Universities boast 61% favorability, ranking 8th among 17 industries and institutions included in the 2020 Garrity Perception Survey

New Mexico residents have a favorable opinion of state universities according to the 2020 Garrity Perception Survey (GPS). Among the 17 industries surveyed, the state universities are the eighth most favorable institution in the state. Based on the survey, 61 percent of New Mexico residents are favorable of state universities. The scientific survey among New Mexico residents was conducted in late January 2020.

 “There are so many factors that potentially shape favorability of state universities; athletic programs, community engagement and student/faculty success are among the most volatile but consistent leadership is really the one factor that has the most impact,” said Tom Garrity, President and CEO of The Garrity Group Public Relations. “When universities start looking for or change its top leadership, we see favorability drop.  When the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University went through a search for a new president/chancellor, favorability in those regions took a negative dive.  Consistent and connecting with your community will help universities avoid a drop when change occurs.”

In this unprecendented time, Universities are working through new normal of balancing remote learning while still preserving the “college” experience.  Add to the equation the reality of changing budgetary demands from the State of New Mexico and realities of some university foundations facing their own shortfalls, organizations need to be more targeted than ever when identifying and communicating with their key audiences.

“Nationally, higher education has always been favorably received and New Mexico is no different,” says Dr. Joseph Shepard, President of Western New Mexico University. “I think the public recognizes that if you wish to diversify this economy, you need to have a strong higher education, Facebook and other entities  don’t come to NM unless there is an able pool of people who have that level of education that they are seeking.”

Demographic sweet spots for universities include females, people who identify themselves as Hispanic, residents between the ages of 18 to 34 and over the age of 65 years. Interestingly, residents who are a high school graduate or have not completed high school have a slightly higher favorability of universities than college graduates or those with a graduate degree.

Geographically, residents living in Northwest and North Central New Mexico have the highest favorability of universities.  Favorability in Southwest and Eastern New Mexico align with the statewide average. Residents living in the Albuquerque area have a 55 percent level of favorability toward state universities.


About the Garrity Perception Survey and P.A.C.E.

The 2020 Garrity Perception Survey is a scientific survey of New Mexico residents conducted by Research & Polling Inc. The survey has a 95% level of confidence.  The Garrity Group first commissioned the survey in 2011 and makes its cross-tab data available to help its clients identify and understand their target audience. The PACE solution leverages the demographic and geographic insights as a way for our clients to be relevant before their New Mexico audience. Identifying how our clients are Perceived by their Audiences, we Create a way for them to Engage relevant advocates.  For more information visit GarrityPR.com.


About The Garrity Group

The Garrity Group is a New Mexico public relations firm that helps small businesses to be heard and large organizations to be understood. Established in 1997 and based in Albuquerque, our team provides media relations, issue management, crisis communications, digital media marketing and event awareness.