Activity Report January 12-16

President Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.

  • In one of the most moving of ribbon cuttings, we opened the NMSU Spiritual Center on Friday. It is a beautiful small building open to all for religious activities, weddings, or just meditation and prayer.  I am encouraging our student religious organizations to take advantage of the facility which was privately funded thorough generous gifts by Jim and Brynn Wetherbe, Bobby and Rebecca Lutz, and Kathy Carruthers.  My thanks to the Interfaith Council chaired by Rabbi Karol who, with many of his colleagues, gave invaluable advice regarding the design of the Center.  Kudos to Matt Ochoa of the Office of Facilities and Services who managed the project to completion and to Andrea Tawney, who worked with all donors and served as the interface between donors and OFS.
  • I met with Senator Michael Sanchez, the author of the lottery scholarship bill, and the Presidents of New Mexico Tech and UNM regarding modifications to the bill to allow students to use one or more of their semesters (they are allowed 7 semesters) for summer school, which is now prohibited. The Senator seemed open minded about the changes and said he would need to review the language.  He also stated he would reintroduce his bill from the last session which was designed to find new revenue sources to return the scholarship to 100% funding.  It now funds about 95% of tuition and fees.
  • The President’s Communication Council met to preview the new website and to review the marketing plans for all of the colleges and other units of NMSU. There is some impressive work going on in the Colleges with respect to marketing their areas of interest.  The new website caused a bit of a stir with some but everyone needs to understand that it was constructed principally with an external audience (potential students and donors) in mind and the Inside NSMU was constructed for our internal audience.  There continues to be an opportunity for folks to comment on the site and help the team improve it.  It is dynamic and will be modified from time to time to keep it fresh.  (Some complain there is too much motion on the site but I personally like it!)
  • Terra Winter, Andrea Tawney and I traveled to Amarillo and Artesia for development purposes. We had some great conversations with agricultural interest in Amarillo, opening the doors for future conversations with an alum (Ken Ridenour), a meat packing company (Terry Caviness whose father graduated from NMSU), and Mike Engler of Cactus Feeders, a large feedlot operation (9 feedlots).  In addition, we stopped at Artesia to visit with the Chase Foundation regarding sponsoring part of the Domenici Conference and discussed same with Concho Energy and Yates Petroleum.
  • Due to a difference of opinion between the Superintendent of Insurance and United Healthcare Insurance, we are struggling to maintain health insurance for both undergraduates and our graduate students as the Super has asked United to cease and desist selling. It is a particularly difficult problem for our foreign students as they are required to have insurance here and cannot rely upon being on their parents insurance.  We have found a stop gap measure but this could become a real problem if the Super and United don’t get it together soon.
  • The Domenici Institute Advisory Council met to consider this year’s program. We have selected to topics of decaying public infrastructure (bridges, highways, sewers, etc.), the policy implications of the U.S. being energy self-sufficient, and economic development.  We will soon review suggested speakers with Senator Domenici and send out invitations to headliners for this coming September’s conference.
  • The legislature convenes this next Tuesday so I will be spending considerable time in Santa Fe. The fiscal situation continues to deteriorate as the price of oil declines.  Some are optimistic that prices will soon begin to rise but if not, look for little or no new money for higher education.
  • Secretary of Higher Education Jose Garcia has resigned and will be replaced by a Dr. Damron, who is a nursing professor at UNM. I will be dining with Dr. Damron on Monday night.  I know her husband, who is a physician in Santa Fe who once ran for Governor against Bill Richardson.


Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Dan Howard

  • At a monthly meeting with community college presidents, President Carruthers and I discussed the governance structure of the community colleges and the relative roles of the Advisory Boards and the Board of Regents. Ultimately, the Board of Regents has control over, and responsibility for, the community colleges.  However, Advisory Boards must approve general obligation bond elections and they approve the budgets of community colleges.  It will be important, as NMSU moves forward as a system, to have good lines of communication between the Board of Regents and the Advisory Boards and to update operating agreements for all of the community colleges.
  • At the Spring 2015 University Convocation on January 13, which focuses on faculty achievement, the President and I honored 11 faculty members with Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Awards: Ian Ray, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Timothy F. Wright, College of Arts and Sciences; Manal Hamzeh Al Smadi, College of Arts and Sciences; Larry Tunnell, College of Business; Hsiu-Lan Cheng, College of Education; Laura E. Boucheron, College of Engineering; John E. Scarbrough, College of Health and Social Services; Rita Eisele, NMSU Alamogordo; Michelle Hansen, NMSU Carlsbad; Douglas A. Layer, NMSU Dona Ana; and William Serban, NMSU Grants. Two professors were named Regents Professors, the highest honor that NMSU confers on a faculty member: Michele Nishiguchi and H. Prentice Baptiste.  My heartfelt congratulations to all the award winners; you make us proud to be Aggies.
  • On Wednesday, I met with Dr. Tony Marin and Natalie Kellner to discuss the Career Center at NMSU and how to better serve our students in their quest for employment after graduation from NMSU. Marin emphasized the utility and importance of the AggieCAREER Manager system, a database system that guides students in their search for jobs related to their major, as well as cooperative education, internship, campus jobs, and part-time employment opportunities.  This is an opt-in system and is not as well-known as it should be among our students, faculty, and staff.  Dr. Marin plans to work with college deans and associate deans over the course of the coming year to enhance both understanding and use of the system.


Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences,

Dr. Lowell Catlett

          No Activity to Report


Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Christa Slaton

          No Activity to Report


Dean, College of Business, Dr. James Hoffman

  • We held our college convocation meeting on January 12, which is customarily held at the beginning of each semester. It was an excellent opportunity to introduce our new faculty members including Carlos Santos (Marketing), Erin Blaugrund (Marketing), Paula Groves (Finance), and Baolong Bai (Applied Statistics) to the college. There was also plenty of discussion regarding curriculum and strategic planning.
  • Many of us attended the spring University Convocation on January 13 where Larry Tunnell (Accounting) was honored with the Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Award. The accolade is named after Roush, a former NMSU executive vice president, in recognition of his 35 years of advocating for teaching improvement in New Mexico.
  • Kathy Brook, Anthony Casaus and I attended the quarterly Chamber Economic Forum on January 13 at KRWG-TV. The forum features our own Jim Peach, Chris Erickson and Ken Martin who provide updates on the national economy, regional economy and financial markets and answer questions from the studio audience.
  • Kathy Brook, John Shonk and I conducted an orientation session on January 14 for students new to the MBA program this spring.
  • Kathy Brook, Anthony Casaus, Steven Romero and I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Spiritual Center on January 16.


Dean, College of Education, Dr. Michael Morehead

  • Dean Morehead presented to the College Faculty at the opening programs. At that event the College recognized the contributions of Julie Hughes who has been with University Communications and the College of Education’s liaison. Julie was recognized for her outstanding work with the college and here continued support for over twelve years. Julie has been a tremendous support and advocate for the college and this recognition demonstrates the college’s appreciation. The College also recognized Dr. Susan Brown for her continual work on behalf of students and teachers in the STEM area in New Mexico. Dr. Brown was recognized for her 15 years of ongoing service to our schools and their students. She has provided after school experiences in math, science and technology and each year she works with over five thousand children and close to one thousand teachers. Dr. Brown has provided incredible education and opportunities for our children, families and their educators. This was a special recognition because of Dr. Brown’s outstanding service to the college, university and educational community.  The faculty gave her a standing ovation, which was much deserved!!!
  • Dean Morehead is coordinating the search for the graduate dean and this week is working with the university community to interview Dr. Lee the first candidate. At the college’s administrative council meeting discussion occurred related to the promotion and tenure document, the Chair of College Council discussed the progress made related to modifications underway, the primary focus being on the definition of the Boyer model for research.


Dean, College of Engineering, Dr. Ricardo Jacquez

          No Activity to Report


Interim Dean, College of Health and Social Services, Dr. Donna Wagner

  • The Dean’s Health Symposium for 2015 will focus on the topic of end-of-life decision making. This symposium takes place May 1, 2015 at the Las Cruces Convention Center. Discussions and workshops will emphasize starting the communicating end-of-life needs, advanced care planning, and death and dying in a contemporary society.  The focus will be on consumers, caregivers and clinicians, and will be open and free of charge to the public.

School of Nursing

  • The School of Nursing held their White Coat Ceremony on January 12. This  ceremony is a national event meant to increase retention of new students by welcoming them into the nursing profession.  All new students entering Level I of the BSN curriculum participate in this ceremony.
  • The School of Nursing held their pre-semester Enrichment Day on Wednesday January 14. Enrichment day is another retention activity meant to help students review their knowledge and skills prior to beginning their next level of studies.


Dean, Honors College, Dr. Miriam Chaiken

  • We are busy making arrangements for the first ever Conroy Scholars Day that will be held in mid-February. We have received applications from 42 students who are National Merit or National Hispanic Merit scholars and they have all been invited to campus in mid-February to learn more about academic opportunities, campus life, and the NMSU community. Students will meet with the Provost, the Dean of their prospective college, faculty in the department where they plan to major, and other students in the Honors College who will share their experiences with NMSU. We hope this will generate a strong pool of students to enter our university in the fall with extremely high achievement and great potential.
  • We have begun working on the schedule of classes for fall 2015, and we’re trying to revitalize a few critical classes that are part of the general education curriculum, but have not been taught in some time. It is looking very positive that we may have new courses available and participation from departments that have not collaborated with the Honors College in some time, including Physics, English, and Sociology.
  • I spent a little time this week on my own scholarship, reviewing a manuscript for the Journal of Maternal and Child Nutrition, and reading documents from the Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) Program that is working to improve child health in 20 developing countries. They would like me to develop training materials on qualitative research techniques for use in rural communities in the global south. I also learned on Friday afternoon I’d been elected as a member of the Nominations Committee for the Society for Applied Anthropology – a nice way to end my week.

    Timothy Ketelaar, Associate Dean
  • Met with a Graduate Student from the History Department to support a possible Boren Fellowship application to study Japanese language in Japan.
  • Met with Viri Arellano, Student President of our local chapter of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society, for which I serve as the faculty advisor.
  • Met with Associate Dean Anderson to review transitional issues in the ONSIE office, particularly in regards to upcoming fellowship deadlines and transfer of files on past Scholarship application and recruitment materials.


Dean, University Library, Dr. Elizabeth Titus

  • Dean Titus met with the New Mexico Consortium of Academic Libraries Legislative Committee to discuss and plan activities associated with Library Legislative Day in Santa Fe to be held February 5, 2015. Also discussed Library GO Bond fund related matters and NM academic libraries legislative agenda for the current legislative session.
  • Dean Titus forwarded to the Provost a proposal re: Compensation upon promotion in faculty rank that was developed with the help of the Faculty Senate Chair, Dean of the College of Education, and Professor Larry Creider, NMSU Library.
  • Following Convocation, Dean Titus met with all library faculty to welcome them all back and to provide them with updates on a variety of faculty related campus and library activities for the 2015 spring semester.
  • The first meeting of the HSS Dean’s Search Committee was held. The Committee went through an orientation session and met with Provost Howard. Dean Titus is Chair of this search committee.

Associate Provost, International and Border Program, Dr. Cornell Menking

  • Association of the Friends of AzerbaijanPresident Carruthers signed an agreement with Association of the Friends of Azerbaijan on January 9, 2015.  The agreement creates six elite scholarships for students to participate in a summer school symposium in Azerbaijan this summer.  More information available here:
  • President Carruthers, Senator Papen, AFAZ President Kemal Oksuz signing the agreement.

Center for English Language Programs

  • CELP has approximately 100 new students enrolling this Spring.  73 are new and 27 are continuing students.  Countries represented include Ecuador, Mexico, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Libya, China, Argentina.

Office of Education Abroad

  • 127 students will study abroad this Spring Semester (including Fall/Spring Academic Year, Winter Break, Spring Break, and short May programs).  Some details about this group:
    • 56 female, 47 male
    • 22 Fall/Spring Academic; 22 Winter Break; 59 Spring
    • 61 students on established, bilateral exchange agreements (including consortiums)
    • 38 are Hispanic
    • 24 FLiP’s (Faculty Led International Programs) – 8 Spring Break, 16 May

International Student and Scholar Service

  • The ISSS Office reports exact numbers are not yet available, but approximately 100 new degree-seeking students have been registered.  For the second semester, orientation was combined with other IBP units to increase effectiveness and reduce duplication of efforts.  Highlights of the first week include a presentation by Deputy Provost Greg Fant regarding academic honesty, a visit by Sodexo team, led by Shelly Duran.


Senior Vice President Administration and Finance, Angela Throneberry

  • Corbett Center Student Union Renovation – Phase One of the Corbett Center Student Union renovation project was completed in December and the Associated Students of New Mexico State University (ASNMSU), Greek organizations, Aggie Activities Council, and the Office of Campus Activities are now moved into their new offices. The NMSU ICT department also recently completed the installation of 120-inch flat screen monitoring system located in the newly renovated Student Union Lodge.
  • DACC Main Campus Utilities Improvements – Construction will begin on the DACC Central Utilities Improvement Project on the 19 of January and is scheduled to be completed by the end of July.  The project scope is to upgrade an aged heating & cooling system with a new chiller & cooling tower and update the existing controls.
  • Savings through Recycling – Environmental Health & Safety shipped (16) cylinders for recycling of the recoverable refrigerant to Hudson Technologies.  The waste refrigerant was generated by removing/collecting refrigerant from old equipment on campus- refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.  EPA requires that all refrigerant be collected and sent for special recycling or disposal.


Vice President Student Affairs / Enrollment Management, Dr. Bernadette Montoya

  • The SAEM Leadership Team met on Thursday, January 15. We are pleased to welcome the Diversity Program directors to the team.
  • Met with ASNMSU students and the Office of Government Relations on Friday, January 16 to discuss issues related to the Lottery Success Scholarship. SAEM is happy to have involved and determined students to aid in the success of the Lottery Scholarship.

Student Engagement, Dr. Terry Cook

  • The Aggie Welcome and Orientation Office facilitated Spring Orientation where we had 46 domestic students attend and 38 international students attend for a total of 84 students. We had a total of 31 walk-ins, all of which were international students who were advised and registered for classes. Our office extended the orientation invitation for this program to all the online participants, in addition to all of our DACC students transferring to NMSU main campus to help with the transition in a face-to-face setting.

Student Life, Dr. Michael Jasek

  • This past semester, Aggies Activities Council (AAC) was established and hasAggies Activity Council
    overcome a great feat
     in chartering, establishing an Executive Board, and gaining a following. The main avenue in which AAC maintains communication with the NMSU student body is through their Instagram account. During the fall semester, AAC set a goal to attain 500 followers before January. This week they have surpassed even the highest expectations and reached 2,000 followers!

Diversity Programs

  • Students talk with Mike Ray about pursuing a higher educationOn Saturday, January 17, Mike Ray represented NMSU and the American Indian Program at the Los Lunas Schools Title VII Native American Program and the Pueblo of Isleta Department of Education College and Career Fair held at the Isleta Pueblo Eagle Golf Course. He met with over 40 high school students, parents, families, and community members who are interested in pursuing a higher education.

Staff Highlights

  • This was Melody Munson-McGee’s last week in the Office of the Vice President. It was a pleasure to have her on our team and we wish her well at her new job as Chief of Staff in the Provost’s Office.


 Vice President Economic Development, Dr. Kevin Boberg

Studio G Networking Hour

  • This week the Studio G Networking Hour hosted NMSU alumni Bobby Lutz and Birken Olson. Lutz and Olson, both successful entrepreneurs located in the Dallas area, shared their first-hand experiences of starting businesses and offered practical advice to the aspiring entrepreneurs who attended this week’s Networking Hour.

Studio G Training Session in the Aggie Innovation Space

  • Studio G provided training to the new Aggie Innovation Space Apprentices this week. The training covered an overview of Arrowhead Center, Studio G, and the commercialization resources available on campus. Studio G will hold office hours at the Aggies Innovation Space this semester to continue to connect the resources available on campus for student entrepreneurs and innovators.


Vice President Research, Dr. Vimal Chaitanya

  • Vimal Chaitanya traveled to Albuquerque, NM to participate in the State wide New Mexico Collaborative Research and Development Council’s (NMCRDC) leadership meeting designed to promote research collaboration between the three research Universities, National Labs and military facilities within the State.
  • Vimal Chaitanya participated in the State wide New Mexico Space Grant’s (NMSGC) five-year strategic planning meeting, required by Congress, as part of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. The meeting was held in Las Cruces on December 14-16.
  • The research development office of VPR coordinated and hosted a group of scientists and the VPR from Texas Tech to promote research collaboration and joint effort for funding in identified areas of strength and complimentary expertise. A number of faculty from Colleges of Engineering, ACES and A&S participated in this event.
  • New Mexico Space Grant held their five-year strategic planning meeting, required by Congress, as part of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. The meeting was held in Las Cruces on December 14-16.
  • NMSGC is partnering with Spaceport America and Virgin Galactic to schedule the next student launch at Spaceport America.  We have teachers/faculty and students from across the state that are building payloads that will be tested during this launch.  The launch will happen sometime during April 2015.
  • NMSGC just awarded $70,000 in Research Enhancement and NM Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program on campus. Also, scholarships and fellowships of $35,000 and $30,000 were awarded to Engineering students and Arts & Science students respectively.
  • Alisha Giron attended the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) quarterly meeting January 11-13 in Washington, DC with Dr. Michael Johnson.
  • The Office of the Vice President for Research distributed $218,270 to the colleges of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences, and Business to support such items as proposal writing and cost-sharing, equipment maintenance, and post-doc/GA support.
  • Sam Fernald attended a Tri-State National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) meeting that included researchers from New Mexico, Nevada, and Idaho. The meeting was held in Albuquerque and focused on water science visualization.
  • The NM WRRI continued to receive very positive feedback on its recent 59th Annual New Mexico Water Conference, New Mexico’s Water Future: Connecting Stakeholder Needs to Water Information
  • Sam Fernald attended the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, CA. He will meet with Dr. Guanhua Huang of the China Agricultural University and NMSU faculty member KC Carroll to discuss the joint Agricultural and Water Resources Center Initiative with China.
  • WRRI coordinated a meeting on a new produced water project to be directed by NM WRRI and funded by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). Sam Fernald hosted the meeting attended by representatives from the New Mexico Environment Department, Tom Blaine, State Engineer, and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary David Martin, as well as university researchers from NMSU and NM Tech.


Vice President University Advancement / Foundation Executive Director,

 Ms. Cheryl Harrelson

  • An estate gift of $25,000 was received from the Genie Means Revocable Trust, for the existing Huling “Jupe” Means Jr. Endowed Scholarship fund in ACES.
  • Final distribution ($14,067) for the Norma Jean Fisher Estate was received for her named scholarship in the College of ACES. Robert Peterson received the President’s “Above and Beyond” Award in 2012 for his service to the estate and University. The total estate gift was $146,379.
  • Received a gift of $25,000 from the sale of land from an estate, benefited of the Stephen Hardin Scholarships.


Athletics Director, Mario Moccia

No Activity to Report


Associate Vice President University Communications, Maureen Howard

  • This week’s Eye on Research story in the Las Cruces Sun-News focuses on the work of NMSU Professor Immo Hansen and graduate student David Price, who are among 120 scientists from around the world who co-authored a paper about mosquito DNA that may help solve the mystery of why only some mosquito species evolved to transmit deadly diseases like malaria to humans. Their research was featured on the cover of the January 2 edition of the journal “Science.”
  • This week’s Sunday feature in the Las Cruces Sun-News profiles Laura White, NMSU assistant professor of equine science. During her first three years at NMSU, White has developed a strong program directing the university’s Equine Science Emphasis Area and she teaches courses ranging from introductory equine science to the senior/graduate class in Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Professor White, along with other NMSU researchers, earned a U.S. Department of Agriculture pedagogy grant where she will conduct research on ways to teach students important chemistry and math skills that are required to be successful in agriculture sciences.
  • Head Coach Doug Martin was interviewed by two national publications (Sporting News and Associated Press out of Boston) this week.  He was asked to speak about Julian Edelman, who is a wide receiver for the New England Patriots. Coach Martin recruited and coached Edelman while at Kent State. The articles were scheduled to run before the Patriots versus Colts AFC Championship game.
  • The thirteenth edition of KRWG Economic Forums produced in collaboration with the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce aired on January 15. The hour-long program featured NMSU professors Peach, Martin and Erickson assessing the status of the local economy and answering questions from the audience.
  • KRWG staff made their annual “Coffee Visit” to Alamogordo on Wednesday morning. These community outreach activities are an important way for staff to connect with listeners and viewers, gather feedback and answer questions.

Assistant Vice President Government Relations, Ricardo Rel

  • The Office of Government Relations will be attending the Legislative Session in Santa Fe, NM. Stay updated on current news regarding the legislative session by visiting our website


Director/Secretary New Mexico Department of Agriculture, Jeff M. Witte

  • Staff attended and made presentations at the New Mexico Cotton Growers Association Conference and the Southwest Hay and Forage Conference. Interacted with industry on current issues and provided oversight of known legislative activities potentially impacting agriculture.
  • Staff also participated in the New Mexico Racing Commission Medication Committee and Rules Committee meetings.


Chief, NMSU Police, Stephen Lopez

          No Activity to Report

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