Interim UNM chief of staff to take post permanently

February 9, 2019 GMT

Copyright ? 2019 Albuquerque Journal

University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes this week took away the “interim” tag and appointed Terry Babbitt as her permanent chief of staff.

Terry Babbitt

Babbitt had served in an interim capacity since September. He takes the place of Elizabeth “Libby” Rodke Washburn, who had served in the post since January 2017 before stepping down last August.

Stokes called Babbitt a highly effective and insightful leader and said he is well-respected across campus and in the greater community.

“I have enjoyed working with Terry,” Stokes said. “He’s demonstrated his depth of knowledge about this campus. He’s formed really good relationships with people. I’ve come to realize that he is someone that I can easily work with. That mattered a great deal in deciding who my chief of staff would be.”

Babbitt has more than 20 years of experience in public higher education. Before this appointment, he served as vice provost for enrollment management and analytics.

In the chief of staff role, Babbitt will focus on management of the Office of the President and collaborate with the following offices: Finance and Budget, Human Resources, Internal Audit, Academic Affairs, Athletics, Health Science Center, Compliance and the Office of University Counsel.

The job provides an opportunity to participate in defining the overall strategic direction of the university, Babbitt told the Journal.

“I think that my expertise in the enrollment management area will be helpful to the university and the president,” Babbitt said. “I do think that it’s the right direction for us to get new energy, new strategies and evaluate from a fresh perspective. That’s the conclusion that I came to in looking at all this.”

The transition leaves a vacancy in the Division of Enrollment Management. Brian Malone, director of the university’s student financial aid office, has been selected to be acting administrator.

Stokes said the university will launch a national search in the coming weeks and will engage a search firm. Representatives from the campus community will be invited to participate in the search, she said.