On Monday, April 30, I attended the Teaching Academy Gala. As always, it was a delightful event that recognizes faculty and staff members who have gone above and beyond to become better teachers or to support others as they have worked to become better teachers. In my comments at the beginning of the event, I noted that no other university in the country has a teaching academy as effective as ours, nor one that enjoys such strong grassroots support from the faculty. The success of the Teaching Academy is due, in no small part, to the good work of its director, Tara Gray, and her colleagues: Shawn Werner, Gail “Sandy” Katayanagi, and Jean Conway.
On Thursday, May 3, I attended my final Faculty Senate Meeting. Early in the meeting, the Chancellor and I were recognized for our contributions to NMSU over the course of the past five years – recognition we both appreciated. Then, Chair Chris Brown made quick work of a prodigious amount of legislation. Two of the more important from my perspective were memorials supporting an Allied Faculty Program and the new NMSU Online Program. One of the benefits of being Provost is working closely with the Faculty Senate, a group committed to advancing the academic mission of the university and to shared governance. The more Faculty Senate Meetings I attended, the more I appreciated the judgment of this assemblage and its ability to make decisions based on what is best for NMSU as a whole, rather than on narrow self-interest. I am especially grateful for the leadership of Faculty Senate Chair Chris Brown and Vice Chair Rolfe Sassenfeld, who worked tirelessly to advance the broad mission of the university, while serving as forceful advocates for the importance of shared governance and the central role of the faculty in the life of NMSU.