NMSU Regents approve development corporation bylaws, hear update on Grants campus

October 10, 2014 by Julie M. Hughes, NMSU News Center

GRANTS, N.M. – In a regular meeting Oct. 10, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved bylaws for the Aggie Development Corp., the newly formed corporation that will allow NMSU to better manage and develop its land, property and water assets.

Aggie Development Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization created under the University Research Park and Economic Development Act. Ben Woods, NMSU special adviser to the NMSU president and president of Aggie Development Corp., is leading the effort to establish the corporation.

NMSU Grants President Felicia Casados discussed how important the campus is in educating the people who choose to stay in rural communities. She discussed the need for a Child Development Education Center on campus to support childcare and educational opportunities for students. The proposed 20,000-square-foot building would include a childcare facility as well as an academic wing for the education department and clinical site for nursing students.

In other business, the board adopted an annual resolution establishing meeting notice criteria. The resolution requires 10 days notice for regular meetings, 3 days for special meetings and 24 hours or as much notice as possible for emergency meetings. Agendas will be posted 72 hours before a meeting. The resolution was amended this year to no longer require publication of meeting notices in newspapers. Notices will continue to be posted online, at Zuhl Library and distributed to the editorial departments of newspapers and appropriate broadcast outlets.

The Regents also approved a resolution in support of Bond Issue B for libraries and Bond Issue C for higher education. If approved by voters, Bond Issue C will provide more than $25 million for capital outlay projects at NMSU campuses, including $19.2 million in facilities upgrades to Jett Hall and Jett Annex at the Las Cruces campus. It also will provide additions and renovations to improve teaching facilities at Rentfrow Hall in Las Cruces.

NMSU President Garrey Carruthers reported to the Regents on a recent Higher Learning Commission visit to Dona Ana Community College. Carruthers said the visit and other HLC communications have brought to the forefront the need to better organize NMSU’s system of campuses. Carruthers said issues to be discussed regarding the NMSU campus system include accreditation, tuition and budget, advising, recruitment, development, libraries and many other items. An initial meeting to launch this effort will take place by the end of the year.

Finally, Vice President Bernadette Montoya provided an enrollment update to the Regents. NMSU enrollment systemwide is down 5.5 percent. Montoya outlined environmental factors that might be impacting enrollment, including a decrease in the number of students graduating from New Mexico high schools. There are efforts moving forward to increase enrollment and improve retention. She also reported that graduation rates are increasing.

Montoya highlighted a new program, Aggie Capstone Graduation Challenge (ACGC), which is geared toward students who have completed 94 credit hours or more and haven’t attended classes for at least one semester. Cross-campus adviser Marissa Macias is directing the program and working with students one-on-one. Once students are accepted into ACGC, they sign contracts, which are unique to each student. The contracts outline the requirements of the program, including once a month meetings. Montoya said the program is already seeing some success.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the NMSU Board of Regents is Dec. 12 in Las Cruces.

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