Activity report from week of September 27 – October 3

Trip to Cuidad Chihuahua

I spent the week in Ciudad Chihuahua with the Legislative Finance Committee. The goal of the visit was to explore joint economic development opportunities as well as joint educational and research opportunities with the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH).  Chihuahua is a lovely city and it was a pleasure to learn more about its people, its industries, and its aspirations.  One interesting surprise was the large number of Aggies we met during the course of the trip, a reminder that Mexico has long been the most important international partner of NMSU and that NMSU has a wonderful reputation in Mexico.  From my perspective, the highlight of the trip was our visit to UACH, and my discussions with the Rector of the university, Enrique Séañez Sáenz.  Rector Sáenz clearly values a strong relationship with NMSU and we both agreed on the importance of developing more dual degree programs as well as joint research programs.  We will continue these discussions later this month, when Rector Sáenz visits NMSU with a delegation from UACH.

Panel Discussion at Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua

While visiting UACH, I was on a panel that discussed internationalization efforts at UACH, NMSU, and Western New Mexico University.  I focused some of my comments on the need for legislation that would allow us to treat students from adjoining states in Mexico the same way we treat domestic students from western states.  That is, we charge Western Undergraduate Exchange students 1.5 times the tuition we charge in-state students, about $11,000 a year.  This tuition rate would allow us to compete more effectively for students from Chihuahua, and would be fair to domestic students.  I also noted the important role that international students play in helping to globalize New Mexico campuses and in helping us effectively train students to compete in a global economy.

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