Kudos to the NMSU Teaching Academy

provost-dan-howardOn Monday, April 30, I, along with many faculty in the NMSU system, attended the Teaching Academy Gala. As always, it was a delightful event, and it was an honor to participate, say a few words, and partner with Tara Gray in giving out several awards to very deserving faculty from across the NMSU system.

With the Gala being my last event as Provost at the Teaching Academy, it was also an occasion for reflection on the things we do well at NMSU. At the top of the list is the Teaching Academy, a program that was founded in 2003 to help our faculty become better teachers, and a program that has become, without a doubt, the finest program of its kind in the country.

The Teaching Academy has had a single leader, Dr. Tara Gray, since it was founded in 2003. Her vision was to develop a vibrant center where faculty could learn not only how to be better teachers, but how to be better faculty members in general. Over the course of the past 15 years she has made her vision a reality by developing leadership programs, mentoring programs, and scholarship programs, in addition to the teaching programs that are at the heart of the Academy.

Recognizing the quality of the programs offered by the Teaching Academy, the faculty of NMSU have embraced the Academy, not only by attending events and workshops, but by reaching into their bank accounts and providing financial support. The many benefactors of the Teaching Academy give it the wherewithal to schedule an astounding number of high quality events and workshops, often led by thought leaders from outside NMSU.

So thank you, Tara, and your wonderful staff – Shawn Werner, Gail “Sandy” Katayanagi, and Jean Conway – for making everyone around you better and for making State Great.

With all best wishes,


P.S. This is my last Provost’s Post. It has been an honor and a great pleasure to serve as Executive Vice President and Provost of New Mexico State University. Although I will miss working on a day-to-day basis with the faculty, staff, and students of NMSU, I look forward to retiring to my small farm in Mesilla, spending more time with Jenifer and our children, and taking on some major writing projects that have been on the backburner for too long. Thanks all of you for your dedication to this wonderful university. You make this a special place and make me proud to be, now and forever, an Aggie.

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