Monday, February 19, 2007

Lobo Woes and Tesla

Another picture that I think represents UNMs current state: rebuilding and full of potential.

David Schmidly will be UNM's 20th president. Hailing from the Big 12s Oklahoma State, the distinguished man brings the depth that everyone desires in a leader as well as a connection to the region. I'm unsure how excited I am given the controversy over his past, but overall, I think this will be positive for the university as it should bring some stability and some form of direction. This decision is slightly controversial due to an incident that occurred while he was the president of Texas Tech University. Without going into details, the accusations seem to have cast a quite a cloud over the strengths he brings to the position. Texas Tech and Oklahoma State are now stronger schools because of him. However, it still does nothing to ease the minds of those that cannot understand how the regents have, once again, made their own decision against the will of the faculty. Regardless, it's time to look past the shortcomings of clueless regents and move to accomplish what is hopefully everyone's goal: improving higher education at the state's flagship university. Schmidly has spoken of creating strong ties between UNM and CNM to assist in the improvement of student preparation for rigorous collegiate work. I think this effort will go a long, long way to creating the atmosphere that most desire. Now, if this administration could only be convinced that creating a more attractive, dense campus that opens up to the neighborhoods. The city is (ready for this?) working with the university to allow students to ride ABQ Ride for free at all times. Now if the university can invest in a few thousand housing units for currently commuting students, we'll have ourselves a quite happening University District. The opportunities just seem to jump out at those looking for positive change in the area but I digress. We'll see what precipitates from this 20th president.

Sadly, in other UNM news, there are rumblings that the university is looking to develop the UNM North Golf Course. This news makes me very angry. The city has excessive amounts of ugly, open lots that could easily be developed, further making the campus far more attractive. But instead, the regents think this is a good idea. I really hope the people stand up against this plan. It is rediculous. With students now able to ride the buses for free, I think it's time we develop some of those parking lots into something usefull and more attractive. 75% of the North campus is ugly parking lots that butt up to a nice neighborhood. *throws up arms in dispair*

In economic development news, an electric car manufacturer headquartered in California has made a deal with the state to construct a manufacturing facility that will create hundreds of good-paying jobs. Tesla Motors is the latest high tech manufacturer to set up shop in our fair city. Eclipse, Advent and Tesla will add up to several thousand jobs that continue to give us a high tech image. I'm diggin it. And I'm diggin the Tesla car. 0-60 in 4 seconds? I'm sold.

The Roadster


John said...

I'm excited about the idea to give UNM students free bus passes. Ridership is going to explode, and it should draw lots of commuting students out of their cars.

I agree we need more housing on the main UNM campus to make it more dense, but where? Hmmm...the current Architecture building will be empty once the new one opens, maybe UNM can retain the property and turn that (and the Annex building across Stanford) into housing? Better yet, maybe they can fill in some of the space in the North Campus that is mostly parking lots at the moment.

I like the idea of Tesla opening a facility here, but I won't be too crazy about it if they open it on the Westside. But, that's probably what will happen.

Tim said...

Well, the university has plenty of property along Central, Girard and Redondo that are currently parking lots that can easily be converted to student housing. Five floors of housing can add up really quickly.

And yes, the location of the plant will be near Eclipse and Temper-Pedic on the Westside. I was hoping for Mesa Del Sol but I can also see the mayor's point of adding jobs to the westside. Regardless, this was a huge land for the city.

shallow moats said...

The city isn't developing the golf course, the University is developing the golf course.

I can't recall the specific plan, but the purposed development is a community for the elderly w/ ties to the University. Idea being the campus will somehow improve with multiple generations calling it home; and the community will be within walking distance of UNMH.

From what I understand, the community will be either be built to accommodate the current nine hole course, or the course will go, but substantial open space will still exist.

Let's face it, that land is valuable. UNM does not need to operate a nine hole course. (Especially when it has the world class Championship course.) A little oasis in a urban center is always fantastic, but as the university grows so does its physical plant. Something has to give. Looks like the nine hole course.

Tim said...

shallow moats: Oops, I meant "the university" has plenty of parking lots and open space to develop. Thanks for the info on the plan. Doesn't sound so terrible as long as they don't erect facilities that only account for 10 acres, while the remaining 20 acres being parking lots. Also, very nice website.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I really do hate all that building up! Reminds me of Chicago (Where I'm from!). I want to see the clear blue New Mexico skies and mountains.

Anonymous said...

10/13/07 Update: UNM has plans to use its North Golf Course for a retirement communit called Lobo Village. Read more about it at, where there are links to the plans and other articles.