Author Archives: Daniel J. Howard

Addressing the Problems of our Time

When I arrived at NMSU in 1988 as an Assistant Professor of Biology, the overarching question we asked about scholarship when hiring new faculty members was, “Can he or she develop an independent research program that addresses important questions and (for the sciences and engineering, at least) attract funding?” For some disciplines, such as history…
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Activity Report for Week of February 3 – February 9

On Monday, I met with incoming Regent Chris Saucedo. We had a good conversation about the challenges and opportunities NMSU will encounter in the coming years. Regent Saucedo is a graduate of NMSU who values the education he received here and is committed to the mission of NMSU. Much of our conversation focused on the…
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Affiliate Faculty Program

Earlier this week, Faculty Senate Chair Dr. Chris Brown sent out a white paper to the faculty of NMSU on beginning an Affiliate Faculty Program. This afternoon an updated version of the white paper was distributed to faculty by Dr. Janet Green on behalf of Team 6. As noted in the white paper, the purpose…
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Activity Report for Week of January 27 – February 2

I spent the beginning of the week in Santa Fe, representing NMSU at Las Cruces Days. The highlight of the festivities was a very moving memorial in the New Mexico Senate recognizing Chancellor Carruthers for his many years of public service. Both Democratic and Republican Senators spoke at length about his leadership, bipartisanship, and his…
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General Education Reform in New Mexico

The Statewide General Education Steering Committee, which has been meeting for the past two years in an effort to more purposefully incorporate essential skills into the general education curriculum as well as to streamline the curriculum, met for the last time on January 24th. In two years of sometimes twice-a-month meetings, faculty and administrators from…
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Activity Report for Week of January 20 – January 26

The Statewide General Education Steering Committee, which has been meeting for the past two years to revamp and revitalize general education in New Mexico, met for the last time on January 24th. At the meeting we discussed the certification process for general education courses under the new curriculum model and we gave final approval to…
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Vice President for Research Search and My Retirement

The research and creative activities enterprise at New Mexico State University is large and complex. With more than $100 million in research expenditures, NMSU is an important center for research on water, sustainable agriculture, desertification, chile, cotton, onion, alfalfa, emerging infectious diseases, cancer, health disparities, symbiosis, bird behavior, neuroscience, nanomaterials, software engineering, artificial intelligence, smart…
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Activity Report for Week of January 13 – January 19

The Chancellor and I participated in our last Spring Convocation on Tuesday morning, January 16. As always, it was a happy affair and it was a great honor for both of us to recognize this year’s award winners for excellence in assessment, teaching, service to the university, and lifetime achievement. My congratulations to all of…
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Convocation 2018

As we go into the Spring Semester, there is a lot of good news to celebrate. The state budget is in its best shape in years and there is a solid prospect for pay increases for state employees, including those who work in higher education. Recruitment of new students is going well and we have…
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Activity Report for Week of December 2 – December 9

On Monday, December 4, I hosted the Westhafer Reception, which honored this year’s recipient of the Westhafer Award, Professor Kenny Stevens. This reception was especially appropriate because Professor Stevens had not been available to receive his award at convocation this year, because he was with a group of students from NMSU building a bridge in…
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