Activity Report January 19-23

President Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.

  • This past week was all about the beginning of the 60-day legislative session. What started out 6 months ago to be a $400 million new money session has now turned in to a potentially break even session.  The early estimates for new revenue were based upon $66 per barrel for oil.  The price last week was about $46 per barrel.  Some believe that this price is not sustainable and  they see a return to $66 plus price, maybe even in early spring.  Others say the current price is not sustainable and believe the price will drop to $35 per barrel.  If anyone is confident of the direction, now is the time to make your investments because you could make a killing if you are correct. 
  • Highlights of the early part of the session include:
    • Republicans have taken control of the New Mexico House of Representatives for the first time since the 1950s. It is difficult to determine how this will affect higher education and NMSU.  The new Speaker of the House is Don Tripp, a longtime friend from Socorro, who will be very accessible and an outstanding listener.  One of his first directives was to tell committee chairs to start their committee meetings on time and keep them on time.  This will be a great leap forward for those invited to testify before the committees who have been accustomed to delays and even changes of dates after driving to Santa Fe.
    • The Republican majority made some rather dramatic changes in committee structure, eliminating some committees and merging others. All committees in the House will be chaired by Republicans.  Larry Larrinaga will chair the very important House Appropriations and Finance Committee.  Larry is a Lobo engineer but has had one or more of his children graduate from NMSU.  Larry says in the 25 plus family members who attended college in New Mexico, the majority have attended NMSU.
    • The budget projections for both the Department of Finance (Governor’s budget) and the Legislative Finance Committee were developed using the same funding formula. As you may recall, the funding formula developed by NMSU and CUP last year was subject to a great deal of controversy (debate between the Department of Higher Education and the Council of University Presidents), hence LFC and the legislature used the NMSU/CUP version and not the HED version.  The differences of opinion were all settled over the interim and the NMSU/CUP formula was modified to satisfy all.
    • The Governor’s State of the State address focused again on public education (including retaining third graders who are not reading at that level), the driver’s license for illegal aliens, and economic development, to include Right to Work, the Technology Research Collaborative (which would help Arrowhead Center projects) and a $50 million closing fund for attracting businesses to our State.
    • The new Secretary of Higher Educations will be Dr. Barbara Damron, a faculty member at UNM. Her doctorate is in Psychology.  She teaches in the nursing program and has experience in managing an oncology unit.  She has also served as a staffer in the U.S. Congress.  The Council of University Presidents (CUP) was very impressed with her credentials and her comments in our brief meeting.  She combines management, policy, and teaching experience in a position that needs all three.
  • This Board of Regents has changed their operating procedures under Chairman Cheney’s leadership to include citizen members on their major committees, such as the Regents Audit, Real Estate and Budget Committees in addition to adding members to the Aggie Development Corporation. The new Chair of the Budget Committee will be Aggie graduate and accountant Adolpho Telles.  The “citizen” members of these committees bring a wealth of experience and energy to these efforts.  Good show Chairman Cheney.
  • I met with the Diversity Council to review our response to the Insights in Diversity article, which was very critical of NMSU’s diversity efforts. For those who are interested, we can provide our response.  The document was prepared to respond to the Board of Regents and the Las Cruces Public School Board who had one member testify at our most Regents meeting on this subject.  In addition, we discussed the Climate Survey which about 1,500 NMSU employees responded to.  We are attempting to find a date to have a forum (Sponsored by the Employee Council and the Diversity Council) where all can see the results and for the NMSU community to identify the most pressing opportunities for improvement in our climate.  I also agreed to meet regularly with the Diversity Council.
  • Athletic Director Mario Moccia was welcomed to NMSU by over 200 folks at a reception in the Fulton Center. Mario, an Aggie, is happy to be back home and take on the athletics promotion and fundraising challenges which, if successful, will greatly enhance our programs.  To date, Mario has been especially impressive.
  • And the really good news is we have been informed that Debra Hicks (Aggie Engineering graduate and business owner from Hobbs) and Jerean Hutchinson (Aggie Business graduate and co-owner of La Posta) have been appointed to the Board of Regents. Great appointments.  

 

Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Dan Howard

  • I began the week by attending the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast hosted by the Dona Ana NAACP. Bobbie Green, of the College of Business did a wonderful job of emceeing the event, and the main speaker Dr. Sean Rogers, also of the College of Business, gave a rousing speech that reminded the audience of our personal responsibility for ensuring fairness and opportunity for all.  The question he posed, are we “all in for justice and equality” is one that resonated for the audience and set a memorable tone for a holiday honoring a truly extraordinary American.
  • Later in the day, I drove to Santa Fe for the start of the New Mexico legislative session. Tuesday began with a Council of University Presidents meeting, which featured a visit from our new Secretary-designate of Higher Education, Dr. Barbara Damron.  Damron went over her goals as Secretary, which include a conversation about the role of the academy in the 21st century and the importance of imparting lifelong learning skills during the course of a college education.  It is a conversation I look forward to having with the Secretary.
  • Later Tuesday, I attended the opening legislative session as a guest of Representative Bill McCamley. It was a historic day as the Republicans took over majority control of the House of Representatives for the first time in more than 60 years.  Although there are bound to be some changes in emphasis with the Republicans in control of the House, it is likely that strong support for higher education will continue to be a theme for the New Mexico legislature. 
  • The end of the week was spent in Las Cruces where I attended a Budget Committee meeting on Friday. At the meeting we examined new funding requests for the university and discussed the uncertain budget picture for the state, due largely to the volatility of oil prices.  Although there is good news with regard to numbers of applications from first time students, enrollment will continue to be a challenge next year because of the large size of our entering classes four and five years ago, and the fact that these students are now graduating.  The budget picture will be more clear at the end of the legislative session, but some belt tightening in the coming year is likely for NMSU. 

 

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

          No Activity to Report

 

Dean, College of Education, Dr. Michael Morehead

  • This week Dean Morehead gave a welcome to the National Taekwondo meeting held at NMSU. Dr. Ron Dziwenka from the college coordinated this event. There were several national and international highly recognized and award winners attending this conference. Dean Morehead also coordinated the visit of Dr. Craig Ogilvie one of the finalist for the Graduate School Dean position. Dean Morehead reviewed several new bills proposed in the legislature relating to teacher licensure and administrative licensure. We also had a great report on our dance program success in Manhattan, several of our students qualified for the next level at the nationals. Searches also continue for early childhood positions and speech pathology, Dean Morehead met with candidates for those positions. We are finalizing the invitation letter to our Mongolian Colleagues outlining their visit in March of this year.  

Dr. Gladys De Necochea, Assistant Dean for Budget & Planning

  • During the College of Education Spring 2015 Opening Program, Dr. De Necochea presented the 2nd Annual Green Award 2015 Green Award honoree Dr. Gary Ivoryto recognize an individual with a long-standing record for demonstrating best practices in sustainability. Chosen from a most impressive group of nominees, Dr. Gary Ivory was selected as the 2015 Green Award honoree and was presented the Green Award traveling trophy.  Having served NMSU for over 19 years, Dr. Ivory currently serves as Associate Professor in Educational Leadership & Administration (ELA) and is widely recognized for his efforts to recycle, promote resource conservation and reduce waste.  In particular, he is known for his ongoing efforts to infuse sustainability mindedness into his classroom practices as well as his work and home life.   He is frequently seen in the ELA department gathering organic material to be added to his 3-stage composting system.  Congratulations to Dr. Gary Ivory!

 

Dean, College of Engineering, Dr. Ricardo Jacquez

          No Activity to Report

 

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

School of Nursing

  • The New Mexico State University School of Nursing will host a series of free Lamaze Childbirth Education Classes during Spring 2015. These classes take place over a six-week period and are free and open to the public.

School of Social Work

  • Maria Gurrola, a faculty member from the School of Social Work, participated the Peer Review Network Information Session as a co-facilitator. The session was held in Milton Hall, room 50 on January 23, and focused on evaluating scholarly teaching.

Department of Public Health Sciences

  • Cindy Kratzke, New Mexico State University Department of Public Health Sciences assistant professor, has been elected as treasurer for the Cancer Patient Education Network, a national organization that encourages and supports models of excellence for patients, families and communities in education throughout all levels of care.

 

Dean, Honors College, Dr. Miriam Chaiken

  • The members of the search committee for the position of Dean of the Graduate School hosted our second candidate on campus, and we were able to include all the planned activities despite the surprise of a snow day.
  • The search committee for the position of Dean of the College of Education compiled our summary rankings for the applicants and narrowed the pool to the first short list. We will be conducting video interviews within the next two weeks and hope to invite candidates to campus in the early weeks of March.
  • I made a presentation to the students who participate in the Maximizing Access to Research Careers program, which is under the supervision of Dr. Mike Johnson in Chemistry. These bright students were full of questions as I talked about the issue of cultural sensitivity in international health-related research.

Associate Dean, Timothy Ketelaar

  • Worked with the Honors College support staff and Dean Chaiken to announce the call for applications for the 2015 Honors College Scholarship.
  • Met with Dean Chaiken and Faculty Senate Chair Stuart Munson-McGee to discuss the possible impacts of the 120 Credit Hour proposal on the Honors College, particularly the Viewing the Wider World Requirement.
  • Meet with Dr. Inigo Garcia-Bryce,  Director of the Center for Latin Americans and Border Studies, and Anja Hansen, assistant program coordinator for NMSU’s HHMI program, to discuss Scholarship and Fellowship opportunities for students interested in international research, including students interested in studying Latin American and Border Studies.

 

Dean, University Library, Dr. Elizabeth Titus

  • Assistant Professors Sarah Allison and Samantha Rich recently received the American College and Research Libraries Early-Career Librarian Scholarship. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide opportunities for librarians with less than six years of post- MLS experience to update their skills and knowledge by participating in an ACRL professional development experience.
  • This week all library faculty and staff are participating in a two part active shooter training program being sponsored by Library U and the NMSU Police Department. Members of the NMSU Fire Department also participated in this program.

 

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

          No Activity to Report

 

Senior Vice President Administration and Finance, Angela Throneberry

  • NMSU saves $28,000 annually by generating its own electronic student billing – University Accounts Receivable and ICT worked to develop an electronic billing solution using Banner and Evisions FormFusion systems’ functionality. Prior to the billing solution, NMSU contracted with a vendor for the billing service at a cost of $28,000 each year. 

 

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

  • The Hispano Roundtable Dinner was held Wednesday, January 21 in Santa Fe. Attendees included Dr. Bernadette Montoya, Carla Villareal, Wesley Jackson, Allison Valdez, and Janet Green.
  • Montoya, Delia DeLeon and Dacia Sedillo met with the Provost, Deputy Provost and Provost Chief of Staff on Friday, January 23 to discuss next steps for Aggie Pathway.
  • Met with Diversity Program directors on Friday, January 23. We are looking forward to a successful and engaging spring semester for our Diversity Programs.

Diversity Programs

  • Laura Spencer presented on “Preparing for College” at the Iglesia Bautista de Mesilla. She met with number of individuals in their youth group that are in different stages in their education and are interested in enrolling at DACC or NMSU.
  • Chicano Programs, American Indian Program, and the Sexual Gender Diversity Resource Center collaborated in the Student Leadership Seminar held on January 14. Invited presenter’s addressed different aspects of leadership development.

 

Vice President Economic Development, Dr. Kevin Boberg

Studio G Networking Hour

  • This week the Studio G Networking Hour explored the topics of idea generation and team formation. Two of the most important aspects to consider when developing a start-up are generating novel ideas and ensuring that you have a strong team to work with, during this week’s networking hour 10 aspiring student entrepreneurs participated in a discussion of these topics. Studio G hosts a Networking Hour every Friday and features a new topic each week.

Realizing Global Opportunities

  • Arrowhead’s CEO/Director, Kathy Hansen, and Business Development Lead, Jorge Ramos, met with Cornell Menking, Associate Provost, International and Border Programs, to discuss collaboration strategies.  Arrowhead is supporting student entrepreneurship training requirements in Mexico, which opened when universities there familiar with the Arrowhead model reached out for assistance. The opportunities soon reached beyond introducing entrepreneurship models alone to additional training needs in Mexico that can be met by others across NMSU.  These efforts are helping promote and support international research, collaboration, outreach, study, scholarship, and service.

 

Vice President Research, Dr. Vimal Chaitanya

          No Activity to Report

 

Vice President University Advancement / Foundation Executive Director, Ms. Cheryl Harrelson

          No Activity to Report

 

Athletics Director, Mario Moccia

  • Throughout my 24 days on the job, I have met with 90% of my Senior Staff and Head Coaches.
  • I along with several staff members had an NCAA Conference Call to discuss APR, academics, and compliance.
  • I was interviewed on three radio stations of Las Cruces, Adams group. I promoted the ‘Pack the Pan Am’ initiative for the last home men’s basketball game on March 7 vs. Chicago State University.
  • We had a very nice turnout at the ‘Meet and Welcome NMSU’s New Athletics Director’ reception hosted by President Carruthers. I gave a brief presentation of what my goals are as the new Athletics Director (AD) and interacted with great supporters of Aggie Athletics.

Associate AD, Student Development-James Hall

  • For Fall 2014, All 17 Men’s & Women’s Sport Teams Cumulative GPA combined was a 3.187
  • Scholar-Athlete representation (3.00 semester and cumulative grade point average or higher) was higher than 50% of the student-athlete population.
  • 29 student-athletes posted a PERFECT 4.00 Fall 2014 semester grade point average.
  • Stephanie Story (Equestrian) was selected as NMSU’s Female Scholar Athlete for Fall 2014 Commencement!
  • Clint Barnard (Football) was selected as NMSU’s Male Scholar Athlete for Fall 2014 Commencement!
  • With football topping the minimum standard score, the 2013-14 APR report (4 year cumulative assessment) is the first time all 16 sports at NMSU (6 men’s sports, 10 women’s sports) met the minimum NCAA APR requirement since its inception in the 2003-2004 academic year.
  • Women’s tennis posted a perfect 1,000 APR score for the fourth consecutive year. Women’s cross country, women’s swimming, women’s golf, volleyball and softball also posted perfect APR scores for 2013-14.

Associate AD, Development-Fred Heinrich

  • The Athletics Development Team has been working with key volunteers to get its signature events off the ground—Aggies in Paradise (for Las Cruces) and the Lujan Dinner (held in Albuquerque). 
  • The Team has also been working on the business plan for Aggie Athletic Club for the coming academic year. 
  • Success story:  a successful manufacturing company on the west side of Las Cruces has not had a relationship with NMSU—
    • They are donating a large tent for the women’s softball kick-off event on January 31. 
    • A foundation established by the founder of that company awards “track chairs” (essentially all terrain wheel chairs) to combat-disabled veterans and plans to award one at the softball event. 
    • This is a great opportunity for the university to develop a new relationship and to possibly make national news with the award of the track chair. 

Associate AD, Marketing- Steve Macy

  • Last Saturday, 3,000 Lou Henson bobble heads were given out to the crowd, creating the best giveaway in NM State history on Lou Henson night.
  • Thursday night, we partnered with the Barnes & Noble Bookstore to give a student a $500 textbook voucher. Two other students won some great Aggie gear.
  • On Saturday, it was neon necklaces and a special halftime show.

 

Associate Vice President University Communications, Maureen Howard

  • This week’s feature in the Las Cruces Sun-News highlighted the opening of New Mexico State University’s new Spiritual Center. Construction of the Spiritual Center was made possible by a $625,000 gift by Jim Wetherbe and his wife, Brynn. The center will be available for weddings, memorial services and as a location for peaceful meditation, regardless of faith.
  • This week’s Eye on Research in the Las Cruces Sun-News outlines the progress of salt cedar beetles, which are spreading from Texas, Colorado and Arizona to New Mexico. Salt cedar, a non-native weed, was brought to the United States from Eurasia in the middle of the 1800s. Salt cedar spreads quickly and competes for water with native vegetation. Beetles were introduced in other states to feed on salt cedar and have been very successful in controlling the plant. NMSU experts have been tracking the progress of the beetles in New Mexico for the past two years.
  • With the start of activities in Santa Fe the first edition of the KRWG program, “Your Legislators” aired Thursday evening. This is the ninth year for KRWG to provide our communities with coverage of the legislative session by conducting in-depth interviews with our elected officials. The first guest was Senator Bill Burt of District 33.
  • Our web communications team is continuing efforts to improve the web experience for users visiting the NMSU website. We are evaluating comments from the NMSU community as well as keeping track of analytic trends to make decisions on enhancements to the homepage design. A campus wide message was sent this week to solicit additional feedback about “Inside NMSU”.
  • This week Athletics Media Relations highlighted Rianna Storey who will represent New Mexico State as one of eight collegiate horsemanship athletes competing in the Sun Circuit Horsemanship Invitational. The American Quarter Horse Association will present this event on February 1 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The media relations team was also busy continuing to extol the outstanding play of both men’s and women’s basketball. The Aggie women have won six straight and 10 of their last 11, while the Aggie men have won five of their last six games. We also covered the return of swimming and diving, and the start of the indoor track seasons.

 

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 their website http://govrelations.nmsu.edu/.

 

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

  • Staff spoke at the 2015 Agricultural Employer Forum in Las Cruces, sponsored by the New Mexico Workforce Connection. This annual Forum brings together agriculture employers along with state and federal agencies who regulate them.
  • Raymond Johnson, assistant director for Standards and Consumer Services, NMDA, was nominated to the position of treasurer for the National Conference on Weights and Measures Board of Directors. He, along with the other slate of nominees, will be voted on at the annual meeting in July.

 

Chief, NMSU Police, Stephen Lopez

  • There were 46 police reports filed, 13 supplements filed, and 31 citations issued.
  • The Records Office processed 29 items of evidence, and fingerprinted 10 individuals.
  • There were 192 police calls handled by the Emergency Dispatch Center, and 21 Fire/emergency medical calls.
  • Officers obtained a court order for involuntary commitment against a male student who physically battered a female student.  The male student is still being held at Mesilla Valley Hospital and is undergoing a mental health evaluation.  The female student has been receiving assistance from the Police Department’s Victim Services Coordinator (to include help in getting a temporary restraining order), and is getting outside assistance, as well.  The Dean of Students is also engaged with the victim to assist with academic arrangements.  If released, the male student may face criminal charges that include stalking.
  • Chief Stephen Lopez and Deputy Chief Andy Bowen participated in a TARGET Working Group meeting with the FBI and other agencies in Socorro, NM on Tuesday, January 20.  This focused on conducting threat assessments and stalking cases.
  • During the “snow closure”, officers had to be stationed at Aggie Memorial Stadium to keep individuals from damaging the facility and from trying to sled down the embankments.  During a prior snowstorm, several students had to be transported from this location with injuries that included a fractured leg/hip, concussion, and severe lacerations when they struck the chain-link fence on the East berm, and buried utilities on the West berm.  The overtime for this alone (absent other work) was over $400.
  • There were a total of 7 traffic crashes related to the snow that were handled by the NMSU Police Department on “snow day”.  4 were on campus, and the other 3 were handled as mutual aid for other agencies who were overwhelmed.
  • Attendance at Men’s Basketball games remains low (Saturday’s game had 3,300 attendees).  Police have cut security staffing to minimum levels until attendance picks up.

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