January 3-9

President Garrey Carruthers, Ph.D.

  • Legislative Finance Committee Budget Recommendations: The budget recommendations from the Legislative Finance Committee and the Governor’s Office (Department of Finance) are in and it appears NMSU will be doing well to remain at last year’s appropriation level or slightly above.  The Governor’s recommendations indicate an increase of .41% over this year’s base of $208,267,500.  The Legislative Finance Committee is slightly more generous, recommending a .42% overall increase in I&G and non I&G funding.  As the price of oil plummets our chances of any new money goes with the fall.  The current economic situation has less effect on capital outlay in that this is the year the legislature authorizes General Obligation Bond issue levels to the voters in this fall’s election, without asking for tax increases.
  • Association of Public and Land Grant Universities Presidential Visit: Peter McPherson, President of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) spent some time with us this week.  He indicated the big national/congressional/administration issues include strengthening legislation governing violence on campus (particularly violence against women), the default rate, and completion/graduation rates.  The Higher Education Act is currently being rewritten and includes these and all other matters federal that we need to contend with.  Senator Lamar Alexander is the person with the hand on the throttle.  He is the former governor of Tennessee who served when I was in public life.  A very reasonable and knowledgeable man, hence, I will call in a chit and go see him regarding issues pressing to NMSU. 
  • Sun Belt Conference Discussions: We are in constant conversation with the Sun Belt Conference regarding extending our Football Bowl Subdivision membership with them.  I will make a presentation to the President/Chancellors of the Conference on February 17 to try to convince them of our way of thinking.  The decision will be made in March.
  • Discussion with Las Cruces Sun News: I met and visited with Rynni Henderson, the new publisher of the Las Cruces Sun News.  She transferred from the company’s paper in Carlsbad to our fair city this month.  She seems excited about being in the big city (relative to Carlsbad) and is eager to learn about NMSU.  She has some sense of what we do as she covered NMSU Carlsbad.
  • 2016 Domenici Conference: The Domenici Conference is beginning to shape up as follows:
    • Wednesday, September 14, 2016
      • Lead off with a keynote speaker
      • Reception
      • Afternoon session on mental health issues
    • Thursday, September 15, 2015
      • Morning issue begins with Governor Martinez (invited)
      • Three speakers on the “Public Trust”, to include Mayor Richard Berry of Albuquerque who will discuss Community Police relations and possible speakers on Ethics and Public service and Money in Politics
      • View of the national elections, hopefully by James Carvel and Mary Matalin (invited)
  • StoryCorps: My daughter Carol and I participated in StoryCorps, the NPR program involving conversations among family and friends about topics suitable to be played on the radio and archived in the Library of Congress.  I bring this to your attention in that the group will be here most of the month and are seeking others who would like to tell their stories. KRWG invited them to Las Cruces, so check there if you have an interest.
  • Spring 2016 Semester: I hope you are enjoying the time to gear up for the coming semester. 

 

 

Interim Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences,

Dr. Jim Libbin

Plant and Environmental Sciences

  • Grant Award: Kulbushan Grover and other members of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences have received a USDA NIFA Hispanic Serving Institute Educational Grant of $1M in collaboration with Florida International University and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley for training Hispanic students and helping them in achieving academic success. Kulbushan was recently in Washington DC to attend the project directors’ meeting for the funded HSI project.

Cooperative Extension Service

  • Winter Storm: Cooperative Extension Agents and Specialist were hard at work over the Holiday break dealing with Winter Storm Goliath.  Local County Agents and Specialist across the east side in affected areas worked with county Emergency Managers, NMDA, Livestock Board and other agencies on a coordinated effort to assist the producers with emergency situations the storm caused.  Efforts are ongoing in working with producers on the recovery phase of this Emergency Situation.

 

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

  • CHSS GivingTuesday: GivingTuesday was a success for the scholarship programs associated with the College of Health and Social Services.  We increased the number of faculty and staff who were supporting the school.  Thank you for your generosity, CHSS!  The Public Health Services Department won the competition between departments having the highest percentage of new givers.  As a result, Dean Wagner will be donating Goodhue Farm pecans to the Aggie Cupboard…one pound for each donor.
  • CHSS Dean Published in the Albuquerque Journal: The Albuquerque Journal published a commentary by Dr. Wagner about our work and research in rural New Mexico. Click here to read the editorial.
  • Loss of a Team Member: The College and School of Nursing was saddened to learn of the death of Wanda Bullock, an important part of our community who was an alumna and tremendous supporter of nursing students. She will be missed; however, her scholarship will continue to touch the lives of our students and those that receive their care.

 

Dean, University Library, Dr. Elizabeth Titus

  • Building Updates: The bathrooms in Zuhl Library are being remodeled to replace the blue restroom stall partitions with new stainless steel partitions. Work has currently started on the first floor men’s bathroom. This will continue the updating of the spaces within the Zuhl Library.
  • Legislation: The New Mexico Library Association (NMLA) Legislation Committee met last week with Representative Jason Harper, the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, which will hear the G.O. Bond bill in the House. The Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) recommended that the 2016 G.O. bond bill allocates $10 million for libraries, but it is unknown what the LFC will recommend for each type of library. The suggested distribution given from the NMLA Legislation Committee is similar to the percentages with the 2014 bond. This could be roughly $3.1 million each for public, academic and public school libraries, and $700,000 for tribal libraries.
  • Zuhl Collection Updates: Updated and new stands have been installed for the spheres in Zuhl Library.Zuhl Collection Updates These are a part of the Zuhl Collection, some of which is housed at the Zuhl Library (with the rest at the Zuhl Museum at the Visitor’s Center and at Gardiner Hall). Some minerals and rocks from their collection were ground and polished into spheres ranging in size from a few centimeters to a meter in diameter.          

 

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

  • Confucius Institute Hanban Conference: Cornell Menking and Elvira Hammond attended the 10th Hanban conference in Shanghai, China, from December 5-7.  The conference brings together Confucius Institute members worldwide. While in China, Menking and Hammond also visited Hebei Normal University in Shijiazhuang where an agreement was signed to add Hebei Normal University to our Confucius Institute as a partner institution, along with NMSU’s original partner institution Shijiazhuang Science and Technology Vocational College.  While in Shijiazhuang a board meeting for NMSU’s Confucius Institute was also held.  After the China trip, Professor Son Tran joined Menking and Hammond for five days of visits to various institutions in Vietnam for the purpose of international student recruiting and exploration of partnerships.  For more information about these initiatives, visit https://ibp.nmsu.edu/nmsu-delegation-china-and-vietnam/ .
  • Faculty led Education Abroad Programs: Office of Education Abroad has arranged for 12 Faculty led programs, with five more in the pipeline, for the coming year.
  • International Student Admission: International Student and Scholar Services has admitted 332 international students to NMSU for Spring 2016 semester. A new and improved one-stop orientation will be piloted on Tuesday, January 12.
  • International Student Recruiting: Kristian Chervenock, Ashley Ryan and Elvira Hammond traveled to NMSU-Alamogordo to meet with senior administrators about focused efforts to recruit greater numbers of international students to the NMSU system. The model that was discussed is a 2+2 scenario where international students spend two years at NMSU-A and two years at NMSU Main Campus. 

 

 

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

  • National Association of Veterans Program Administrators Board Election: Monica Dunivan, from Military and Veterans Program, was elected to the Board of Directors for the National Association of Veterans Program Administrators (NAVPA). The NAVPA organization helps our Military and Veterans Program to provide the best and most accurate service to our student veterans.
  • Strikeforce: Bernadette Montoya attended the first session for the Strike Force Team Organizational Team within the Office of Government Relations. The Strike force team has begun analyzing bills for the 2016 Legislative Session.
  • Best Practices and Priorities: The Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Executive Team met to discuss the current best practices of the division and upcoming priorities for the Spring 2016 semester. 

 

Vice President Economic Development, Dr. Kevin Boberg

  • NMSU Collaboration with Carlsbad Crossroad Program: A task-force from Carlsbad, established by the Mayor, has been charged with re-establishing behavioral health services through a program called Crossroads that provides services to young mothers and their children. The director of this task forces, Jeff Diamond, having previously worked with Arrowhead Center on projects, reached out to the VPED Kevin Boberg, asking for assistance with the development and management of an internship program that would work with the Crossroads Program. The VPED introduced Dean Wagner from the college of Health and Social Services to the Carlsbad task-force developing the Crossroads Program. Dean Wagner has followed up with the task-force. 
  • CES and VPED Collaboration with Santa Rosa: Michael Patrick, the Economic Development Specialist from the OVPED, has been working with Leigh Ann Marez, cooperative extension director in Guadalupe County, to respond to a request from the city of Santa Rosa to develop a customer service training program.  Patrick, Ms. Marez, VPED Kevin Boberg, and Santa Rosa city administrator Tim Dodge, and Councilman Delbert Marquez, met in late December to discuss collaboration possibilities between NMSU and Santa Rosa. Communication remains open between all parties, regarding the development of a summer internship program that provides training for students, holding a brunch with the business community to hear what they need in terms of workforce training, and a Certificate program to be developed in collaboration with the School District.  Mr. Patrick and Ms. Marez discussed the collaboration idea with the Guadalupe Community Development Corporation (GCDC) board of directors on January 5, 2016. 

 

Vice President Research, Dr. Vimal Chaitanya

  • Pat Hynes inducted as AIAA Associate Fellow: Pat Hynes was inducted into the Class of 2016 American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) Associate Fellows.  AIAA Associate Fellow recognizes individuals “who have accomplished or been in charge of important engineering or scientific work, or who have done original work of outstanding merit, or who have otherwise made outstanding contributions to the arts, sciences, or technology of aeronautics or astronautics.” 
  • Call for Abstracts: A call for abstracts associated with the May 2016 conference, Environmental Conditions of the Animas and San Juan Watersheds with Emphasis on Gold King Mine and Other Mine Waste Issues, was issued by the NM WRRI on December 18. The institute will host the technical three-day conference in Farmington and includes a field trip. The conference is co-sponsored by the New Mexico Environment Department, New Mexico State University, University of New Mexico, New Mexico Tech, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District, City of Farmington, City of Aztec, San Juan County, and San Juan Watershed Group. Abstracts are due March 7, 2016.
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technical Analysis and Applications Center Conference: The annual Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technical Analysis and Applications Center (UAS TAAC) Conference, arranged and sponsored by New Mexico State University at Tamaya Resort in Albuquerque was a great success with attendees list totaling about a thousand strong. The conference is the premier unmanned aerial vehicle conference in the world, bringing together speakers and experts from both military and private sector. Issues pertaining to the proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and opportunities were presented and discussed at length.
  • Big Data Hub Initiative: Professors Sam Fernald, Huiping Cao, Jay Misra and State Climatologist Dr. Dave Dubois visited Arizona State University in Phoenix, AZ, to participate in the Western Hub effort identifying topics of high relevance and interest. As a result, NMSU will be leading an effort in big data hub grant related the drought conditions prediction, modeling and mitigation for the southwest region. NMSU will also be leading an effort in planning grant in leveraging big data to enhance smart grid efficiency and resilience.   
  • Army and NASA Grants: The Office of Grants and Contracts received an award from the ARMY for approximately $2,000,000 for Scientific & Technical Services Support in Atmospheric Modeling & Sensing on behalf of the Physical Science Laboratory, PSL Information Sciences. Additionally New Mexico Space Grant Consortium has received and disseminated the Request for Proposal requirements for 2016 NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) pre-proposal process. This is a $750,000 award. One proposal submission per state is allowed. NMSU’s Dr. Stephen Stochaj won the 2015 award of $750,000 last year.

 

Vice President University Advancement / Foundation Executive Director,

 Dr. Andrea Tawney

  • Estate Gifts: $337,912 was received from a couple’s estate in support of their existing named graduate scholarship in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and $20,000 was received from a donor’s estate to establish a new endowed scholarship in the College of ACES-Animal Science.
  • President’s Associates Gala: Save the Date! The President’s Associates Gala will be held on Friday, April 22, 2016.  This scholarship fundraising event for one of our most coveted scholarships (President’s Associates Scholarship) at NMSU will be an action filled evening to include a live auction, silent auction, and live music and will showcase NMSU student talent throughout the event.  All proceeds from this event will go to scholarships that attract New Mexico’s top academic achievers to NMSU.   
  • Alumni Events: This past weekend an alumni tailgate was held at the NMSU at Grand Canyon University Basketball game.  About 145 alumni purchased tailgate and game tickets.  Two former Aggie basketball players also joined the event.  On February 8, the NMSU Basketball team will travel to Rio Rancho to play Northern New Mexico at the Santa Ana Star Center.  This will provide a great opportunity for our alumni living in the greater Albuquerque area to cheer on their Aggies. The Alumni Association will host a pregame reception.
  • Campaign Dinner: A campaign dinner was held in the Phoenix/Tempe area on January 8.  Joel and Jennifer Granger and Jack and Mary Lou Davis hosted 18 friends and young alumni of the university.  This was a wonderful opportunity for our team to share the overall university campaign, its goals and next steps to help our university and its students to succeed.  

 

Associate Vice President University Communications, Maureen Howard

  • KRWG: The New Year began with KRWG welcoming NPR’s StoryCorps to the Las Cruces Art Museum.  StoryCorps’ mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives.  President Carruthers and his daughter were the first VIP guests to participate in the month-long visit of the Airstream mobile studio.
  • Sports Information: Athletics Media Relations staffed the Aggies men’s and women’s basketball games and followed the swimming team back into action. The Aggie women are now 13-3 overall and 2-0 in WAC play after opening conference play with a pair of wins at the Pan American Center, while the Aggie men are 9-8 overall, 1-1 in WAC action. The swim team split two meets over the weekend.
  • News: President Carruthers and Maureen Howard met with the new publisher at the Las Cruces Sun-News this week. Rynni Henderson was named publisher in December replacing Frank Leto. Most recently she worked as publisher of the Carlsbad Current-Argus. We look forward to working with Henderson and we are scheduling a time for her to come to campus so she can learn more about our university.

 

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

  • Winter Storm: On December 25-26, NMDA staff and I began coordinating with the agricultural industry in preparation for a fast approaching winter storm.  On December 27 through present, participated as a member of the ESF-11 response team reacting to a catastrophic snow storm which crippled the dairy and livestock industry in Eastern NM.  Response efforts included:  continual contact with the ag industry to determine critical needs; routing information to the SEOC for action; evaluating disaster assistance programs; routing pertinent information to the ag industry; briefing Congressional staff; and various other misc. items.
  • Storm News Releases: I visited southeastern New Mexico following the snowstorm.  The news release regarding the trip was picked up widely, including by Associated Press.  The Roswell event was attended by 50 farmers/ranchers and media representatives including KRQE, KOAT, and the Roswell Daily Record.
  • Governor’s Visit: Coordinated with the Governor’s office to plan the dairy piece of her trip to Roswell/Clovis next Wednesday.  She will visit two dairy farms to show how they’ve recovered from snowstorm.
  • Resilience in Agriculture: Staff attended the New Mexico First’s “Resilience in Agriculture” conference on January 7, in Las Cruces. This and other conferences held around New Mexico will lead to a statewide resiliency plan for agriculture that addresses a variety of economic, health, consumer, and environmental issues.

 

Chief, NMSU Police, Stephen Lopez

  • Police Activity: There were 18 police reports created, 14 supplements filed, and 50 traffic citations issued.  The Emergency Dispatch Center handled 180 calls for service, resulting in 183 police calls (19 of which were agency assist) and six warrant entries.  There were 14 fire calls (seven of which were mutual aid), two emergency medical calls, two natural gas odors, and three fire alarms.  There were also two animal control calls.  The Records & Evidence Office processed 19 items of evidence entered into the vault, 40 people were fingerprinted, and 12 background investigations were conducted.  The Records & Evidence Office personnel also are starting to work under new evidence discovery procedures recently implemented by the Courts that establish a 45-day time limit on producing evidence and records to defendants.  In conjunction with the District Attorney’s Office, the personnel will be testing several different methods of providing discovery in order to identify the best one for the future.
  • Special Events:  Staff reviewed various events including payroll, game management, bag search WBBALL, and PAFs to increase security personnel.  Staff are also working with PAC Special Events and event sponsors to identify additional ways sponsors can help ensure the safety of attendees with some of their own staff.
  • Crime Prevention:  A Fight Like a Girl course has been scheduled for January.  More information on this course can be found at facebook.com/nmsupolice.
  • Active Killer Presentations:  Chief Lopez conducted four Active Killer Presentations this week for the following:  staff from the NMSU Children’s Village, staff from La Clinica de Familia, staff from Auxiliary Services, and faculty and staff from PSL. There continues to be a high degree of interest regarding this subject and the department is diligently working to educate the faculty, staff, students, and the public in the event of an actual emergency situation.
  • Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) – Deputy Chief Andrew Bowen and Commander Harvey attended the LEPC breakfast on January 6.  This is an annual event where regional first responders and community partners come together to discuss large-scale emergency planning, training, and exercises.

 

President, New Mexico State University-Alamogordo, Dr. Ken Van Winkle

  • Inaugural Health and Wellness Day at NMSU-A: NMSU-A is planning its inaugural Health and Wellness Day for Friday, February 12 at the Tays Center.  There will be interactive breakout sessions, aerobics for all capabilities, health displays including blood pressure and BMI tests and a volleyball tournament.  Additionally, we have a nationally recognized speaker scheduled for the lunchtime keynote address.  The event is free and open to the entire community.
  • Committee of Fifty Alamogordo: On Tuesday, January 5, President Van Winkle spoke with the Alamogordo Committee of 50 to announce the new online class delivery fee structure for airmen, their spouses, and dependents. He discussed briefly the new benefit and how it will improve and increase access to NMSU-A online classes.
  • Special Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce Session: Monday, January 4, President Van Winkle attended a special session of the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce to discuss the status of refugee children from Central America who will be housed at Holloman Air Force Base.  The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), via the Department of Defense, has directed Holloman Air Force Base to provide temporary housing for up to 400 refugee children from Central America beginning this month. 

 

President, New Mexico State University -Carlsbad, Dr. John Gratton

  • Community Development Meeting: President Gratton attended a Carlsbad Community Development meeting on Thursday, January 7. Upcoming economic initiatives for Carlsbad were presented to the Board.
  • Trauma Conference: On Saturday, January 9, President Gratton attended the first annual trauma conference on the NMSU Campus.  The event was co-sponsored by NMSU Carlsbad and the Carlsbad Medical Center and was conducted by surgeons from The Carlsbad Medical Center, the University of New Mexico, and Texas Tech University. Approximately 300 medical personnel and nursing students attended the event. Nursing Director Claudia Estrada played a vital role in planning and implementing the conference and Katrina Doolittle and her staff were instrumental in ensuring that biological safety protocols were in place.

 

Interim President, New Mexico State University -Grants, Dr. Harry Sheski

  • Building Renovations: The renovation of Martinez Hall rooms 124 and 123 continues to make progress.  These rooms will be the future sites for the Math Lab and Writing Center that will provide state or the art learning spaces in math and writing.  These newly remodeled spaces will be managed by a math and writing specialist that will focus on supporting student success in the developmental Mathematics and English courses with continued support in gateway courses.  The renovation is funded by a Title V-Hispanic Serving Institution Department of Education federal grant. The expected completion date is March 2016.
  • Retirement Celebration: A retirement celebration honoring Clemente Sanchez, director of the NMSU Grants Small Business Development Center and current New Mexico State Senator, was held on December 17.  Sanchez directed the center for 25 years and was instrumental in developing many new small businesses in Cibola County.   In retirement, Senator Sanchez will continue to represent district 30 which includes Cibola, McKinley, Socorro, and Valencia counties.  The NMSU Grants community wishes him well on his recent retirement.
  • Search for Director: The search continues for the director of the Small Business Development Center.  The committee has selected four candidates to interview.  Interviews are scheduled for Tuesday January 12.

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