Interim CSU President Tony Frank’s name is one of eight on the list of New Mexico State University presidential semifinalists that was leaked this month to area media and the NMSU campus.
The names were made public in response to an open records request from the mother of an NMSU alumnus, the Las-Cruces Sun News is reporting, and regents have said they are unsure of who provided them.
Regents at the New Mexico university called off the search for a new president in November – before they were to narrow the search to five potentials – citing in a statement hesitation to announce the names publicly.
Brad Bohlander, head CSU spokesperson, confirmed Frank’s interest in the then-open NMSU presidential position.
Bohlander said Frank “immediately” withdrew his name after being named interim president at CSU following former CSU President Larry Penley’s sudden resignation Nov. 5.
Frank, Bohlander said, was open with his colleagues about his interest in NMSU.
“Someone with (Frank’s) experience and his position, I’m sure, was targeted by a lot of people,” Bohlander said. “He’s very good at what he does, and I’m sure he has been the target of many searches.”
Speculation is mounting as to whether NMSU will face legal trouble because of the leak, as candidate names were not to be released “unless (the candidates) were one of the five finalists and agreed to come to campus,” Bob Gallagher, former chair of NMSU’s board, told the Sun News.
Bohlander said due to CSU’s spring break he “(didn’t) know” whether Frank was aware of the leak yet.
There were 43 contenders for the NMSU position before finalists were narrowed to eight.
The candidates were interviewed in October in Dallas, the released records state.
News Managing Editor Elyse Jarvis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.