NMSU BOARD OF REGENTS
MEETING of FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2007
The meeting was convened at 10:05 a.m. in the Regents Room, Educational Services Center, with all members present in person. Copies of the agenda, available as usual at the entrances, were dated May 4, a week earlier. Curiously, the agenda was not posted on the NMSU website until late on May 9. Statements were required, both ratified unanimously as always, for two earlier Executive Sessions (April 13, May 11). We heard the usual, vague boilerplate on these: at the first, "personnel, real estate and legal matters" were discussed; at the latter only "personnel and legal matters."
Twenty-six listed items (3 blank, "reserved") were on the Consent Calendar, voted unanimously without discussion. (Item "x" was pulled off before the vote, involving "Employment Agreements ... for Various Coaches." Basketball Coach Reggie Theus's boosted contract, much publicized in the press the day before, was involved.) NMSU General Counsel Bruce Kite, later in the meeting, carried a note to the Chair, Laura Conniff, prompting her to point out that Theus's new contract had not been signed (yet). Kite then ad-libbed openly that he "did not want the regents to be accused of acting in private" on such a matter. The casual handling of this matter prompted applause from persons present, almost all of course NMSU personnel.
"Action Items" occupied the longest time, compared to other main agenda items. First was the 2008-09 "Capital Outlay Plan," involving $14+ million. Library planning at the Grants campus required much discussion, bearing on an attempt to coordinate planning with the community -- perhaps now an aborted attempt. Then, in moving toward approval of the 2007-08 fiscal year "Operating Budget," we heard of need for continuing major infusion of private money, for public-private cooperation in university functions. President Michael Martin's boosted contract was the final agenda "Action Item," prompting enthusiastic back-slapping exchanges.
Of special note in later agenda items was the report by the Chair of the NMSU Faculty Senate, Professor Larry Creider. It was his last report, his replacement (Prof. Wanda Eastman) having been elected a few days earlier. In his reasoned judgment, "shared governance" between faculty and administration works better at NMSU than at any other university in the state.
The agenda included a call for "other" but there was no public participation.
John P. Bloom
for Southern NM Common Cause