ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For the first time in the 129-year history of the University of New Mexico, a female president is preparing to take the helm.
Named to the top spot in November, Dr. Garnett Stokes is scheduled to be introduced to campus Monday.
Stokes, 61, accepted a five-year contract with a salary of $400,000 and comes to UNM from the University of Missouri, where she was provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.
“I am honored to be selected as the University of New Mexico’s new president,” Stokes said. “I am enthusiastic about what we can accomplish together to benefit UNM’s faculty, staff, students and alumni.”
She takes over as the University of New Mexico and other New Mexico colleges grapple with funding shortages and enrollments that have generally trended downward. In addition, the university has faced criticism for its professor salaries and not doing enough to help some struggling programs like the journalism program.
The University of New Mexico also faces accusations of financial mismanagement in its athletics department. UNM football coach Bob Davie is also serving a 30-day suspension following multiple investigations that examined whether he and coaching staff interfered with criminal probes or misconduct cases involving players.
According to some reports, witnesses said Davie used racial slurs directed at Black players — a charge he has denied.
Before being hired at Missouri, Stokes served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Florida State University. In 2014, she served as that university’s interim president and created a task force to address sexual and domestic violence. She also led the school’s diversity and inclusion committee on recruitment and retention while she was provost.