Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is an Institutional Bond?
A: Institutional bonds are debt commitments that allow the University to make investments in large capital projects, similar to what private citizens do when they buy a home and take on a mortgage. Universities use this financial tool in order to fund large brick and mortar projects and can serve as matching funds to other sources to fully fund large building projects.
Q: How will the Institutional Bond package benefit me?
A: Improving UNM’s physical environment is an investment to increase the quality of degrees received from the University. Without modern, up-to-date facilities designed for current teaching methods, technologically advanced research, community involvement, and recreation, UNM will be challenged to recruit students and faculty and help them be successful in the 21st century.
Q: Why do we need to issue bonds now?
A: The investment in our facilities and infrastructure is critical to achieve our goal of becoming a Destination University. Modern facilities are key in the recruitment of top faculty, staff, and students, which in turn contribute largely to the quality of a UNM education and degree. Faculty require cutting-edge facilities to conduct innovative research and teaching, and these facilities provide students at UNM the experience they need to be competitive in today’s job market. For the specific benefits and improvements of each project, please visit the individual project pages.
Q: How does UNM decide which projects receive bond funding?
A: One of UNM’s strategic goals is to become a Destination University, and a key aspect of this success is having a physical environment where students, researchers, and a community members want to come to work, live, and play. Many factors influence how projects are prioritized, including the level of need and quality of existing facilities, opportunities for growth and expansion of programs, ADA and safety concerns, and the ability to leverage external funding sources, including state and private funds.
There are many important individuals who contribute to the integrated planning process for prioritizing capital project needs at UNM: students, faculty, staff, deans, administrative units, the Provost, and the President. This group decides how the money will be spent and where the priorities are, but ultimately, the Board of Regents approve the proposals submitted for review. After the Board of Regents approve a project(s), it is then submitted to the Higher Education Department for approval, and lastly to the State Board of Finance.
Q: Will these projects have an impact on the New Mexico economy?
A: Yes, projects of this size and scale create jobs in the local economy. When UNM renovates or builds large structures, they must hire local contractors. The success of these projects rely on local businesses and workers in fields such as architectural design, construction, building materials, landscaping, furniture, moving companies, and equipment.
There is also an ongoing benefit to the economy when facilities provide the proper space for high-quality, innovative research. These facilities will attract top faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students from out of state, creating an even greater, long-term economic impact. Finally, updated facilities make UNM researchers more competitive for external grant funding, which has a significant economic impact in our community.
Q: Will these projects incorporate sustainable building practices?
A: Yes. UNM has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by applying best practices for design, product selection, and construction. All new projects on campus incorporate LEED standards and design principles including energy efficient lighting, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), waste reduction and recycling, water conservation and harvesting, use of sustainably harvested materials, region appropriate plant-life and irrigation, and water shed protection.
Q: Has UNM ever issued Institutional Bonds like this before?
A: Yes. Universities and colleges across the country use this financial tool to fund large projects where funding cannot be found elsewhere. UNM has been successful over time in utilizing institutional bonds to leverage capital outlay and general obligation bond funding received from the State of New Mexico. Some notable new and renovated projects funded in part by institutional bonds include:
- Castetter Hall (renovation)
- Centennial Engineering building (new construction)
- College of Education Phase 1 (new construction)
- Communications & Journalism building (renovation)
- George Pearl Hall building (new construction)
- Hodgin Hall (renovation)
- Mitchell Hall (renovation)
- Science Math Learning Center (new construction)
- Yale Parking Structure (new construction)
Q: I’ve heard that bonds can increase the amount of state tax that I pay. Will this bond increase my state tax?
A: No. This bond is not associated with taxpayer dollars, and will be paid back through revenue generated within the University. However, state funds will be used to match bond funds for some of these projects, thereby leveraging and maximizing the impact of those taxpayer dollars.