May 9, 2014 by Julie M. Hughes, NMSU News Center
At a regular meeting May 9, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved the operating budget for fiscal year 2014-2015.
The approved budget for all campuses is more than $690 million, with operating funds of almost $614 million and plant funds of nearly $77 million. The approved budget includes more than $8.1 million in new revenue. Of those new funds, about half will be devoted to compensation increases for NMSU faculty and staff.
Among the uses of the new revenue is about $2.3 million to be used as an increase in all faculty and staff compensation, funded through state appropriations as well as university funds. Another $1.5 million will be used for the second phase of NMSU’s market equity plan, an effort to bring faculty salaries closer to a competitive market level among NMSU’s peers. Another $1 million will be used for new faculty members to be hired during the next year at NMSU, $500,000 will be used for graduate assistantships and more than $460,000 new funding generated through the higher education funding formula will be used for research at NMSU.
The regents also approved the five-year capital outlay plan, which includes planned capital outlay requests by campus for the 2015-2016 Legislative session. For the four community colleges, the proposed projects are primarily for infrastructure and facilities maintenance. Projects for the Las Cruces campus include additional funds for the Jett Hall project; planning and design for renovations to Dan W. Williams Hall, infrastructure repairs to campus utility tunnels; and classroom and laboratory improvements.
In other business, the regents heard an informational report from Kevin Boberg, vice president for economic development. Boberg said one of the most critical economic development initiatives is the Arrowhead Center, which allows for successful commercialization of ideas and research and provides many economic development opportunities for students, faculty, staff and entrepreneurs.
The regents recognized outgoing Associated Students of NMSU President David Maestas and outgoing Faculty Senate Chair Dennis Clason for their service.
The board also presented an Above & Beyond Award to Paul Hamilton, technology support tech for the NMSU College of Business. The Above & Beyond Award recognizes full-time employees who go the extra distance in service to any and all aspects of the NMSU system.
Hamilton ensures classroom technology is current and functional. He is the help desk for an array of questions and is the emergency contact for all technology-related concerns. He is the team leader, providing training and mentoring to student employees. He also is the subject matter expert on the latest technology. Hamilton has a wide area of responsibility and manages the various priorities with exceptional composure, even under pressure.
Several College of Business faculty stated that it is easy to take him for granted because he is always available when needed and always has a no-fuss solution to a problem. The faculty said they are lucky to have dedicated tech support in the college and recognize that Hamilton is actually performing the duties that were once managed by two people.