CIA intelligence officer to work at University of New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A CIA intelligence officer will be working at the University of New Mexico’s campus and will carry a teaching or research load comparable to faculty colleagues, according to a new agreement.
The CIA officer is scheduled to arrive at the university in August as part of an ongoing relationship with the agency and the school despites protests from students in previous years, the Albuquerque Journal reports .
Under a new contract between the university and the agency, the officer will participate in the academic life of the university just like other professors.
“A CIA officer will teach at UNM beginning this fall as part of the Agency’s Visiting Intelligence Officers Program,” CIA spokeswoman Chelsea Robinson said in a statement. “This effort — along with CIA’s Signature School Program — enables UNM students to learn firsthand about national security and career opportunities at CIA.”
Robinson declined an interview request from the Albuquerque Journal.
According to copies of two agreements between the university and the CIA, University of New Mexico president Garnett Stokes also recently decided to keep the school involved in a CIA recruiting program.
The contracts place restrictions on when and how the two entities can publicize or display the arrangement. The Journal obtained the contracts through an Inspection of Public Records Act request.
The agreements come after former CIA Director John Brennan in 2016 gave a speech on campus, announcing that the university would be the first school in the agency’s signature schools program.
Since UNM became a signature school, very few others have publicly identified themselves. Other than the University of New Mexico, the CIA has only publicized signature schools partnerships at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Baruch College in New York City, according to CIA news releases.
CIA officers have taken visiting jobs at other universities, although it’s unclear how many. For example, Columbia University has a resident officer, according to its website, as does the University of Texas at Austin, according to a 2018 article in the student newspaper.
Stokes said she doesn’t think that such arrangements are rare. “My understanding is that this has happened at other institutions,” she said.
Emile Nakhleh, the director of the school’s Global and National Security Policy Institute, said the CIA officer will teach undergraduate or graduate level courses in global and national security and also advise students interested in careers in intelligence.
Despite the university’s long relationship with the agency, there have been sporadic student demonstrations on campus against the CIA.