Back to the Presidential Search at UNM. Just before it started, back in December 2002 the Board of Regents unanimously voted to require the next president of the university to have a security clearance. The requirement said the next president “will be subject to a government security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.”
This raised objections from faculty leaders. Beverly Burris, president of the UNM Faculty Senate, asked not to list the requirement as it would restrict the number of applicants. Regent Richard Toliver, a former military officer himself, said that “in an unprecedented period of uncertainties,” universities would become involved in national security issues, and the requirement for the new president would warrant it. UNM said it required president to have top-secret clearance before, they just never listed it in the job description. Three other top UNM officials are also required to have security clearance.
This is likely for the vast amount of military research conducted on campus, and its relations to Kirtland and its research labs, to Sandia Labs, and to the research park. With the post-9/11 climate more military research on campus was likely. This seemed like a key reason to bring Caldera, a former Army Secretary, to be the new campus CEO.
Uyttebrouck, Olivier. “Regents Require Security Check: UNM President Description OK’d.” Albuquerque Journal. December 3, 2002. Pg. D2.
As reported in the Journal in 2003, Caldera supported military research at UNM. He justified it by saying that this defense-funded research “has benefits beyond purely military uses.” He said much of this research was seeking “ways to prevent wars” and cited a collaboration between UNM and Sandia National Labs to develop sensors that detect biohazardous materials. This was spoken at a forum on the “Future of UNM” where many speakers spoke out against military research. Trey Smith of Campus Greens said UNM should at least be more open about their military research. Regent Sandra Begay-Campbell, who was connected to Sandia Labs, said it gives UNM a voice in shaping defense policy of the United States. But it is never stated how, and is doubtful, being that those shaping defense policy are in Washington, and as they pay for the research the researchers will sing their tune to continue getting that money.
That year UNM’s federal grants and contracts totaled $148 million, and didn’t say how much was military-related. But we have done much research on it already based on a limited number of public data, so we can imagine that it is a big chunk of that.
Uyttebrouck, Olivier. “Caldera Justifies Defense Research.” Albuquerque Journal. November 1, 2003. Pg. E2.