Dr. Kate O’Neill announces she will step down
UNM-Taos Executive Director Dr. Kate O’Neill has announced that she will step down from the position she has held for the past ten years at the end of July, 2016. UNM has named Dr. Martinez (Marty) Hewlett as Interim Director. Drs. O’Neill and Hewlett will begin working immediately to ensure a collaborative transition for the 2016-17 academic year. UNM-Taos and UNM will organize a search process in the coming weeks, working to ensure local participation in the process.
During Dr. O’Neill’s directorship, UNM-Taos has seen consistent fiscal improvement, steadily increasing student enrollment, growth in academic programs and major expansion of UNM-Taos facilities. Dr. O’Neill acknowledged that her departure was bittersweet, noting that she would miss the daily interaction with students and colleagues, but that the time was right to begin the transition:
“I am happy that although I will be resigning my position, the institution as a whole is in fine financial shape and major construction projects are almost completed. In turning over the reins to Dr. Hewlett as Interim Director, I have every confidence that UNM-Taos will continue to grow and serve the needs of the citizens of Northern New Mexico who are so dear to me. After I take a year to address some family issues and brush up on my fly fishing, I plan to return to teaching, my first love, as a member of the UNM-Taos faculty. I thank everyone for this challenging and rewarding decade.”
Taos School Board and UNM-Taos Advisory Board President Jim Sanborn offered the following statement: “Taos has been so well served by Dr. O’Neill’s leadership of UNM-Taos. We wish her all the best as she embraces what comes next, and look forward to working with her in the future. Her knowledge, experience, and most of all effectiveness working with UNM, New Mexico Higher Education, the New Mexico Legislature and other colleges will be very, very difficult to replace.”