Although he’s head of one of the largest tax eating institutions in New Mexico, I’ve always had respect for interim president Chaouki Abdallah. That respect only grew after reading the lengthy profile in the Albuquerque Journal over the weekend.
For starters, Abdallah didn’t back down when various leftists attempted to shut down a talk by Milo Yiannopoulos. But this interview displayed an honesty about both New Mexico and higher education in general that is rare among people of his position. Specifically, he said, “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. We do need a plan.” (RGF has made this point repeatedly)
This is anathema to those on the left for whom no amount of spending is adequate. We just saw in the recently-completed special session that legislative Democrats have no desire to cut spending in any systemic way. Even the head of the State’s flagship University “gets it.”
Even more enlightening is his statement “UNM has these spires of excellence, best in the world or top five, but like everything else around this state, the average is bad because you have to make sure everyone is taken care of.”
In other words, resources “paying off” various constituencies and/or distributing resources in ways that are ineffective and unnecessary for mere political reasons that ultimately degrade the quality of the product as a whole.
Abdallah clearly understands the way things work in New Mexico. Since he doesn’t want to stay on as UNM President, perhaps he has a future in politics?