Proposal to change regent selection stalls in New Mexico

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico state lawmakers won’t move forward with a proposal to overhaul the selection process for regents who oversee the state’s public universities and flagship medical center.

The proposed constitutional amendment failed to advance Monday on a 5-4 committee vote, with little time left to revive debate before lawmaker adjourn on Feb. 15.

The initiative from Democratic Sen. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces and Republican Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque sought to broaden initial searches for qualified and energetic candidates to oversee the state’s major public universities.

It would have created bipartisan nomination committees to provide a list of qualified candidates for the governor to choose from when nominating regents.

New Mexico’s public university system has been wrestling with declining overall enrollment and the erosion of in-state student scholarships.

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