Lawmakers Propose Elections For Some Regents

Jan 30, 2013

Voters would elect some members of governing boards for New Mexico's largest universities under a legislative proposal that opponents say will weaken the governor's influence over higher education.

Two constitutional amendments introduced in the House would overhaul the selection of boards of regents for colleges and universities.

Currently, the governor appoints regents.

Rep. Jeff Steinborn, a Las Cruces Democrat who's sponsoring the measures, said Wednesday many regent appointments are "political plums" for a governor's supporters.

The proposals call for electing three regents at the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University. Two would be appointed by the governor. There also would be one student and one faculty member as regents.

An independent nominating commission would recommend people to the governor for appointment as regents at universities and colleges.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.