Chancellor’s Corner

May 8, 2017

It’s important to make sure that everyone is aware of NMSU’s efforts toward creating a safe campus. I’m happy to report that we’ve recently completed a successful “It’s On Us” campaign, designed to increase awareness and help end sexual assault on college campuses. We’ve also recently held events for “Aggies Against Violence,” an initiative for both on the NMSU campus and in the larger community.

Our other safety efforts include:

  • Green Dot, a program that empowers potential bystanders to intervene in high-risk situations. This will allow NMSU to continue its awareness and educational efforts toward reducing power-based violence and making the university a safer community. Training for this program will take place later this summer and additional information is available through the NMSU Police Department, the Office of Institutional Equity or the Dean of Students Office.
  • The university’s Annual Safety Report, issued by the NMSU Police Department. It contains information regarding safety and security programs and policies and procedures on campus. Students, staff and the community are welcome to review the Annual Safety Report. Reports dating back several years can be found at:https://www.nmsupolice.com/annual-reports/

Lastly, this is finals week for NMSU. I want to wish each of our students luck as they submit their final projects and take their final exams. For those who are graduating this weekend, I wish you the very best as you head into the next phase of your lives. For those who haven’t yet graduated, please enjoy your well-deserved time off. We will see you again this this summer or fall.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


May 1, 2017

It’s an exciting time to be a part of New Mexico State University. On Friday, the NMSU system launched the public phase of its $125 million comprehensive campaign, “Ignite Aggie Discovery.”

Included in the campaign is a goal to raise $50 million in student scholarships so that all NMSU campuses can offer opportunities to students who have earned them, regardless of their means, and also so the university can attract top students and nurture their success.

While there is still more work to do, this is certainly a time to celebrate. So far, we’ve raised about $72.5 million, about 58 percent of our $125 million goal. We are well on our way and I want to thank everyone who has contributed so far in this effort.

Part of our campaign launch included announcing a transformative gift of $2.5 million from the Hunt Family Foundation to benefit NMSU’s Arrowhead Center. The gift will support Arrowhead’s work in commercializing discoveries and innovations, encouraging entrepreneurship, launching and developing new businesses, and creating lasting partnerships in the region.

Every student, faculty and staff member has a story about NMSU and what makes this university special. A common thread among those stories is mentorship – nearly everyone who is an Aggie will tell you that it was a mentor who helped them along the way. Students also tell that being at NMSU is like being home. We truly are a caring community transforming lives through discovery.

For more information on our Ignite Aggie Discovery campaign, visit https://ignite.nmsu.edu/.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU

On Friday, New Mexico State University officially launched its $125 million Ignite Aggie Discovery Campaign.

 

April 17, 2017

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center continues to do great work, not just for the university but for the state of New Mexico as well. Earlier this year, the Arrowhead Technology Incubator launched a new program called AgSprint to offer help for companies developing innovative ideas in agricultural technology. Now, I’m delighted to report that from 46 applications from teams based around the globe, six startups were selected for the program. These companies are developing technology in various areas of agriculture and include:

  • Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch – Colorado’s first and only edible insect farm, which sells edible insects to restaurants, food manufacturers and others.
  • Wildlife Protection Management – a platform to manage and protect wildlife using non-invasive, humane means.
  • Ag Coalition – a digital marketplace where suppliers, producers and retailers review, evaluate, purchase and conduct business in the agricultural supply chain.
  • Revolution Agriculture – creates organic farms that produce eight times the yield per square foot, run 100 percent on renewable energy, use 90 percent less water, and empower communities to solve food insecurity issues.
  • Gonzo Farms – created the Eddy 2.0 Vortex Brewer, which increases beneficial microbes and fungi for optimum reproduction in soil.
  • Enchanted Seeds and Sustainable Management – offers a management decision platform and certification program to help producers identify potential products while considering economics and future agricultural production.

The AgSprint accelerator supports innovation in agriculture by connecting agricultural entrepreneurs to financing, demonstration and validation partners, academic faculty, corporate partners and more.

The program follows the I-Corps model to test the feasibility of the venture. I-Corps is a National Science Foundation initiative to leverage university research to create new innovative businesses and increase the economic impact of inventions created at research institutions around the country. NMSU is one of only 51 academic institutions nationwide to be selected as an I-Corps Site.

Graduates of the AgSprint accelerator will receive $2,000 and the necessary National Science Foundation lineage to apply for the $50,000 national I-Corps program. Additionally, applicants will be able to receive up to three micro-grants, valued at $650, to cover the expenses of professional services such as technical writing, website development, counsel on patents and technology licensing, and regulatory consulting.

Funding for AgSprint is provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center program and New Mexico Gas Co. For more information, visit http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/agsprint/.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


April 10, 2017

I want to invite everyone to an important Employee Council forum this week covering our strategic plan Vision 2020 and the budget. The event is set for 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in the Football Hall of Legends, near the northwest entrance to Aggie Memorial Stadium. I, along with other NMSU administrators, will be available to answer questions as part of the forum.

Strategic planning is important for NMSU because it states our mission, offers a vision for what we want to be and outlines the goals we work to meet along the way. Details of Vision 2020, including how we are doing on our key performance indicators, are available at https://plan.nmsu.edu/. That website also highlights NMSU’s previous strategic plans, which allows everyone to gauge how our priorities change over the years.

Now, we’re beginning to work on the next iteration of our strategic plan. Over the coming months, a committee including myself and 10 other representatives from the NMSU system will begin tackling this process. Our first meeting was last week, but before we get too far along, we want to hear from the university community. We want to hear your ideas and suggestions. We look forward to seeing you at the Employee Council forum this Thursday. A map showing the Hall of Legends location is available at https://empcouncil.nmsu.edu/hall-of-legends-location/. For those who cannot make it in person, the forum will be webcast at http://empcouncil.nmsu.edu/vision2020-forum. Employees can send their questions about the strategic plan to president@nmsu.edu. For questions about the forum, email empcouncil@nmsu.edu.

Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


April 3, 2017

New Mexico State University is an equal employment opportunity institution as well as an affirmative action institution. That means we are dedicated to providing equal opportunities in the areas of employment and academics regardless of someone’s age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, serious medical condition, sex, sexual orientation, spousal affiliation or protected veteran status as outlined in federal and state anti-discrimination statutes.

Because we are sensitive to underutilized populations, we are always on the lookout for barriers to equal opportunity and searching for ways to eliminate those barriers through action-oriented programs.

Our strategic plan, Vision 2020, states that NMSU will provide a diverse academic environment, supportive of a global society. As part of that plan, we have goals for faculty, staff and student diversity. These goals are not quotas, but are reasonable targets for representation.

The university makes a good faith effort to hire underutilized populations when all things are equal. This does not require hiring someone who lacks the qualifications to perform the job successfully, or someone who is less qualified. With the assistance of NMSU’s Office of Institutional Equity, we work to encourage diversity among NMSU employees through recruitment. Offices on campus seeking new employees should cast as wide a net as possible to recruit a diverse pool of qualified candidates. Offices should also consider expanding the number of candidates they interview.

For more information on this topic, I encourage you to visit the NMSU Office of Institutional Equity website at https://eeo.nmsu.edu/.

Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


March 27, 2017
The “It’s On Us” initiative is an important awareness campaign designed to help end sexual assault on college campuses. Recently, Lauri Millot, our director of the Office of Institutional Equity, spoke to NMSU’s University Administrative Council about this topic. I wanted to reinforce one of the messages she delivered during that presentation – that it’s on us (all of us) to stop sexual assault.

The It’s on Us campaign includes the following pledge:

  • To recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault,
  • To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur,
  • To intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given,
  • And to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

Nationwide, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted in college. Additionally, 8 in 10 victims know their attacker in some way. With those numbers, it’s not surprising that 40 percent of survivors fear reprisal by their attacker. These incidents are also dramatically underreported. It’s believed that only 13 percent of rape survivors report the assault and that rate drops to 2 percent when the rape survivor was incapacitated during the attack.

In the coming month, the university will work with ASNMSU, our Greek community, employee organizations and other groups to send a number of communications and host campus events to spread the word about the “It’s On Us” campaign. I hope you’ll take part in helping create a cultural shift in the way we think about, talk about and act around sexual assault by establishing a sense of ownership of this issue. In the end, we want to empower everyone to make a difference, every day.

Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


 

March 13, 2017

This was such a great weekend for NMSU and, in particular, our student athletes. I wanted to share some of the excitement and the Aggie pride that I saw in effect in Las Vegas during the WAC Basketball Tournament, and on the softball field.

The Aggie men's basketball team following their victory in the WAC Tournament

The men’s basketball team defeated CSU Bakersfield Saturday night by a score of 70-60 to win the WAC Tournament for the fifth time in six years and once again earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. At one point in the second half, the Aggies were down by 13, but came roaring back to win by 10. Their record now stands at 28-5, meaning they now have the most wins in team history, passing even the 1969-70 team of Aggies that went to the Final Four.

The Aggie women's basketball team after winning the WAC Tournament

Earlier that day, the women’s basketball team defeated Seattle University 63-48 to also win the WAC Tournament – for the third straight year! That means the team will now move on to the NCAA Tournament, also for the third straight time. Their record now stands at an impressive 24-6 and this team has achieved a great deal over the past three years. We wish them the very best as they continue their season.

The Aggie softball team in Las Vegas

I also had an opportunity to see the Aggie softball team in action in Las Vegas. They were taking part in the UNLV Rebel Classic Tournament against DePaul, Southern Illinois, Portland State and UNLV. You may recall that I am the honorary bat boy for the Aggie softball team and I was delighted to speak with them following a come-from-behind victory early in the tournament.

Congratulations go to everyone involved in the weekend, from the student athletes, to the coaches, and everyone who played a role. You have much to be proud of. We also look forward to watching our men’s and women’s basketball teams playing in the NCAA Tournament in the coming days. To see more from the weekend, you can always follow my posts on Twitter at twitter.com/carruthersnmsu.

 


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


March 6, 2017

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Santa Fe over the past few weeks, meeting with lawmakers during the Legislative Session. Last week I was delighted to be joined at the state capital by a group of NMSU student ambassadors.

I was so impressed by these students, particularly by their academic achievements and their development as leaders. Among the students I met with over dinner, one was a lobbyist for ASNMSU. She prefers living on campus while at school and has traveled abroad to gain a wide range of experiences. When she graduates, she wants to spend time working in an orphanage. Another student, who speaks five languages, was weighing various options after college, including diplomatic service. Yet another student was very shy when she was younger. Then her mother signed her up for 4-H to work on her public speaking skills. Now, she’s outgoing and very comfortable in front of a crowd. These students are representative of our larger student body – tremendously talented and each is a future leader.

Let’s all encourage our students to participate in campus activities, whether as ambassadors, participating in club activities, or taking part in other university organizations where they can enrich their lives while growing as leaders. The skills they learn from these pursuits will benefit us all.

 


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Feb. 27, 2017

A number of very exciting and important events are coming for the New Mexico State University system April 26-28. These events involve the public launch of our Comprehensive Campaign, a system-wide effort to raise $125 million in cash and pledges to support students, faculty and staff excellence, and our land-grant mission at each of our campuses around the state.

This is the first and largest comprehensive cash campaign in our system’s history, and we hope to raise at least $50 million for student scholarships. You’ll soon hear about our campaign theme, the amount we’ve raised so far, and the special guests we have lined up to help us celebrate this effort. You won’t want to miss this historical and impactful launch that each of you have contributed to.

Please mark the following events on your calendars and encourage your team members to join us. I anticipate seeing strong system-wide participation for these activities.

  • The faculty and staff initiative will launch during our Founders Day festivities, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 26 at Traders Plaza. Free lunch will be served in partnership with Employee Council.
  • The student launch will run from noon to 1:30 p.m. April 27 in the grassy area between Piñon Hall and the Educational Services Building. Free food and entertainment will be provided.
  • The system-wide and community launch will take place from 4-6 p.m. April 28 at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts. A brief program, heavy appetizers and drinks will be served. Crimson and Aggie wear welcome!

Expect a series of additional announcements and other communications to follow over the coming weeks, but I hope this message has ignited some Aggie excitement around this initiative and these events. I’ll see you there.

 


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Feb. 20, 2017

Because NMSU values and respects diversity, I want to send a clear message about our commitment to creating a nurturing and caring community at each of our NMSU campuses around the state. This has become increasingly important as events in the news have created anxiety surrounding the issues of immigration status and immigration enforcement.

We want all international students to feel welcome at NMSU. I support our students and employees classified under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. As I have stated in the past, NMSU does not require proof of citizenship as a condition of student admission, and does not discriminate in the services we provide on the basis of immigration status. NMSU respects the privacy of all its students and employees, and does not disclose information to other entities, except upon consent of the student or employee, as required by law, or as part of the visa process. It should also be noted that, in accordance with state law, qualifying undocumented students are eligible for in-state tuition and other state-funded financial aid.

We are committed to providing an environment that is supportive, welcoming and respectful for all students regardless of religious backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identifications, immigration status, nationalities and abilities. As a land-grant university and as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, NMSU holds strongly to the values of inclusion and access to all people. NMSU will not tolerate harassment of students or employees for any reasons, and we are especially committed to protecting staff, students and faculty from harassment related to immigration status, national origin, religious affiliation or ethnicity.

As I have stated before, among the most important responsibilities we have at NMSU is to provide a safe and caring community where all students can focus on learning without fear of persecution and where all faculty and staff know they are valued and supported. We are all Aggies and the support we offer to members of the Aggie family is the same, no matter where a student or an employee was born.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


 

Feb. 13, 2017

I want to congratulate our students and all of our faculty and staff who are involved with the Aggie Pathway program. I’m happy to report that we had more than 250 students begin the program last fall at NMSU Alamogordo, NMSU Carlsbad and NMSU Doña Ana. This spring, between 83 to 86 percent of those students are still enrolled at the university.

The Aggie Pathway program started as an effort to help students with high school GPAs between 2.5 and 2.75 start in smaller classes at our community colleges where they are more likely to succeed. Later, once these students finish 24 college-level credit hours with a minimum 2.5 GPA, they can transfer to our Las Cruces campus to finish their bachelor’s degree. While some additional students have been allowed into the program, we’ve still seen success. Previously, more than 80 percent of the students with a high school GPA below 2.75 did not complete an NMSU degree in 6 years.

In the first year of the Aggie Pathway program, NMSU Alamogordo had six students participate and they’ve seen an 83 percent retention rate. NMSU Carlsbad had seven students participate and has an 86 percent retention rate. NMSU Doña Ana had 253 students and saw an 84 percent retention rate. As we move forward, I would like to see this program grow to allow even more students an opportunity to start in smaller classes at our community colleges and later move to the Las Cruces campus to finish their degrees.

This is another example of how NMSU is a caring community. From our professors to our computer technicians to the people who keep the grounds, we all play a role in the success of our students. Thank you all for the work you do.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Feb. 6, 2017

More than 500 sixth-graders from across Southern New Mexico will visit our Las Cruces campus this weekend. It’s part of the first New Mexico Young Achievers Forum, hosted by NMSU.

Community en Accion, AT&T and Bravo Dealerships of Las Cruces and El Paso are partners in this event, which will introduce these young, energetic students, along with their parents, to NMSU and a variety of career opportunities, including careers in STEM fields, health science, business and liberal arts.

The Young Achievers Forum is designed to encourage these students to pursue a college education after high school. This is an important issue for our state. We need to do more to instill a culture of higher education in New Mexico. Too often, students in our state graduate high school and don’t even consider pursuing some form of higher education, whether it’s a professional certificate or an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree. Students should realize a college education has a direct impact on their future career earnings – often amounting to several hundred thousand dollars or more over a lifetime. That kind of earning potential not only benefits those students, but also their families, their communities and the entire state.

We’re excited to bring these bright students on campus and we look forward to helping more students like them discover what their futures could hold if they stay in school.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Jan. 30, 2017

It’s important for us to recognize and applaud the remarkable achievements of our students. These achievements are happening each day across the university, in our classrooms, laboratories and athletic facilities. In this light, I’m delighted to report that NMSU is home to two incredibly talented college basketball teams.

Our men’s team has the second longest winning streak in the nation at 18 games. Plus, their 20-2 record ties the Aggie team from 1989-90 for the third-best start in program history. The team will look to add to that win streak against Northern New Mexico this evening in Rio Rancho and they will play Chicago State this Saturday at the Pan American Center.

Our women’s team is on an impressive winning streak of their own right now with eight straight victories. The team is 9-1 at home and has yet to lose a single game this year against another team from the Western Athletic Conference. The women’s team has three more home games in February.

These successes call very positive attention to our students and what they do each day. These teams also foster a sense of Aggie Pride. We should appreciate each of our student athletes as they find success in their studies as well as their athletic pursuits. I hope you’ll be able to come and cheer these teams on in person very soon.

 


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU

 

I’d also like to share another student success story with you. Elena Davidson, an NMSU honors student, has landed an engineering practicum internship this summer with Google. Well done, Elena!

Jan. 23, 2017

I wanted to provide an update from Santa Fe this week. I recently visited the New Mexico Legislature and I receive regular reports from Ricardo Rel, our assistant vice president for government relations, and others in the capital. It’s important to note that it’s still early in the legislative session, so while we think we have a sense for what’s going on, it always changes.

In visiting with the Legislature, I find that NMSU is held in extremely high regard by most legislators. We also had lunch with the New Mexico Amigos last week at their event and they, too, hold NMSU in very high regard. We need to be proud of our status among both lawmakers and citizens.

The Senate passed and sent to the House four solvency bills worth $69 million to fix solvency for 2017. In these bills, higher education does not have to contribute any more to the solvency of this current year. We’ve given about 7.5 percent at this point and I believe the thinking was that higher education had already given more than nearly anyone else.

For next year’s budget, the Legislative Finance Committee recommendation would translate to a 0.3 percent reduction in appropriations for NMSU. Under the Higher Education Department/Department of Finance and Administration/New Mexico Governor recommendation, NMSU would see a reduction of about 1.1 percent. In either case, there is a slight reduction projected for the next year.

While this news isn’t positive, especially in light of other budget reductions, it’s important for us not to lose sight of what’s important here at NMSU. Each day our faculty and staff are doing amazing work that benefits our students, our community and the entire state of New Mexico. We need to start telling people (our friends, our family, our neighbors, everyone) about all the great work we are doing – the story of NMSU. I’m confident that if we regularly tell people about the wonderful things happening here, they’ll notice. NMSU is a caring community, transforming lives through discovery, and we do that job very well.

Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Jan. 17, 2017

It’s a new year and I can already feel the renewed energy around campus. Our faculty members have returned to their posts and we will soon see students heading to their classes. We have a lot of exciting things to look forward to this year.

At this morning’s convocation ceremony, I spoke about our efforts to enhance the campus living experience, which will increase student success and retention. We’re holding more events in our student housing facilities and we’re bringing faculty members into our student housing areas with our faculty-in-residence program. We’re also centralizing our advising efforts, creating micro-grants for students near graduation who need assistance and we’re taking steps to ensure student scholarship money is getting to the students who need it. Each of these efforts is important as we work to improve retention over the coming years.

During convocation, we also recognized the contributions of our faculty and staff, and honored Barbara Hubbard with NMSU’s Presidential Medallion, which recognizes outstanding service individuals give to the university beyond their time as employees.

In my mind, there are two icons at NMSU. One is Lou Henson. The other is Barbara Hubbard. Mother Hubbard may have “retired” in 1998, but she actually continues her decades-long efforts for NMSU to this day. While she’s worked with an impressive list of legendary entertainers, her passion has always been to help and mentor students. That effort is still going with American Collegiate Talent Showcase where she raises money for student scholarships. While many know of her work with NMSU special events, many may not know she was also a physical education teacher and cheerleading coach at NMSU, a biology teacher at Las Cruces High School and a physical education teacher at Mayfield High School. Thank you, Mother Hubbard, for all you have done and all you continue to do for this university.

Have a great semester.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Dec. 5, 2016

As the temperatures and the leaves falling around campus would indicate, our semester is quickly coming to an end. This is finals week and I know this can be a stressful time. I wish each of our students the best of luck as they prepare their semester projects and study for their final exams.

One of the most exciting times of year, our fall commencement ceremony, is this coming Saturday. The Pan American Center will be packed with families and loved ones celebrating the accomplishments of our newest class of NMSU graduates. These students have achieved so much during their time at NMSU and I congratulate them. I would also encourage our new graduates to stay connected to NMSU and keep us posted of your successes as you begin the next chapter of your lives.

To our students and employees, I wish you all the very best this holiday season and I look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus in 2017. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the upcoming break and use your time off to rest and recharge. Thank you for everything you’ve done to make NMSU a caring community, transforming lives through discovery.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Nov. 28, 2016

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that happens each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Last year’s Giving Tuesday event at NMSU was wildly successful, drawing more than 2,400 donors and raising more than $2.9 million. When you add in matching dollars from the NMSU Alumni License Plate program and an estate gift from a generous Aggie donor, the total came to $5.7 million, which created more than 82 new scholarships for students across the NMSU system. I am proud that so many of our faculty and staff members contributed to this success.

This is a system-wide event that benefits all of our campuses, including NMSU Doña Ana, Alamogordo, Carlsbad and Grants. That’s why we are reaching out again to NMSU faculty, staff, alumni and friends, not only around the campus and around the state, but also across the country and around the world to help us make a difference for our students.

NMSU’s Giving Tuesday headquarters is in Corbett Center’s Aggie Lounge and will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 29, with a special kickoff celebration at 9 a.m. and a closing celebration at 5 p.m. If you can’t stop by, you can still get involved by visiting http://advancing.nmsu.edu/givingtuesday.

While we don’t have the same dollar-for-dollar match on every scholarship gift that we had last year, we do have many matching opportunities that support the programs and causes you appreciate most on our campuses. Giving Tuesday benefits all of our students by supporting the programs and opportunities we provide as they pursue higher education. Please join us as we come together to celebrate the generosity of our Aggie community that transforms the lives of our students. I hope to see you there.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU

 

One day can make a difference! NMSU’s Giving Tuesday event at NMSU is Nov. 29.

Nov. 21, 2016

As we head into the holiday season, we have much to be thankful for at New Mexico State University. Most importantly, I am thankful for our caring community of wonderful and talented employees who come to work each day for the benefit of our students and the state of New Mexico. Whether it’s through teaching, research or other support efforts, please know that I appreciate what you do for this great university.

I would also like to extend my congratulations to everyone who worked to help pass GO Bond B and GO Bond C earlier this month. Bond B will provide more than half a million dollars to support the NMSU Library system. Bond C will provide $27.5 million for important university projects in and around Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Carlsbad and Grants.

For the Las Cruces campus, Bond C includes $22.5 million for the construction of a new D.W. Williams Hall, which currently houses the NMSU Department of Art and the University Gallery. Private parties have already contributed more than $800,000 to this project and I’ll be excited to watch as this effort moves along.

For NMSU’s community colleges, Bond C will provide  $1.5 million for NMSU Doña Ana to renovate and equip classrooms and labs for students as well as roof repair and other needed infrastructure projects. Also, $1 million would go to NMSU Alamogordo, $1 million for NMSU Carlsbad, and $1.5 million for NMSU Grants.

Again, thank you to everyone for the work you do each day. I wish you a wonderful holiday.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Nov. 14, 2016

Following the events of last week, I was reminded of how much we owe our veterans. The reason we have free elections and the reason groups have the ability to protest is because veterans have protected those freedoms for nearly two and a half centuries. Every day ought to be Veterans Day, for the time and the sacrifice our veterans have made to our great country.
NMSU is a military friendly university and from the very beginning our graduates have made remarkable contributions to the nation. During World War II, it was NMSU Registrar Era Rentfrow who began gathering and cataloging information about Aggies who were serving in the armed forces, and especially the 126 Aggies who did not make it home. That effort continued under Ben Woods, who recently retired from the university. I commend both of their efforts to preserve our heritage for future generations.

Hector Sanchez is our new director of military and veterans programs and he leads an important effort. Our student veterans are often older than their peers and have a vastly different set of life experiences. We owe it to these students to help them navigate our system in the most effective way possible.

Below, you’ll find a video with some of my remarks during our Veterans Day ceremony outside Aggie Memorial Tower. To all of our veterans, thank you for all you have done and all you continue to do.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU

Carruthers on Veterans Day
Here’s a portion of my remarks during our Veterans Day ceremony on Friday.

 

Nov. 7, 2016

I recently attended a board of directors meeting for NMSU’s Arrowhead Center. There, I heard presentations from three entrepreneurs who are working with Arrowhead to get their products to market and I wanted to share some of their remarkable work.
One presenter was Justin Dahrling, an NMSU PGA golf management graduate who already has his own golf accessories company. He’s also begun to manufacture a golf putter he feels will help the user better align their putts. Working with Arrowhead’s Studio G (which already has 250 students attempting to build their own businesses), he was able to find an engineering student to help with his design plans. Since then, he has manufactured a number of club heads, which have found eager buyers. I was very impressed by his presentation and I look forward to buying one of his putters myself.

Geoffrey Smith was one of two NMSU professors who also made presentations. He’s a professor in environmental microbiology and has developed an organic biocide made from an essential oil and another natural material that is effective in combating bacteria, fungus and nematodes. He says this organic, environmentally friendly substance has already been licensed for use in agriculture as well as on golf courses. He also detailed a second product called H2 Elastomer. It’s a specialized polymer coating that prevents corrosion of stainless steel hydrogen transport pipes, eliminating maintenance and replacement costs.

Additionally, we heard from Nirmala Khandan, a distinguished professor in civil engineering at NMSU. He presented four projects, including a way to desalinize water using a low-grade heat source, a way to convert algae to biodiesel microalgae, a way to convert algae directly into biodiesel and a way to treat wastewater.

These are just a few examples of the great work our students, faculty and staff are doing every day here at NMSU. I applaud each of these entrepreneurs’ already outstanding work and I look forward to following their future successes.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Oct. 31, 2016

Friday evening, I joined College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Dean Rolando Flores and NMSU Board of Regents Chair Debra Hicks in accepting a $50,000 check from Farm Credit of New Mexico and CoBank. Their gift is an investment in the outstanding work we do at this university and will be used to help create the NMSU Heritage Farm.

For more than 100 years, NMSU has led the way in developing agricultural research to benefit our state. Beginning with Fabian Garcia’s groundbreaking work with chile peppers in the late 1800s, and continuing through generations of other researchers specializing in onions, pecans, cotton, turf grass and other crops, our great university is known for work that benefits agricultural producers, consumers and the state’s economy.

The NMSU Heritage Farm will be a tribute to this important legacy. It will be located on the west side of NMSU near the Las Cruces Convention Center, next to the soon-to-be constructed campus hotel. The facility will be home to NMSU’s Chile Pepper Institute, and a winery and will feature other crops important to the university and New Mexico. This development will mark our campus as a place where visitors can come and learn about our history and honor our agricultural roots. Look for additional updates on this project in the coming months.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU

I also wanted to say thank you to Coach Paul Weir and the NMSU men’s basketball team. They took some time to shoot around with the Special Olympics basketball team earlier this month. Yet another example of how NMSU is a caring community.


Oct. 24, 2016

Today, in my role as director of the Domenici Institute for Public Policy, I ask you to join me in celebrating the efforts of four outstanding students – Micaela de la Rosa, Connor Schultz, Haley Stewart and Margie Vela – the inaugural class of Domenici Student Scholars.

At the close of the 2016 Domenici Public Policy Conference, our student panelists completed an extended period of preparation, including the study of a conference topic and speaker. Once the students complete their research, converse with their fellow panelists, listen to and question the speakers, they often leave the conference with more questions, more ideas and a deeper interest in a particular public policy subject.

This semester, as part of a new Domenici Institute initiative, we invited the NMSU student panelists to expand their interest by participating in the Domenici Student Scholars Program – an independent study course intended to provide each student a framework, under the guidance of a faculty member, to develop a proposal, write a draft paper, give an oral presentation, and produce a final, well-researched policy paper. At the conclusion of the semester, each student will have the opportunity to donate their finished product to the political papers section of the NMSU Library Archives and Special Collections.I invite you to join us to hear presentations from these students at the next Domenici Institute Forum from 5-6:15 p.m. Nov. 8, with a reception to follow. More information, including the four student profiles, is available at www.domenici.nmsu.edu. Since this is also Election Day, I encourage you to vote early and then join us in the Yates Theater of Domenici Hall for the opportunity to support the hard work of our four Domenici Student Scholars.

And below, please find a short video from KRWG-TV that highlights one of our speakers from this year’s Domenici Conference. Her name is Liza Long and she discusses raising a child with severe mental illness.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU

Liza Long Discusses Raising A Child With Severe Mental Illness

Oct. 17, 2016

As voters begin heading to the polls, I would like to encourage everyone to vote on GO Bond C, which would tremendously benefit the New Mexico State University system. If passed by voters, Bond C will mean $27.5 million for important NMSU projects in and around Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Carlsbad and Grants. Importantly, Bond C will not raise taxes.

For the Las Cruces campus, Bond C includes $22.5 million for the construction of a new D.W. Williams Hall, which currently houses the NMSU Department of Art and the University Gallery.

Williams Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus and was originally constructed in 1938 as a gymnasium. The classrooms and lab spaces are built around the old concrete bleachers and don’t leave adequate room for learning. This means we’re not serving as many students as we could be. Please find a video with more information about Williams Hall at the end of this message.

NMSU’s art students not only learn artistic techniques, they also strengthen their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, which are assets they can transfer to any profession. Recent research shows that employers rate creativity and innovation among the most valuable skills. Plus, according to a New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs study, the arts and culture industry contributes $5.6 billion a year to the state’s economy and employs more than 76,000 people.

For NMSU’s community colleges, Bond C will mean $1.5 million for NMSU Doña Ana to renovate and equip classrooms and labs for students as well as roof repair and other needed infrastructure projects. Also, $1 million would go to NMSU Alamogordo, $1 million for NMSU Carlsbad, and $1.5 million for NMSU Grants.

Additionally, GO Bond B is also on the ballot. If passed, Bond B will bring more than $500,000 to NMSU libraries around the state. Early voting is now underway, and Election Day is Nov. 8. Please be sure to vote.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU

NMSU students, faculty and community leaders talk about D.W. Williams Hall

Oct. 10, 2016

I know it has been a turbulent few months, but I want to reassure everyone that despite the cuts to higher education approved by the New Mexico Legislature in the past few days, NMSU is going to be okay. As a result of budget efforts already taken, we have identified one-time funds necessary to cover the reduced state appropriations through the end of the current fiscal year.

I know there has been a lot of anxiety around campus regarding the special session and the budget reductions that accompanied it. This is especially understandable in the wake of the other budget cuts we’ve seen at the university.

Among the budget measures passed by the Legislature is a 5 percent decrease in funding for higher education. That translates to approximately $10 million for the NMSU system. Earlier this year, we anticipated there may be a special session, so we were proactive in our budget process and set aside about $1.4 million as contingency funding, just in case. That contingency, along with the use of carry forward balances and other non-recurring funds such as salary savings from the hiring moratorium and the use of equipment budgets, will allow us to make it through the 2017 budget year.

As we look further ahead, we expect the Transforming NMSU process to begin to generate recurring savings to the university and help us with the 2018 budget and budget years beyond. Even with these ongoing savings, 2018 promises to be a challenge. During the coming months we’ll begin to carefully plan what needs to be done to ensure we maintain a balanced budget for 2018, including some options for revenue enhancements.

Our Government Relations team has a complete summary of special session on their website at https://govrelations.nmsu.edu/. I encourage you to examine the report they have compiled.

To all of our faculty, staff, and administrators who work around New Mexico, I want to say thank you. Your work is what makes NMSU a caring community and an outstanding university. Please know that it is appreciated.

I also want to share the video below that shows the Aggie baseball team making a difference for some area students. Great job, Coach.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Oct. 3, 2016

Homecoming is one of my favorite times of the year. We welcome generations of NMSU alumni back to campus and celebrate their accomplishments. Then, when the Aggie football team can pull off a dramatic victory in double overtime – that makes the weekend even better!

We’re fond of telling people that NMSU is a caring community, transforming lives through discovery. That statement describes what NMSU has done from the very beginning. Since 1888, students from around the state, around the country and around the world have come to the university and our community colleges not only seeking a degree, but also trying to discover who they are and what they want to do with their lives. Helping students answer these questions is what we do best. We provide an outstanding education and we prepare our students to go on and do incredible things.

At each commencement ceremony, we tell our graduates how important it is for them to stay connected to their university. In the past few days I’ve heard from lots of alumni who are off doing important work that benefits the country, their communities and their families. Invariably, during these conversations, I ask our alums how their education stacks up to those with whom they work. The answer is always that their education is at least as good if not better than those of their colleagues! Congratulations to each of our grads and congratulations again to the Aggie football team. I hope everyone enjoyed homecoming.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Sept. 26, 2016

New Mexico State University is now working through an important issue. It involves new rules from the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA. It’s vital for our employees, as well as their supervisors, to be well informed about what’s happening.

In May, the federal government made rule changes that involve which employees can be exempted from overtime regulations. This affects workers across the country, including more than 800 here at NMSU. Because of these new rules, those 800 NMSU employees will see several changes later this year, including adjustments to their pay schedule and the amount of hours they can work each week.

I have yet to meet anyone who is really happy about converting from exempt to non-exempt status. Please know the university is working to make these adjustments as painless as possible, including the creation of the Pay Gap Wage Assistance Program. We’ve also hosted more than 30 informational sessions over the past three weeks on this issue. These sessions have included both supervisors and employees at our Las Cruces campus as well as the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and each of NMSU’s community colleges.

It’s important that supervisors make themselves aware of these new Department of Labor rules, as well as our internal procedures and our requirements under the AFSCME contract. That’s why Provost Dan Howard and I will personally attend a training session that all supervisors will be required to attend.

I understand that many employees are concerned about these changes. I have personally met with the Employee Council on this issue and we want to make sure all of your questions are answered. That’s why everyone is invited to an Employee Council forum set for 8:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at the Corbett Center Auditorium. This forum will also be webcast for those unable to attend in person. For more information on this issue, I encourage you to visit https://hr.nmsu.edu/flsa/. Thank you to everyone for all you do to make this a great university.

 


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Sept. 19, 2016

What a smashing success! For the past nine years, New Mexico State University’s Domenici Public Policy Conference has brought national experts to Las Cruces to speak about important issues facing the country. Last week we hosted yet another fantastic conference, and I’d like to highlight a few of the important topics we covered.

Carville, Soltis Anderson and CarruthersThis year, we featured a handful of guests who spoke about the concerns and considerations surrounding mental health in our nation. This is an incredibly important issue that is finally finding the attention it deserves. Among the experts who spoke on this subject was former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who is open about his own health challenges, as well as those of his family. We also heard from other experts who spoke about the effect mental illness has on families, the criminal justice system and the community. This is a national discussion that must continue.
We were also pleased that nationally known political strategist James Carville returned to the Domenici Conference. He was joined by political writer and pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson. Together they engaged with our students in an important discussion about the state of American politics and the importance for the next generation to become actively engaged in determining the direction of their country.

I couldn’t be happier with this year’s conference and all of the hard work done by everyone involved. We had more than 1,100 people in attendance, and a few of the sessions were standing room only. This is just one more example of outstanding things NMSU does for our community and for the state.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Sept. 12, 2016

Friday was an exciting day for New Mexico State University. José Calzada Rovirosa, Mexico’s secretary of agriculture, and an NMSU graduate, was on campus to take part in a number of important events.

Secretary Calzada’s ties to NMSU are strong. He’s an Aggie, earning his master’s degree in business administration here in 1992. His daughter was born in Las Cruces and his niece and brother both graduated from NMSU as well. He previously served as governor of the Mexican state of Querétaro and we will continue to follow his career serving the people of Mexico.

Carruthers, McPherson and CalzadaWhile visiting NMSU, Secretary Calzada met with Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Our campus is where they signed an important agreement to strengthen communication; promote scientific research, knowledge transfer and technological innovation; and collaborate with Latin America, the Caribbean and other countries on research, extension, training and assessment.

Also that day, Secretary Calzada took part in a Domenici Institute Public Policy Forum on Agriculture. There, he was joined by two other agriculture secretaries: U.S. Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Edward Avalos and New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte – who both also happen to hold degrees from NMSU. This was not only an important discussion on the future of agriculture, but served to highlight that NMSU graduates not only go on to do important work, they are often some of the best in their fields.

We look forward to continuing our friendship with Secretary Calzada and our partnerships with Mexico. Our countries have much to learn from one another and we feel it benefits students from the U.S. and students from Mexico when they can interact with one another and learn from each other’s cultures.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Sept. 6, 2016

I want to make sure we continue to keep everyone up to date when it comes to the state’s budget situation and how it could affect higher education.

A group of New Mexico lawmakers, specifically members of the Legislative Finance Committee, met recently at Red River to discuss the budget. They went to the top of the mountain, but ended up in a valley. These lawmakers heard the state of New Mexico has a budget shortfall for the fiscal year that just ended on June 30. This deficit means there will need to be a special session to balance the budget. Committee staff members are recommending a transfer from the Tobacco Permanent Fund to bring the 2016 fiscal year budget back into balance.

Additionally, it’s estimated that the state budget for the current fiscal year (FY 2017) is going to be about $326 million short. During the Red River meeting, LFC Director David Abbey recommended that the legislature consider various solvency measures, including budget cuts, sweeping unspent funds and swapping out funding sources for different budget items. They may also begin to look at either potential tax increases or closing tax loopholes. These measures need to total $453 million, at minimum, to cover the $326 million shortfall for fiscal year 2017 and build about $130 million in reserves to cover potential future shortfalls.

The LFC will receive updated revenue estimates in December and again in February, which will provide a better indication on the state budget picture. We will continue to monitor the budget situation and provide updates with the latest information as it becomes available.


Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU


Aug. 29, 2016

I’ve said for years now that New Mexico State University’s annual Domenici Public Policy Conference is the premier policy conference in our region. I’m delighted to report that this year’s conference is not only our strongest to-date, but also our most timely in terms of the topics we will cover.

The issues of mental health, police-community relations, national security and the 2016 elections make headlines each day. We’re fortunate to have national experts on each of these subjects join us at the Las Cruces Convention Center Sept. 14-15.

Once again, we thank Senator Pete Domenici for his service to the nation as well as his active involvement in the conference. We would not be able to bring you a program of this level without his support. This year’s conference will feature former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, political strategist James Carville, political pollster and author Kristen Soltis Anderson, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy and New Mexico Secretary of Higher Education Barbara Damron, among others.

The cost to attend the conference is $50 if you register this month. The cost goes to $75 in September. Students, as always, are free. We would love for everyone on campus to come and enjoy the show. Because this is an exceptional learning opportunity, faculty members are also encouraged to give extra credit for students who attend. For more information on the conference, or to register, visit https://domenici.nmsu.edu/

Thank you. We look forward to seeing you there.

Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.
Chancellor, NMSU