replies to “UNM Just Doesn’t Get It”

  1. This is unfortunately indicative of UNM’s lack of focus on giving students a quality education. On top of the very expensive PIT renovation, which created new problems of sunset-glare, poor handicap parking, smaller seats, and bad acoustics, this $3,000,000 duplication of facilities is absurd. Put money into athletics, and the students will come—is that a new motto?

  2. I seldom, if ever disagree with your stand on virtually everything, but I happen to believe UNM is long overdue to have a decent baseball facility! The current facility doesn’t even have running water, no locker rooms and the field is in bad shape. UNM also pays about $50,000 a year to play at the Isotopes Park where they are not even allowed to store needed equipment. Poor facilities for any athletic team make recruiting more difficult. And, my understanding is that about two million was already appropriated for this by the State!
    UNM should take a long look at their huge payroll and make some cuts there, not in the area of decent facilities.

    1. I don’t know Dan. I agree with you that they have a lot of bloat at the University, but I think it is tough to argue that a university that is supposed to be first and foremost an institute of higher learning, would be focusing so heavily on sports facilities while making cuts elsewhere. I appreciate the thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.