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Hay up for New Mexico presidency

UI vice president one of 5 finalists

Brian Morelli

Iowa City Press-Citizen

January 26, 2007

[Note: This material is copyright by the Press-Citizen, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of the Iowa City Press-Citizen.]

University of Iowa Vice President for Research Meredith Hay is one of five finalists for the University of New Mexico president post, University of New Mexico officials said.

New Mexico state Board of Regents on Wednesday selected Hay along with: Daniel H. Lopez, president of New Mexico Tech; Herman D. Lujan, provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University-Los Angeles; Robert T. McGrath, senior vice president for research at Ohio State University; David J. Schmidly, president and system CEO at Oklahoma State University.

Hay declined comment Thursday.

There will be two or three days of on-campus interviews with faculty, staff, students and members of the greater community for each candidate beginning in early February. The seven-member Board of Regents can name a president no earlier than Feb. 14, or 21 days after they named the finalists.

UI interim president Gary Fethke said it is flattering for UI, but he doesn't want to lose Hay.

"I think her biggest contribution to Iowa has been to shape the vision of UI's economic development initiatives," Fethke said. "We value her, and we'd hate to lose her."

On-campus interviews have been a controversial topic at UI as the university seeks to replace former UI president David Skorton, who was named president of Cornell University last summer.

The initial search committee butted heads over whether to require traditionally held on-campus interviews or to allow top candidates to dictate whether there would be public interviews. The second search committee has yet to decide whether to require on-campus interviews.

Fethke said the publicizing of Hay's name as a finalist will make life more difficult.

"I don't think it is a good thing. But that is the way they do it at University of New Mexico," Fethke said.

Hay came to UI in June 2005 from the University of Missouri system. She has been involved in attracting business to UI for commercial and research partnerships for economic development.

Hay currently earns $235,000 a year. The next president at the University of New Mexico could earn upwards of $300,000.

Louis Caldera, who left in January 2006, was earning $293,000 at the time. Current acting president David Harris earns $270,000 in annual salary.