September 29, 2008 by Darrell J. Pehr NMSU News Center
The New Mexico State University Board of Regents learned at their meeting Friday that enrollment gains this semester could translate into a funding increase of up to $8.4 million in 2010.
According to the State Appropriation Funding Formula, the Las Cruces campus growth in student credit hours generated a workload factor increase of 3.48 percent, large enough to trigger additional state funding of up to $4.5 million, easily the largest gain in the state. NMSU’s anticipated additional state funding represents about 70 percent of the total $6.4 million NMSU estimates will be available in new funding for four-year institutions.
“This is unprecedented in the state,” said NMSU Senior Vice President Jennifer Taylor.
NMSU’s community college campuses also fared well, with big enrollment gains and an expected $3.6 million in additional state funding from $3.9 million that NMSU estimates will be available for community colleges across the state. All funding increases are subject to final adjustment and state approval in the 2009 Legislative session.
Regents Chair Bob Gallagher said the enrollment gains and associated increases in funding are a reflection of the exceptional faculty, staff, administration and facilities at the university.
“NMSU is doing a better job of educating and having a quality of life than any other university in New Mexico,” Gallagher said.
Enrollment at the Las Cruces campus grew to more than 17,000 while NMSU’s systemwide growth is more than 31,000 students. Vice President for Student Success Carmen Gonzales said the growth resulted in the largest freshman class in the university’s history, with 2,290 incoming freshmen. The previous high point – 2,266 – was in 1999, the first year of the lottery scholarship.
Also during the meeting, the regents approved a wage and insurance agreement with Local 2393 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees that includes the 2 percent compensation increase appropriated by the New Mexico Legislature, effective July 1 and paid to union members no later than Aug. 15.
The agreement also included an insurance premium “holiday” for both union and non-union members. Health, group life and long term disability insurance premiums will be waived for the Dec. 15 pay period for those with an annual base pay less than $30,000 and the Dec. 23 pay period for those with an annual base pay of less than $40,000. In addition, equity adjustments approved by university administration in accordance with a compensation study being prepared by the Mercer Corporation Consultants will include a guaranteed amount of $500,000 allocated to union members, beginning no later than Jan. 1, 2009.