Search Commitee

The New Mexico State University Board of Regents has approved a 19-member search committee to help in selecting the university’s next chancellor. The charge of the search committee is to generate a strong pool of candidates and present finalists to the Board of Regents. The committee includes members who are internal and external to the university. 

“We received an overwhelming response to our call for nominations,” said NMSU Board of Regents Chair Debra Hicks. “Each member of our search committee is highly accomplished and esteemed in their fields. These committee members also have demonstrated a passion for New Mexico State University and will do an excellent job in helping to select our next chancellor.” 

The search committee includes:

  • Mike Cheney – NMSU Regent (will serve as committee chair)
    Mike Cheney is a member of the NMSU Board of Regents. He earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a focus in finance from NMSU. Cheney is a founding partner in Healing Source Chiropractic. He previously served as Chief Lending Officer at WestStar Bank and the Southern New Mexico President of Bank of the Rio Grande. He has also served as Chairman of the United Way Campaign for San Juan County, on the NMSU College of Business Advisory Council and on the Board of Directors of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce.
  • Rick Baugh – General Manager of Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
    Rick Baugh’s career in the racing and gaming industry spans more than 30 years. During that time, he proved himself skilled in the legislative process as well, as he assisted in the eventual approval of gaming at racetracks in the state New Mexico in 1994. Baugh became the General Manager at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino in 2013. He is co-owner of the new Ascend Collection Hotel at Sunland Park Racetrack. Baugh continues to bring new and innovative ideas to both horse racing and gaming, providing an unlimited potential for growth in both areas.
  • Raymond Berry III, Graduate student and research assistant
    Raymond Berry III is a graduate student at NMSU, working on a Ph.D. in biology and pursuing research in stress physiology. He has been in his graduate program for a year and a half, and is supported by the NMSU NIH RISE grant to complete his degree and conduct research in biology. He is a first-generation college student and the first member of his family to earn a bachelor’s degree. He has been involved in many student organizations on campus, including the NMSU Black Student Association, Soul Verse, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. and ASNMSU.
  • Dino Camuñez – Regional President/Director of Commercial Banking for First Western Trust
    Dino Camuñes is Regional President and Director of Commercial Banking at First Western Trust. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from NMSU, with an emphasis in accounting and finance. He also has a graduate banking degree from the University of Washington, Pacific Coast Banking School. He previously serviced as Regional Credit Manager at National Bank of Arizona and Regional Sales Director at JPMorgan Chase & Co. He and his wife has established student scholarships at NMSU and has served on the NMSU Foundation Board.
  • Adam Cavotta, Chair of NMSU’s Employee Council
    Adam Cavotta has worked in higher education since 2000, both in public nonprofit and private institutions. He is currently a senior university training specialist in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost at NMSU. For the past 11 years, he has trained both faculty and staff on various information technology tools as well as training in policy and procedures. Before accepting a position at NMSU, he also held positions at Penn State University and University of Texas at El Paso, where he was an IT trainer for staff and taught community education classes. He has served as chair of NMSU’s Employee Council since February 2017.
  • Dina Chacón-Reitzel – Executive Director of the New Mexico Beef Council Regional President/Director of Commercial Banking for First Western Trust

    Dina Chacón-Reitzel has worked with the New Mexico Beef Council since 1989 and has served as the Executive Director since 1991. She was raised on a ranch in northern New Mexico and her family has roots in the state dating back more than 400 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics in Business and an MBA in Marketing and Management from NMSU. As Executive Director of the New Mexico Beef Council, she is responsible for the creation and implementation of beef research, promotion and consumer information programs.

  • Mickey Clute – President and CEO of GenCon

    Michael Clute earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from NMSU and later served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was deployed once to Vietnam and received the Bronze Star. He, along with two partners, founded Gencon Corporation, which specializes in constructing educational buildings. He has served in voluntary leadership positions with the NMSU Foundation, NMSU President’s Associates, NMSU Athletic Club and NMSU Business Advisory Council. He is also a distinguished alumnus of the NMSU College of Business.

  • MaryLou Davis – Chair of the NMSU Foundation Board
    MaryLou Davis earned a degree in elementary education from NMSU and worked in the Phoenix Elementary School District for 15 years as a teacher and administrator. She also has an Associate degree in Child Development from Maricopa Community College and Master’s from Grand Canyon University. She was one of the founders of Foster Angels of Arizona Serving Together, a program that helps foster children break out of poverty and abuse. She has also served on the boards of Camp Fire Boys and Girls Club and Arizona Foundation for Women.
  • Jed Fanning – Executive Vice President of Citizen’s Bank
    Jed Fanning is a native New Mexican and an NMSU graduate. He served on the NMSU Alumni Association Executive Council, and he is a past president of the Alumni Association. He currently co-chairs the Student Success Committee for NMSU. A banker of 32 years, Fanning serves as Executive Vice President of Citizens Bank of Las Cruces, and is a member of the bank’s board of directors. He has gained a practical working knowledge of organization structure, planning, process improvement, and stakeholder focus through his time as a commercial banker.
  • Rolando Flores, Ph.D. – Dean of NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
    Rolando Flores is dean and chief administrative office of NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. He previously served as professor and head of food science and technology as well as director of the food processing center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research is focused on the investigation byproduct utilization in food and non-food applications, dry fractionation methods to develop food value-added ingredients, process optimization, and modeling and computer simulation of food processes and unit operations used in the manufacturing of food, including water utilization and reconditioning in food processing operations and process risk modeling.
  • Laura Gutierrez-Spencer, Ph.D. – Director of Chicano Programs

    Laura Gutiérrez-Spencer obtained her Master´s degree at NMSU and her Ph.D. at UNM in Latin American Literature. She served for seven years as a faculty member at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. In 1996, Gutiérrez-Spencer was hired as the Director of Chicano Programs at NMSU. Since that time, she has conducted ombudsman work, leadership development and mentorship work with many students. Since 2005, Gutiérrez-Spencer has chaired the Immigrant Student Issues committee.

  • Tony Hernandez – COO of Ernest Health
    Tony Hernandez is the chief operating officer for Ernest Health. As an innovative thinker, he has the unique ability to lead a team through the complex climate of healthcare with clarity and direction. He possesses more than 25 years of healthcare management and business development experience, with an emphasis in the development and operation of inpatient rehabilitation and long-term acute care facilities. He served as chief executive officer of Ernest Health’s first hospital in Las Cruces, N.M., where he embodied the “roll up” your sleeves management style and could often be found assisting nursing and therapy with patient care.
  • John Hummer – Executive Director and President of the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
    John Hummer is co-founder, executive board director and president of the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Kansas State University under a United States Army scholarship and his master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Kansas. He has 20 years of executive leadership experience in the private, investor owned, healthcare industry as well as academic teaching hospitals. He held the CEO position in 12 of his 20 years in the hospital industry.
  • Kevin Prieto, President of ASNMSU
    Kevin Prieto is a Las Cruces native and in his senior year at NMSU, studying business administration. Before college he attended Las Cruces High School, where he was Junior Class President, Honor Society Vice President and Student Body President. In college, he has been active in in many committees like Student Technology Committee and the 2016/2017 Student Fee Review Board Committee. He has been in numerous organizations, holding positions from President of the New Mexico Leadership Institute and a College of Business Ambassador.
  • Lakshmi Reddi, Ph.D. – Dean of NMSU’s College of Engineering
    Lakshmi Reddi has more than 25 years of academic experience as an educator and researcher in interdisciplinary themes related to civil and environmental engineering. He has secured extramural funding of about $15 million from sponsors at all levels – federal and state agencies, regional centers, and local industries; and has enjoyed a steady stream of NSF funding for more than two decades. His funded activities include basic and applied research, tech transfer and outreach, integrated research and education, and interdisciplinary research.
  • Jerry Smith – President and CEO of Laguna Development Corporation
    Jerry Smith is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Laguna Development Corporation. LDC is a wholly-owned Section 17 (U.S.C. 477) corporation of the Pueblo of Laguna. Smith has more than 25 years of executive and economic development experience with expertise in Native American business and community improvement. He has developed and managed for-profit tribal operations, tribal administrative operations and facilitated advancement of housing opportunities for tribal communities through federal, state and tribal programs.
  • Steve Stochaj, Ph.D. – Professor and faculty senator
    Steve Stochaj is a faculty member who has been with NMSU since 1990 and leads research programs in astrophysics, solar physics, satellite design and engineering education. He has developed and updated several courses and implemented new teaching and assessment methods. During his years at NMSU, he has served on numerous committees including the University Research Council (chair), University Teaching Council (chair), Research and Economic Development Committee (chair) and the Strategic Enrollment Planning Council (co-chair).
  • Patricia Sullivan, Ph.D. – Associate dean for outreach and recruitment
    Patricia A. Sullivan serves as Associate Dean for Outreach and Recruitment in NMSU’s College of Engineering. With over 32 years’ experience at NMSU, she is responsible for directing statewide engineering outreach services under the College’s Engineering New Mexico Resource Network in areas that include technical engineering business assistance, professional development, and STEM educational outreach and career development programs. She also directs the College’s recruitment efforts, where she works to leverage an extensive STEM network of programs.
  • Ken Van Winkle, President of New Mexico State University Alamogordo (NMSU-A)

    Ken Van Winkle is president of NMSU Alamogordo. He’s been with NMSU for 30 years and was previously the associate dean for strategic initiatives and assessment in the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences. There, he was responsible for annual performance evaluations, assessment and academic program review at the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences. He has also served as the academic department head for the Department of Music and acted as interim department head for Journalism and Mass Communications. He holds degrees from West Texas A&M University, the University of North Texas and the University of Oregon.