Governor Martinez Appointees’ Reckless Move on UNM Health Sciences Oversight Costing Jobs

Albuquerque, N.M. – Today the Democratic Party of New Mexico responded to news that 21 UNM employees are facing possible elimination, after Governor Martinez’s appointees hastily took over the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center oversight board.

“Governor Martinez and her appointees’ irresponsible move to take over the UNM Health Sciences Center lacked transparency, took the community out of the equation, and now it’s putting jobs at risk,” said Debra Haaland Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

The New Mexico Political Report revealed that 21 UNM employees were put on notice for elimination due to “UNM and HSC Consolidation/Alignment”, which was largely a political move. What’s more troubling is that the UNM Regents, who are appointed by Governor Martinez, lied to the public when they said the takeover would not have an effect on students or employmees.

The move to change oversight of the UNM Health Sciences Center has been linked to  Governor Martinez’s interest in the funds that the center had to build a new hospital, which would compete with a campaign contributor. Now that oversight has been completely taken over, the regents have the ability to restructure the UNM Health Sciences Center funding, and ultimately block the construction of the new hospital, limiting the center’s ability to provide up-to-date, quality health services to the community.

UNM faculty expressed their concerns a letter released shortly after the takeover, “The process by which the decision to modify the HSC governance was reached tarnishes the reputation of the University of New Mexico, undermines the standards of shared governance that help attract outstanding faculty to top research universities, and has the potential to reduce trust in the community.”