Creating a New College and Research Center at New Mexico State University Proposal

The College of Health, Education, & Social Transformation

Goal:  Repositioning Health, Education, Social Services, and Social Sciences disciplines for Maximum Impact and Future Growth.

Proposal:  Administratively combine the separately administered colleges of Education, Health and Social Services, and potentially some of the Social Sciences, into a single, new college. Several separately administered academic departments within these units will be combined to create thematic schools.  A complementary research institute will also be established. 

A new college and research institute which supports these disciplines has the potential for increasing collaboration when related disciplines are organized together and may provide a promising structure for interdisciplinary work. This re-organization will be designed with the intent to break any existing silos and encourage groups of similar interests to identify additional and more in-depth opportunities. A properly designed organizational structure that emphasizes new processes and resources will be more effective than existing organizations in recognizing and rewarding interdisciplinary work. There is potential for hiring of new faculty.  Students will be able to clearly see how they are able to work across disciplinary divides. More faculty working together in an environment that magnifies and supports similar discipline subject areas, research interests, and specializations will lead to additional outreach.

The establishment of schools with an underlying thematic element will consolidate disciplines that are currently fragmented across multiple smaller units, providing them with a stronger voice, a greater potential of having an influence on institution-wide priorities, and greater potential to secure resources (internally and externally). This could also improve visibility of work performed within such schools.


Since announcing the aspiration to create a new college in August 2020, Provost Parker has used a variety of strategies to obtain input and assure robust participation from the academic units involved in the process of evaluating the proposal.

A task force was charged with collecting input from the NMSU Community with respect to the suggestion that NMSU administratively combine several academic units within the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Social Services division; Education; and Health and Social Services, in order to create a new College. Feedback was collected using small working groups, listening sessions, surveys, etc. and included: Input on the opportunities and challenges the proposal presents; potential names of the new college; and ideas for how to improve upon the concept if possible. The Task Force's report is available in the Supporting Materials section. 

Faculty Town Hall, jointly sponsored by the Provost's Office and Faculty Senate, was held on November 5, 2020. 

In January of 2021, prior to preparing the formal Proposition, the Provost asked the faculty and staff from the academic units involved to vote on various aspects of the proposal to express their preferences. This was accomplished via a Ranked Choice Voting process, with all employees in the involved academic units invited to vote. 

Governing policies include ARP 2.15. The sole authority to ultimately approve this organizational structure rests with the NMSU Board of Regents (RPM 4.0, C.). The proposition was presented and approved by the Board of Regents at their May 14, 2021 meeting. An advisory committee of administrators, students, staff and faculty is being created to establish the organizational chart and create a job description for the new college's dean.