ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico has authorized its athletic director to eliminate programs in the cash-strapped department.

University President Garnett S. Stokes addressed the regents Finance and Facilities Committee on Tuesday, saying athletic director Eddie Nunez has been instructed to propose sport eliminations by this summer.

Stokes says student athletes should be given notice a year before their sport is eliminated.

Nunez says no decision has been made yet on which sports will be cut. The university sponsors 22 varsity sports programs.

The action comes as the athletics department entered this year with $4.7 million in accumulated deficits. The department is expecting to overspend this fiscal year’s budget by a $2.1 million and is projecting another $2.3 million deficit for the next year.