Celebrating our students, Planning for the future

March 22, 2019

This week we have two tournament championships to celebrate: Last weekend, both of our basketball teams brought home Western Athletic Conference Championships and secured spots at the NCAA tournament! Our Women’s Basketball Team has been Conference Champs for four of the past five years, and our men won their third straight Conference Championship. The men’s team played a great game against Auburn University in Salt Lake City yesterday. They played courageously, rallied for a dramatic last minute of playing time, but lost by one point. The women’s team will play Iowa State University in Ames on Saturday at 6 p.m. Go Aggies!

The Chancellor and I have completed about half of our listening sessions for NMSU LEADS 2025. We hope you will all be able to attend a session and share your thoughts in person, but if you cannot, know that we will also read every comment submitted from the website.

At the Arts and Sciences session this week, one faculty asked “the chicken or the egg” question: How can we prioritize actions that need resources when the first thing we need is resources? The answer to this question highlights the importance of strategic planning. We approach strategic planning as an ongoing process with several critical outcomes. In the end, an effective strategic plan needs to address:

1. Vision: Who do we want to become?
2. Goals: How will we get there?
3. Communication: How will we get buy-in and incentivize progress?
4. Key progress indicators: How will we measure progress toward goals and how often?
5. Assessment: What is the process for reassessing the overall vision and supporting goals?

It is the assessment step that generates feedback and makes NMSU LEADS 2025 a living document.

So to answer the “chicken or egg” question: we are already working on strategic priorities. Our legislative priorities during this year’s session reflected NMSU LEADS 2025, and we are reassessing performance evaluations to better empower and engage employees and align job expectations with institutional goals (see Goal 4). We are developing strategies for student recruiting and retention to further student success, and our mission as a land-grant university will guide our investments in other priorities.

On a final note: I received a few questions about privatizing some services at NMSU, and the Las Cruces Sun-News had a recent article on this. NMSU currently works with outside companies – Barnes and Noble [at-that-time] operates our bookstore, Sodexo operates our dining hall, and private vendors have space in Frenger Food Court. Our Auxiliary Services Department, which operates these areas as well as Housing and Residential Life, the Golf Course, and the Pan American Center, has requested information (the RFI process) from other vendors who might be willing and able to provide cost-effective options for some services that Auxiliary Services currently provides. This request is exploratory; the RFI closed last Friday and Auxiliary Services will begin their internal discussion in the upcoming weeks.

Please send any comments to President.Floros@nmsu.edu.

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