Rating Transparency in Higher Education

Transparency word magnifying glass searching for sincerity, clarity, openness, truth, accuracy, directness, fairness, honesty, believability and forthrightness

(Albuquerque) The Rio Grande Foundation, in its ongoing effort to flex New Mexico’s transparency laws, has attempted to obtain the payrolls of each of the state’s 16 institutes of higher education.

Under New Mexico state law, information kept in an electronic format must be made available to the public in that format if it is requested as such. Also, a specific point of contact must be made available to handle Inspection of Public Records (IPRA) Requests. Whether information was provided in the format requested, within the appropriate time frame, and whether or not a point of contact was on the website, formed the basis for our A-F ranking.

As Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing noted, “Higher education transparency is in the news these days with the University of New Mexico recently having made waves by becoming the first institute to place all payroll information on a publicly-available website. We at the Rio Grande Foundation applaud UNM’s leadership and encourage other institutes of higher learning to follow UNM’s path.”

“Unfortunately, responsiveness and ability for average citizens to obtain supposedly public information varies widely from school to school, making it difficult or impossible for average citizens to obtain even basic information.”

The full report is available here. The grades for individual institutes are listed below (and in the paper itself) and include live hyperlinks to the payroll data for each school.

University of New Mexico: A+

New Mexico State University: A

Eastern New Mexico University: A

New Mexico Highlands: A

Western New Mexico University: A

New Mexico Military Institute: A

Northern New Mexico CollegeA

San Juan College: A-

Central New Mexico Community College: B+

Clovis Community College: B

New Mexico Junior College: B

Santa Fe Community College: C+

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology: C

Mesalands Community College: F

Doña Ana Community College: F

Luna Community College: F