March 10, 2014 by Julie M. Hughes, NMSU News Center
New Mexico State University Regent Mike Cheney was re-elected to serve as chair of the Board of Regents at a regular meeting of the board Monday, March 10.
Regent Kari Mitchell was elected vice chair and Regent Isaac Pino secretary/treasurer. They will serve in these roles for one year.
Cheney is the market president of WestStar Bank in Las Cruces. He has worked in the banking industry for more than 25 years.
Mitchell is the CEO and owner of Las Cruces Machine, Mfg. & Engineering and serves on the executive committee of the Bridge of Southern New Mexico.
Pino serves the city of Santa Fe as director of both the Department of Public Works and the Community Services Department.
The five-member board also includes Jordan Benegas, a marketing and psychology student at NMSU, and Javier Gonzales, who has 15 years experience as a leader in a broad range of projects in the public and private arenas.
Informational presentations to the board included a recap of the legislative session and updates on enrollment and construction projects.
Ricardo Rel, assistant vice president for governmental relations, gave the Regents a preliminary post legislative session report. The session resulted in a 1.496 percent compensation increase for faculty and staff. The budget before the governor includes a 3.2 percent increase in I&G funding systemwide and a 6 percent increase for recurring non I&G funding. Gov. Susana Martinez has until March 12 to sign legislation.
Bernadette Montoya, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, gave a brief snapshot of spring enrollment. Systemwide there will be a decrease in enrollment this spring. A 5 percent decrease in headcount is expected at the Las Cruces campus. Montoya said retention is going to be an important factor moving forward. The Las Cruces campus has seen retention increase to 74.2 percent.
Glen Haubold, associate vice president for facilities and services, gave an overview of construction projects on campus. Projects getting under way this year include the Undergraduate Learning Center and the Corbett Center Student Union renovation. The golf course irrigation upgrade, the Institute for Public Policy and the Presley Askew Baseball Stadium renovation are expected to completed by the end of 2014.
The board also presented the Above & Beyond Award to Sandra Romero with the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders. The Above & Beyond Award recognizes full-time employees who go the extra distance in service to any and all aspects of the NMSU system. Individuals are recognized for performance that goes “above and beyond” their regular responsibilities and for demonstrating a positive attitude that inspires others.
Romero is responsible for the management of the office in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders. She meets the academic and administrative needs of 15 faculty members, up to 20 adjunct instructors, 18 graduate assistants and four work-study students.
In a letter supporting Romero’s nomination, Department Head Marlene Salas–Provance wrote, “Sandra has been a dedicated employee for more than 13 years. She has worked under five department heads and has had to adjust to the administrative styles of each of these individuals. I see Sandra take personal responsibility for the completion of many challenging tasks. She works with a fierce tenacity to get all needed paperwork out. I see regular examples of Sandra rolling up her sleeves and just getting work accomplished in as timely a manner as is humanly possible by one person.”