LCSN: Herman addresses faculty questions at forum, webcasts

November 3, 2009. Retrieved online November 3, 2009 from Amanda L. Husson, Las Cruces Sun-News

Watch Webcasts of the public candidate forums and see each finalist’s complete visit schedule, biography and curriculum vitae.

LAS CRUCES – A few dozen New Mexico State University faculty members turned out Monday to hear from presidential search finalist Richard Herman, who until last month was chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

While attention was paid to what Herman referred to as “the elephant in the room” – the admissions scandal at the school that ultimately led to his resignation – most of the questions were designed to learn Herman’s views on things like how to recruit and retain top-notch faculty and increase research productivity.

Bill Quintana, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, pointed out that in a state with a population that is 44 percent Hispanic and a county that’s 70 percent Hispanic, the university’s faculty population is only 11 percent Hispanic.

Herman agreed with Quintana’s assessment that the percentage was lower than it should be – something he said he would take seriously if he were hired.

“Part of it is looking for talent and recognizing that excellence comes in all varieties,” Herman said. “One has to be aggressive about these programs.”

He noted that investment in startup packages that include incentives like research equipment pays off for universities, even during tough economic times.

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