NMSU BOARD OF REGENTS
APRIL 13, 2006
This meeting took place on campus in the Regents Room, Educational Services Center, starting a bit after 9:30 AM. This meeting was scheduled originally for April 20. When the date was changed was not stated, nor was it announced in the scheduling of the meeting in Grants in 2005. Thus, an observer must monitor the regents' meeting schedule constantly or risk missing out on important public business. Further, the agenda published on the university website on April 3 was revised in five places, compared to the agenda distributed at the meeting, items being deleted, added, and changed. The agenda was in standard format, with NMSU Pres. Michael Martin's report near the end but not quite. He has been "promoted" to speak ahead of other reports and "Informational Items."
The business of the preceding Executive Session was handled as usual, with the boiler-plate announcement that the regents had discussed nothing but "limited personnel, legal and real estate matters."
Press reports of this long meeting have focused appropriately on fiscal matters involving selection of auditors (same as last year); change in health insurance plans for faculty, staff, retirees, and students; student housing and meal plan rates; and tuition and fee increases too complicated to reiterate in this brief report. Student Regent Sherry Kamali was particularly active and determined in this meeting, and she persuaded other regents to oppose former regents president Robert M. Gallagher in regard to Greek housing.
Press reports have neglected needed emphasis on an important point expounded by President Martin during discussion of tuition increases, namely, the disadvantage NMSU has as a research university (along with UNM and NM Tech in Socorro) because the state legislature has tied state funding to student enrollment. That is, since enrollment has lagged by about 3%, NMSU funding was cut the same amount. Increasing tuition by 3% merely enables NMSU to "stand still." The final agreement on an increase of about 8%, thus, is modest in terms of starting important new programs and enlarging existing ones. Governor Bill Richardson's item vetoes of funding for a number of special items were mentioned repeatedly.
Dean Garrey Carruthers tossed off the "bon mot" of the meeting in starting his report on Living the Vision Goals that the vision is for NMSU to be the "Yale of the Yuccas."
John P. Bloom
Southern NM Common Cause