Silver City, NM - The Western New Mexico University Board of Regents met for the annual May meeting to vote on several items one day prior to the spring commencement ceremonies.

University President Dr. Joseph Shepard delivered an update on the state's budget forecast and how it is affecting university business. President Shepard reported that the university has been proactive in creating a budget that is projecting future cuts by the state legislature.

President Shepard reported on the collaborations with Mexican universities as well as a recent agreement with the Mexican State of Sinaloa for future student and faculty exchanges. Board members were also briefed on a new collaboration with Aldo Leopold Charter School, which will be using Regents Row on campus, a formerly used housing facility that will be remodeled for classroom space by the Silver City-based charter school.

Board members voted to promote several faculty members including Leslie Cook, Katherine Oubre, Tanya Rivers, and John Scarbrough from assistant professor to associate professor status. Three faculty members were awarded tenure including Vickie Denson, Nancy Livingston, and John Scarbrough.

Dr. Barbara Taylor, retiring professor and School of Education Associate Dean was awarded emeritus status.

A slate of Research and Public Service Projects were presented with specific project dollar amounts. The Board's approval allows the projects to be presented to the Higher Education Department as priority funding requests outside the university budget.

Approval was given to renovate a portion of the P.E. Complex for the installation of a new campus café by Sodexo, which currently provides meals and catering services in the main campus dining hall.

Dr. Kathy Whiteman, Director of the Outdoor Program, reported on the development of the program since its inception in 2012 including the addition of a certified Search and Rescue group, annual scuba diving certification courses, trips to national landmarks, and the establishment of a gear rental office on campus.

Changes to the faculty and student handbooks were presented and approved by the Board.

New officer positions were voted on by the board. Regent member Jerry Walz was elected chairman to serve during the new academic year. Current board member Janice Baca-Argabright was elected Vice Chair. Student Regent Arlean Murillo was elected to the Secretary/Treasurer position.

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, September 21, 2017 in Silver City.




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