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Aligning Relationships And Vision With New Mexico’s Eddie Nuñez

Guest Eddie Nuñez, New Mexico
21:21 min watch


University of New Mexico Vice President/Director of Athletics Eddie Nuñez sits down with ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2023 NCAA Convention to dive into alignment, including aligning departmental vision with university mission and aligning values with expectations. Nuñez shares how he recruits and retains a staff to bring a vision to reality, what he’s learned from serving as a university liaison to the state legislature and how he handles internal and external criticism. Nuñez also explains the importance of aligning vision and departmental culture with personal standards of excellence.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - How do you align your goals for Lobos Athletics with the broader institutional goals for the University of New Mexico?
  • - How do you establish that close alignment and relationship with your president, your provost and others on the academic side of campus?
  • - When you first arrived in Albuquerque, how did you align your personality and leadership style with the culture of UNM?
  • - How do you handle criticism? How do you navigate Twitter critics who aren’t seeing the big picture?
  • - What about internal criticism, especially from those across the university who don't have the full picture of what's going on in Athletics?
  • - As you build a staff, what are those intangible qualities that set someone apart during the interview process?
  • - How do you balance supporting star staff members in their career journeys with retaining the best staff to help bring your vision to life?
  • - How do you say no? When you get a compelling request that you’d like to consider but ultimately, you know more than the person asking…  how do you turn that request down without losing the trust of the stakeholder?
  • - You’ve recently been more involved, on behalf of the institution, with the state legislature. What was the most valuable lesson you learned from that experience?
  • - How has that experience - and that facetime- impacted opportunities for things like NIL, licensing revenue, facilities, event management?
  • - How then does that impact your relationship with the greater ABQ community- as the flagship institution in the state, how can you steward UNM’s presence as an economic driver for greater New Mexico?
  • - What keeps you coming back after the long, challenging days? How do you stay refreshed and recharged to maintain this bold leadership style and vision?