Members of the New Mexico State University Board of Regents conducted six public listening sessions across the State of New Mexico, met with community college advisory boards and provided webinar access to gather public input into the characteristics, qualities, credentials, background and experiences critical for the next chancellor. Each session promoted NMSU’s rankings and opportunities, highlighted dynamic shifts in higher education and its highly competitive environment, and described NMSU’s performance relative to peers.
The facilitated events were well received with over 400 people attending and a high degree of audience participation. Resoundingly, stakeholders mentioned these critical factors in NMSU’s path to excellence:
- Strategic vision for the land grant mission of instruction, research, service, outreach and extension
- Significance of Hispanic serving status, and meeting students where they are at
- Appreciation and respect for the borderland, New Mexico culture and its diversity of people and thought
- Enhanced student access, innovation in academic programs and online education, increased career and technical programs and improvement in student outcomes
- Strong partnerships with industry, government and non-profits creating internships and enhanced career opportunities
- Stakeholder engagement, including faculty, staff and students; among the community, tribal groups, city, state, region and internationally; and through alumni and donor cultivation
- A proven track record and use of best practices and innovation, with nimble execution
- Use of advanced technologies, analytics and data informed decisions
- Ability to effectively leverage the entire system of 4-year and 2-year campuses, cooperative extension and agricultural experiment stations and the NM Department of Agriculture
Some highlighted the value of a Spanish speaking bilingual leader, while others discussed NMSU’s caring community theme. Faculty strongly preferred an academic with a Doctoral degree, while some favored a non-traditional leader. Many appreciated the candid view of NMSU’s challenges and discussed opportunities for the next chancellor. Participants offered potential strategies and solutions and encouraged continued transparency.
As final candidates visit NMSU in late April, the Board of Regents will again seek stakeholder feedback.