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 grids, the sun, the Milky Way, engineering psychology, cognitive psychology, borderland studies, race/ethnicity, early childhood development, pedagogy, and Renaissance science, to name only a few. NMSU is also a center for creative activities in studio art, performance art, dance, and writing. These research and creative activities inform our teaching and our service and ensure that our students receive a first-rate education from leading scholars who are at the forefront of discovery.
In light of the importance of research at NMSU, and the challenges associated with funding the research and creative activities enterprise, the hiring of a new Vice President for Research has real significance for the university. Two candidates for the position have now visited campus; a third is visiting today and two more interviews are scheduled over the course of the next two weeks. I encourage everyone associated with scholarly activities to become acquainted with the five candidates and attend an open forum, if possible. Your evaluations of the candidates will play an important role in the selection process.
I hope everyone had a good holiday break, filled with the pleasure of spending time with family and friends, and that you have been able to begin the spring 2018 semester with recharged batteries and renewed enthusiasm. The holiday season provided me with much needed down time and time for reflection. After long discussions with my wife, Jenifer, I have decided to retire this summer, probably on August 1. The past five years have been rewarding and I am proud of the work that I have done with Chancellor Carruthers and all of you, capped by a very successful HLC review team visit this November. Serving as Provost of New Mexico State University has been the highlight of my professional life, and I am grateful to everyone at NMSU for your dedication to this institution and its students. I look forward to making the next six or seven months as productive as possible, and to advancing the mission of the university while in retirement.
With all best wishes,