New Mexico considers new nominating system for regents

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico would change the selection process for regents who oversee the state’s public universities and flagship medical center under a newly proposed constitutional amendment.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Steinborn and Republican Sen. Mark Moores said Tuesday that they hope to ensure a broader initial search for qualified candidates to oversee the state’s major public universities by creating a bipartisan nomination committee. The committee would provide a list of candidates for the governor to choose from when nominating university regents.

The senators say the new system would diffuse frequent stalemates as the Legislature considers political appointments by the governor to regent boards.

New Mexico’s public university system is wrestling with declining enrollment and steep cuts in state funding.

If approved by lawmakers, voters would decide on the amendment in November 2018.