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College Board makes changes

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By Carol A. Clark

The face of UNM-LA’s five-person Advisory Board changed Monday night as Marie T. Chiravalle became chair, Linda Daly stepped down and Micheline Devaurs was sworn in.

Daly served two consecutive four-year terms. She did not seek reelection in February’s at-large election.

“I’d like to spend more time with my family,” she said earlier. “I feel it’s a good time to step aside and let another community member, a UNM-LA supporter, join the advisory board.”

Devaurs appears to be that person. “I have always had a passion for education and the arts as well as a desire to give back to the community I call home.” Devaurs said about deciding to run for the seat. “I have previously volunteered on the boards for the United Way and The Art Center at Fuller Lodge, and am currently serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission.”

It was during a presentation to Devaurs’ Leadership Los Alamos class by UNM-LA Executive Director Cedric Page that her passion and concern about education was re-ignited, she said.

“I inquired about strategic efforts of UNM-LA and believe we have a potential “diamond in the rough” in terms of educational opportunities right here in Los Alamos,” Devaurs said in deciding to run for the board. “I’d like to be a part of the future growth of the curriculum and focus in science, technology, engineering and math programs by active involvement in the UNM-LA Advisory Board.”

The board elected Devaurs Monday evening as its secretary in a 5-0 vote. Although UNM-LA faces financial challenges in the years ahead, Daly said the leadership under Page and the current board is the strongest it’s ever been and because of that, she felt it was a good time to step down.

UNM-LA Advisory board members are elected to alternating four-year terms.

That allows for continuity as either two or three seats are serving their third year when the other two or three seats are up for election.

Voters re-elected Nelson Hoffman and Ron Dolin last month. Municipal Judge Alan Kirk swore them and Devaurs into office at the start of Monday's meeting in the student center.

Hoffman begins his third consecutive term. “As a citizen of Los Alamos, I’m proud to be associated with UNM-LA, and consider it a small piece of my particular civic responsibility to keep aware of the campus's activities and help out with reviewing and advice on strategies, plans, and decisions of the campus leadership, as a member of the advisory board,” Hoffman said of deciding to run again. “UNM-LA is an important part of what makes Los Alamos a desirable place to live.”

Dolin explained in seeking reelection that the board has been working through many serious and challenging issues.

“I feel at this moment my knowledge and experience is needed,” he said. “I really enjoy working on the UNM-LA Board and being a part of the UNM-LA campus.”

Dolin also chairs the Los Alamos Republican Party.

Chiravalle begins her third year on the board. Her son, Vincent Chiravalle, also is involved in public service. In November, voters elected him to a seat on the Los Alamos County Council.

Michael Wismer begins his third year on the college board. Voters in November also elected Wismer to serve on county council.

He commended Daly for her eight years of service and presented her with a wrapped gift of wine glasses on behalf of the board and college officials.

Advisory Board meetings occur quarterly along with a special budget meeting each April. Except for executive sessions, board meetings are open to the public.

Contact Carol A. Clark at lanews@lamonitor.com or 662-4185 ext. 25. Read her blog at www.newsextras.wordpress.com.