Activity Report for Week of January 14 – January 20

  • The first week of classes began with Convocation, one of my favorite events of the year. At convocation, we reconnect with friends and colleagues, we meet new members of our Aggie community, and we celebrate the good work that takes place at NMSU every day. Honorees at this semester’s convocation represent many varied segments of our Aggie Community—faculty staff, students, and community members.  It was a great pleasure for the Chancellor and me to recognize the award winners and to acknowledge the good work of every employee of NMSU.  Here is the list of Awardees:
    • Center for Learning and Professional Development—Co-Curriculum Administration and Operations Excellence in Assessment Award
    • Associate Professor Merranda Marin, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences—Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • College Professor Jeff Longwell, Department of Languages and Linguistics—Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Assistant Professor Michael Hout, Department of Psychology—Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Assistant Professor Matthew Holt, Department of Finance—Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Assistant Professor Anna Lopez, Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology—Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Associate Professor Fangjun Shu, Department of Mechanical Engineering—Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • College Assistant Professor Maria Ortiz, School of Social Work—Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Regents Professor Vicente Lombraña, NMSU Alamogordo—Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Associate Professor Kenda Josselet, NMSU Carlsbad—Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Associate Professor Mike Teitsworth, NMSU Doña Ana—Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Assistant Professor Karen Henry, NMSU Grants—Donald C. Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Susan DeMar, Administrative Assistant Department of Geography—Community Engagement Award
    • Professor Satya Rao, School of Public Health Sciences—Community Engagement Award
    • Kelcie Gerry, Student in Department of Kinesiology and Dance—Community Engagement Award
    • Barbara Hubbard, Retired Director of Public Events—Presidential Medallion
    • Professor Michael Johnson, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry—Regents Professorship
    • Professor Nancy McMillan, Department of Geological Sciences—Regents Professorship
  • My week ended with a meeting of the Strategic Enrollment Management Council. The Council is now working on a five year strategic plan.  At the behest of the Chair of the Committee, Dacia Sedillo, I offered a brief history of enrollment at NMSU.  I began by noting that for many years, NMSU grew at a one to four percent rate every year.  This steady rate of growth meant that revenues grew each year and there was little impetus to limit the addition of new programs or offices, or for the university to trim programs that had outlived their usefulness.  This has changed over the course of the past five years as the end of the Great Recession and the decline in the population of the state has meant a smaller number of in-state students are seeking higher education.  It is important going forward that we strategically market the university to attract new students and that we develop stronger support systems so that students who enter the university complete their degrees.

The special challenge for New Mexico State University is that we are not in a major urban setting, which means that to sustain the current size of the university and its research and teaching programs, we must be more purposeful than many other universities in attracting students from outside our region.  In other words, we must sustain effective marketing campaigns in targeted areas, such as: Albuquerque, El Paso, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and southern California.  We must also be sure to remain the first choice of students from our region through effective outreach programs and marketing.  It is important to share the message among all faculty and staff that recruitment and retention are everyone’s responsibility at NMSU and that we must all work together to both do, and communicate, the good work of this university.


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