Building a foundation for success

The Morrill Act of 1862 created a system of universities designed to teach agriculture and mechanical arts to farmers and other members of the working classes. Unlike established universities that served society’s elite, these land-grant universities reached people previously excluded from higher education. New Mexico State University is one of these land-grant universities, and we are proud to add Hispanic-Serving, Minority-Serving and Space-Grant to our land-grant designation.

Students are drawn to NMSU by our top-quality, highly ranked educational programs. We welcome them and their families for campus visits and provide information about academic programs, finances and housing. They also want to know about campus dining, our health center, academic support, and so much more. NMSU is there with them every step of the way. In survey after survey, our students tell us one of the reasons they chose to attend NMSU was that our campus felt like home and the kind of place that would provide a strong foundation for their success.

We are committed to that success. NMSU LEADS 2025 unambiguously states our commitment to not only serve students often excluded from higher education but to be a national leader in doing so. To fulfill our mission, we continually work on ways to support student success. In recent years, we have increased that support dramatically. We have invested in developing clear pathways to degrees. We have invested in tools that allow faculty and staff to understand why some students might be struggling and how to intervene.  We continue to invest over $50 million annually in scholarships that help Aggies pay for college. Last year, we heard about students trying to write papers on their phones because they had no other technology. This year, we addressed that digital divide by providing incoming first-year students with an iPad and training. And we still strive to improve student outcomes.

Unique to land-grant universities is the opportunity to improve outcomes by strengthening the integration of the three parts of the NMSU mission. When education, research, and outreach and Extension are fully blended, our students have a wider range of hands-on experiences and skills to offer a future employer. They are also better prepared for graduate research and education. They experience the power of lifelong learning through Extension and outreach. They learn to work with people who differ from them, and they learn to value those differences.

We measure our progress on NMSU LEADS 2025 goals by metrics like increasing graduation rates, even as those same rates illuminate areas for improvement and new investments. This work requires commitment and time: It took Georgia State University a decade to increase graduation rates by 23 points and eliminate achievement gaps based on race, ethnicity and income. But this is the NMSU LEADS 2025 vision, and our students deserve our best efforts. Let’s make it happen.

Be Bold. Be Kind. Be Safe.

Go Aggies!

John Floros, Ph.D.
BE BOLD. Shape the future.

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