DECEMBER 9, 2005

This meeting took place on campus in the Regents Room, Educational Services Center, starting at 1:30 PM. The business of the preceding Executive Session was handled as usual, with the boiler-plate announcement that they would had discussed "limited personnel, legal and real estate matters."

 The agenda was in standard format, with NMSU Pres. Michael Martin's report next to last. Two points of discussion, primarily by Regents President Robert Gallagher, were interjected before "Action Items" were taken up: why the decision was made to hold the December Commencement at the Stadium; and how determined NMSU is to providing, at great cost to NMSU, the best possible health support to employees. A letter to employees is being prepared on the subject, and a campus-wide "open forum" will be held in January, when all alternatives to the present system will be discussed and documented.

 Under "Action Items," the regents approved adoption in general of US Government travel allowance rates for travel by University employees. Associate Provost Gladys De Necochea introduced Margie Huerta, Executive Officer, Doņa Ana Branch Community College, for two Action Items: updated "Operating Agreement between the Board of Regents ... and the Local School Boards of Doņa Ana [County]" and revised "Doņa Ana Branch Community College Mission, Vision, and Values Statements." These documents were discussed at some length but, since copies of neither originals nor updated/ revised documents were available, I have no basis on which to judge if improvements have been made. (Both new documents were approved by the Regents.) A point brought out in discussion was that changes in these documents constitute movement toward but not consummation of the vision of "One University," proposed in earlier meetings.

 After discussion of plans for promoting NMSU needs in the upcoming state legislative session, Prof. Larry Creider (Faculty Senate chair) reported on attempts to provide representation in the Senate of non-tenured faculty. Mr. Tim Nesbitt of the Advisory Council on Administrative Policy discussed staff unionization issues, emphasizing that the Council wants to conduct an election in which ALL affected employees can vote.

 A recent Albuquerque Journal article was cited critically several times, especially at the close of the meeting. It cited President Martin as the second highest "big spender" among all presidents of New Mexico universities. President Gallagher protested that the Journal writer had not taken Martin's job description into account: Martin is charged to raise money, and has to travel and host meals, etc., that are often expensive. Martin cited an item not cited in the article, a recent somewhat expensive dinner in Albuquerque which led directly to the recent gift to NMSU of more than $260,000.

 John P. Bloom

 Southern NM Common Cause