Activity report from week of January 31 – February 6

Las Cruces Day Business Brunch

At the Las Cruces Day Business Brunch in Santa Fe on Sunday, Jan. 31, I discussed NMSU’s student success initiatives, noting the importance of early interventions when students are not attending class or struggling with their coursework. It was a great pleasure, during the course of my presentation, to acknowledge the good work of the NMSU faculty with regard to QuickConnect referrals, which quadrupled between the Spring 2015 semester and the Fall 2015 semester, as well as the high level of participation (more than 90 percent) in the reporting of six week grades for 100- and 200-level courses.

Diversity Council

On Monday, February 1, the President and I met with the Diversity Council to discuss the establishment of an Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The response to our current plans were generally favorable, although concerns were expressed about too much centralization of diversity and inclusion efforts and loss of visibility for currently existing offices. After further consultation with other stakeholders, our plan is to present our plans for the new office to the Regents by the Summer Strategic Planning Retreat.

Aggie Pathway Implementation Group

The Aggie Pathway Implementation Group met on Wednesday to discuss recruitment efforts and fees. NMSU Doña Ana is now actively recruiting students into the program and the number of applicants for the program now stands at 36. Given that it is early in the recruitment season for community colleges, this is a strong start, and bodes well for the prospect of having a critical mass of students in the first cohort of the program in the fall of 2016. With regard to fees, there was further clarification during the meeting that students in the program would not be charged activity fees to participate in required programming on the Las Cruces campus.

General Education Statewide Steering Committee

The first meeting of the Statewide General Education Steering Committee took place on Thursday in Albuquerque. The meeting began with an overview of the general education reform effort in the state and the role of the Statewide Steering Committee. After clarification of our ambitious schedule and the framework for making progress on identifying essential skills and content, and designing a curriculum that will achieve desired learning objectives, the committee had a good discussion that touched on essential skills, respect for academic freedom and unique missions, and the importance of communication with our home institutions. Over the course of the next month, smaller groups will assemble to identify essential skills. Each group will report its recommendations to the larger committee at our next meeting.

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