Western States School of Banking moving to NMSU

Dec. 6, 2006 by Justin Bannister NMSU News Center

New Mexico State University will soon be home to the Western States School of Banking.

“We are delighted to be the new host for the Western States School of Banking,” said NMSU President Michael Martin. “This will offer our students and faculty the opportunity to interact with banking leaders from across the region. It will also give these leaders the opportunity to meet the outstanding faculty and students of New Mexico State University. This is certainly a win-win for all concerned.”

The WSSB is a school designed to train professionals in the skills necessary to advance their careers in the banking industry. School leaders said they chose NMSU as their new site after close consideration of numerous locations throughout New Mexico and Colorado.

“We are very excited about this new partnership,” said Slim McWilliams, WSSB chair and president and chief executive officer of the Citizens State Bank of Cortez. “NMSU and its College of Business have strong leadership, an incredible staff and faculty, and excellent facilities.”

Business Dean Garrey Carruthers said the college had been working to strengthen its ties to the banking community. “We are focusing on both insurance and banking in our Department of Finance, believing this is a niche for our fine faculty and staff as well as in areas of public service and education that will be most helpful to the industry. In addition, I am hopeful some of the economic analysis and projections from Arrowhead Center economists will be useful to the community bankers,” he said.

“We are certain this will eventually help open all kinds of doors for our finance students in terms of guest lecturers, scholarships, internships and employment opportunities,” said Lizbeth Ellis, Finance Department Head. “This is also a great opportunity for the college, and the Finance Department in particular, to provide the type of community outreach that the university is now promoting. Our faculty’s current expertise in areas such as economic forecasting, bank security, and strategic planning for banks can be used to enhance the programming offered by the WSSB.”

“NMSU has made positive changes of such magnitude that they have changed the kind of educational organization they are,” said McWilliams. “WSSB is in the process of the same magnitude of transformation. We believe this partnership with NMSU can make it possible for us to become the premier educational organization in the banking industry.”

McWilliams said WSSB’s board of directors put a high priority on affiliation with a college or university that actively partners with private industry, particularly one that seeks such a partnership with banks throughout the west. The deciding factor in the board’s decision to move the school to NMSU was the enthusiasm and commitment of Dean Carruthers, the faculty and staff of the NMSU College of Business.

The school plans its first classes at NMSU to begin in summer 2007.

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