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Senate confirms Dasenbrock for higher education secretary

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By The Staff

The New Mexico State Senate recently confirmed the appointment of Reed Dasenbrock as New Mexico Cabinet Secretary of Higher Education in a 40-0 vote.Gov. Bill Richardson nominated Dasenbrock May 25. Dasenbrock was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez, District 29. The unanimous appointment came on Feb. 9.“With 26 years of experience in New Mexico higher education and a talent for identifying and addressing issues of vital importance to our state, Reed Dasenbrock will provide excellent leadership as New Mexico’s secretary of higher education,” Richardson said. “He is an advocate and a champion for all New Mexico students. I am confident that he will further the agenda for connecting more students to higher education and higher education to our state’s high-wage economy.”In a news release Sanchez stated, “Reed Dasenbrock is someone whose collaborative approach and global perspective will benefit our students. He is going to make a tremendous secretary of higher education.”Sen. Cynthia Nava, District 31, commended Richardson on the appointment in a release. “I know Secretary Dasenbrock to be a great leader,” she said.  Dasenbrock responded in the release by saying, “I appreciate this opportunity to serve New Mexico. I believe in the abilities of our students, I am proud of the quality of our colleges and universities, and I look forward to working with our institutional leadership, governing boards, and business leaders to ensure that higher education in New Mexico does all it can to benefit our students and our state.” Since his nomination, Dasenbrock has identified New Mexico’s need to improve educational attainment in order to participate in national and global economies. He has, according to the release, developed a common agenda for higher education, creating pathways for students to begin to address the need for more graduates at every educational level. Dasenbrock has expanded the conversation with New Mexico’s 24 public colleges and universities to renew a focus on graduating more students at every level with the degrees they want to pursue. He has convened leadership of the state’s colleges and universities to develop shared priorities and initiatives and continued the ongoing work of task forces and committees to address critical statewide issues in higher education.Dasenbrock has more than 26 years of experience in higher education in New Mexico. Most recently, he served as provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of New Mexico, where previously he was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.While at UNM, he helped boost undergraduate enrollment as well as retention and graduation rates, increased the number of Native American faculty, and made sure that the majority of faculty members hired were women or minority, according to the release. He also helped retain more university faculty and developed a 10-point agenda for “Excellence in Undergraduate Education.”Prior to his tenure at UNM, Dasenbrock held positions at New Mexico State University, where he served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, head of the English department, and as professor. He earned a Ph.D. and a Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelor of Philosophy from Oxford University in England, and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in Canada.Dasenbrock assumed the role as cabinet secretary designee in June, following former Higher Education Secretary Beverlee J. McClure, who became president and chief operating officer of the Association of Commerce and Industry.In 2005, Richardson worked with the Legislature to create the cabinet-level New Mexico Higher Education Department, which replaced the former Commission on Higher Education.For information on Dasenbrock’s agenda for higher education and on the New Mexico Higher Education Department, access www.hed.state.nm.us.