April 13, 2007

This morning meeting took place in the Regents Room, Educational Services Center, on campus. All members were present. Deviating from usual practice, an Executive Session was not held in advance. One was scheduled following the public meeting, according to the official internet announcement, "to discuss personnel, real estate and legal matters," the old boilerplate formula that covers all the bases and reveals nothing of the actual Executive Session agenda.

Aside from flowery resolutions presented in person to the men's and women's basketball teams, honoring their respective highly successful seasons, the meeting held little of interest except for discussion of and agreement to increases for 2007-08 in tuition, also lodging and meal tickets and fees. Ex officio regent Ben Hardy, President of Associated Students of NMSU, praised the administration and regents for full involvement of student representatives in the process of calculating the proposed increases – and evoked chuckles and repartee in referring to the minimum-grade meal ticket as providing "chittling" fare for students who choose it.

University President Michael Martin interjected himself into discussion of these increases to emphasize how little flexibility the administration has for innovation, perhaps having in mind the sign-bearing representatives of the employees' union who were present, not permitted to speak. Further, in his scheduled report he called attention, with citation, to state statutes which require that NMSU negotiations with the union be held in private. He asserted that these negotiations are proceeding satisfactorily, with a contract soon to be hoped-for. Without divulging details, he observed that he is involved in planning, and hopeful of a good result, for a sort of agricultural extension service in Iraq. NMSU is one of a consortium of institutions involved in this project, created last year when he participated in a much publicized delegation which traveled to Iraq.

The last report was by Tim Nesbitt for the Advisory Council on Administrative Policy. His main report was that a "Heritage Council" has been created and is hard at work. There is no suggestion of the NMSU History Department being involved. Council members are canvassing the campus broadly to find out what are considered to be "traditions."

John P. Bloom

Southern NM Common Cause