I have now reviewed all 77 promotion and tenure files submitted this year by the faculty in the NMSU system. As has been true every year since I became Provost, I come to the end of this process with a keen appreciation for the good work of our faculty and deep gratitude for their dedication to: the students of NMSU, their scholarship, and the local community.
The faculty members of NMSU have diverse backgrounds, particularly in the community colleges. Here faculty members with Ph.D.s in traditional university disciplines work side by side with faculty members who have practiced trades for most of their lives and are now using that experience to train and inspire the next generation of technicians who will keep our autos running and our buildings cooled. What all of our community college faculty members share is a passion for teaching and for helping students achieve their goals. Almost to a person, they appreciate the challenges faced by many of our community college students, but they do not allow those challenges to limit our students, setting high expectations and receiving the best efforts of our students in return.
The faculty on the Las Cruces campus share the commitment to teaching and student success, but must also be productive in the areas of research and creative activities, competing with faculty from the most research-intensive universities in the country for grants and for publications in the most influential and visible journals. The expectation of excellence in both teaching and research makes the job of a faculty member at a public research university perhaps the most difficult in higher education. Yet, most of our faculty rise to this challenge and somehow find the balance necessary to be successful in both areas.
Institutions of higher education enrich the local community in numerous ways such as events, sponsoring lectures from public figures, and continuing education opportunities, but perhaps none of these are as important as the enrichment that comes from the outreach activities of faculty. Far from isolating themselves in their offices, laboratories, and classrooms, the faculty members in the NMSU system embed themselves in the community, working to improve services, advance agriculture and public health, enhance cultural experiences, and inspire young students to pursue higher education and careers in challenging fields.
In summary, we have a wonderful faculty. Thank you!
With all best wishes,