Harrelson steps down as NMSU’s VP for university advancement, Tawney named interim

August 5, 2015 by Justin Bannister, NMSU News Center

For personal reasons, Cheryl Harrelson, New Mexico State University’s vice president for university advancement and president of the NMSU Foundation, has resigned her current position, effective Aug. 5. She will, however, stay on with the university to work remotely on other assignments in the Office of University Advancement. Associate Vice President Andrea Tawney will become NMSU’s interim vice president for university advancement.

One of Harrelson’s family members has been ill and this move will allow her more flexibility in her schedule. NMSU President Garrey Carruthers announced the changes Wednesday afternoon.

“We appreciate the work Cheryl has done for NMSU during her time leading the NMSU Foundation and our development efforts,” Carruthers said. “We wish her, and her family, the very best during this time.”

Harrelson was named vice president for university advancement and president of the NMSU Foundation in February 2014. She has a 20-year career in advancement and has worked in fundraising, advancement services, alumni relations, donor relations/stewardship and events. She had previously worked at James Madison University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Washington State University.

Tawney has worked in higher education for 12 years after serving four years active duty in the U.S. Air Force. She came to NMSU in 2011, serving first as the assistant dean for development in the university’s College of Business. In 2013, she became NMSU’s director of presidential donor relations and development. Last year, she became NMSU’s associate vice president for university advancement in charge of principal gifts and regional programs. She has a bachelor’s degree in justice systems, policy and planning and a master’s in education from Northern Arizona University. Her Ph.D. is in higher education from Texas Tech University, with a focus on the predictors of academic success for first generation college students.

Additionally, Tina Byford, NMSU’s associate vice president for university advancement in charge of financial services will become chief operating officer for the NMSU Foundation and manage the organization’s day-to-day operations.

Byford has been with NMSU since 1988. She has worked in the university’s business and finance department as well as the NMSU Foundation. In 2007, she became senior investment and chief financial officer of the NMSU Foundation. Most recently, she served as associate vice president for advancement in charge of financial services. She was also NMSU’s interim vice president for university advancement in 2013.

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