May 31, 2013 by Darrell J. Pehr, NMSU News Center
Longtime New Mexico State University administrator Jay Jordan is returning to retirement after serving as interim provost and executive vice president since November. Discussions regarding a permanent provost and executive vice president will be held after new NMSU President Garrey E. Carruthers takes office on June 1.
Jordan retired from NMSU in July 2012. Prior to that he held several positions of leadership at NMSU including director of the Physical Science Laboratory and dean of the College of Engineering. From January through July 2010, he also served as interim provost and executive vice president.
“Jay Jordan was exactly the right person for the job and I was very pleased that he would agree to put his retirement plans on hold to help the university once again,” interim NMSU President Manuel Pacheco said. “Jay has given a tremendous amount of his time, energy and creativity to New Mexico State University throughout his distinguished career, and we thank him for all he’s done.”
Jordan was eager for the opportunity to again work with Pacheco, who took the helm of the university in October 2012.
“I was absolutely delighted to come back and work for Manuel Pacheco,” Jordan said. “I think very highly of him.”
Jordan said his and Pacheco’s management philosophy matched up well as they rejoined the university. Jordan is pleased with the progress that was made, citing the reorganization of the provost’s office and moving certain decision-making authority back to the deans as important achievements.
Jordan also noted the steps that were taken to help improve compensation for faculty members.
“We made some progress with faculty salaries,” he said.
Jordan hopes to spend more time hiking, cooking and traveling in his retirement. He and his wife, Lya, also plan to spend time with their children and grandchildren, as well as family in the Seychelles Islands, where his wife is from.
Jordan started work for NMSU as a student employee for PSL in 1965. That opportunity also was his introduction to American Samoa and the Seychelles Islands, where he completed a co-op program in satellite tracking. He graduated from NMSU in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and then worked until 1979 as an international field engineer with PSL. He then went to work for Hewlett-Packard and returned to the university in 1981 where he again worked for PSL as well as the Electrical and Computing Engineering Department. He earned his Ph.D. in 1984 and joined the faculty, rising through the ranks from instructor to professor.
He served from 1996 to 1999 as the academic head of electrical engineering and then as dean of the College of Engineering from 1999-2002. He left NMSU to work for Northrop Grumman at White Sands Missile Range, then went back to PSL as a project engineer and program coordinator. Jordan was associate vice president for research programs from 2005-2009, when he was selected as interim executive vice president and provost at NMSU, from January to July 2010. In August 2010, Jordan was named director of PSL, a position he held until his retirement in July 2012.