Seal Update: September 2020
Responding to concerns raised by the Kiva Club, Red Nation and other stakeholders, in 2015-16 former President Frank and former Provost Abdallah directed that forums be held to gain input on recommendations to change or keep the seal. In November 3, 2016: on the basis of feedback gathered through a number of forums and requests for feedback by email, former Vice President for Equity and Inclusion (VPEI) Dr. Jozi De Leon recommended that UNM change the seal by replacing with something more inclusive, aspirational, honoring diversity. And that UNM determine the appropriate mechanism for redesigning the new seal. In March 2017, acting UNM President Abdallah “requested that UNM offices immediately begin substituting the commercial (logo) for the current seal…while we pursue the process directed by the regents to create a new seal and phase-out the old one”.
UNM’s current President, Dr. Garnett Stokes, charged a 25-member committee seal committee and requested recommendations by April 2019. During spring 2019, interim VPEI Dr. Lawrence Roybal worked with the committee to discuss a seal competition. In August 2019, Dr. Assata Zerai began to chair the UNM seal committee at the helm of DEI, as UNM’s new Vice President for Equity and Inclusion.
VPEI Zerai worked with DEI and the seal committee to publicize a timeline, finalize a call for seal design submissions, and worked with Academic and Student Affairs, the Office of University Counsel, University Communications and Marketing (UCAM), and other partners to solicit seal designs. DEI received 50 submissions, and then met with the seal committee who selected the four best designs, on the basis of a rubric the UCAM developed. Those four, along with the commercial logo, favored by some of our regents, were put forward by the now 42-member seal committee for community input. DEI used an expansive marketing strategy to ensure input from the communities supportive of UNM. This included but was not limited to multimedia blitz & online display of finalists, an invitation to provide feedback as a part of UNM President’s State of the University address, physical display in Santa Fe at the Roundhouse during “UNM day”, on-campuses physical displays at the student union building atrium, Zimmerman library, ethnic and student resource centers, all UNM Colleges/Schools & Branches, displays at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Office of African American Affairs, and in public libraries & high schools throughout the state. And finally, the alumni office solicited alumni feedback. Participants were requested to rank the submissions and provide open ended input.
DEI received input from 8,089 participantsby the February deadline. The seal committee then rank ordered the feedback and VPEI Zerai provided summaries of the open-ended feedback, and presented reports on the feedback received to various university communities, including to the Branches, and to the Board of Regents (BOR). These reports included a zip code analysis to indicate all of the places within NM from which we had received responses (inclusive of over 200 zip codes in NM), and DEI reported that individuals living in 40 states had participated in providing feedback on the seal design. The regents have the responsibility of making the final decision on the design. DEI and the seal committee are proud of the hard work to carry out an inclusive process to assist the regents make the best decision.
Regents will likely make a decision at the October BOR meeting.