Although American universities have come under fire from some quarters in recent years for limited learning in the classroom, high tuition costs, and low graduation rates, they remain the gold standard of the world for quality of education, research and discovery activities, and intellectual achievement. According to the Times Higher Education World University rankings, 17 of the top 25 universities in the world are American universities (New Mexico State University is ranked in the 400 to 500 band of top universities in the world).
The success of American universities can be attributed to a number of factors, perhaps none more important than the decision of the federal government after World War II to invest most of its basic research dollars into American universities, and emphasize a competitive proposal process for the distribution of those research dollars. This meant that the best researchers and creative minds in the country would be based on university campuses and dedicated to training the next generation of scientists, engineers, social scientists, humanists, artists, and business leaders.
American universities also benefitted from a culture of open intellectual exchange and a commitment to an open door policy to students and scholars from around the world, which attracted some of the best minds from other countries and immeasurably enriched the research and teaching enterprise of American universities. It is a model that has worked and it is a model to which New Mexico State University remains committed.
I join the Chancellor in his assertion that we are all Aggies – every student, every faculty member, and every staff member of NMSU. We are proud of our tradition of being a caring community that celebrates and develops the potential of all our community members. It is a tradition we are committed to protecting and maintaining. It is a tradition essential to the continued vigor and success of American higher education.
With all best wishes,