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New Dormitory On Schedule For Summer Completion

SOCORRO, N.M. May 1, 2013 – The Board of Regents received updates on construction, enrollment and international collaborations at its April meeting in Socorro.

The Board approved an average tuition-and-fee increase of $125 for in-state students (or 3.9 percent) and 4.3 percent for out-of-state students. The board also approved a $168 million budget for 2014 (see separate article).

The new Steve S. Torres dormitory is on schedule to open on time for the fall 2013 semester. Director of Special Projects Miguel Hidalgo said the new 150-bed facility will be completed by late June. He is working with staff and students to select furniture.

The President’s Hall dormitory will be off-line for next year for massive renovations. That will eliminate 60 beds from the campus inventory. Vice President of Student and University Relations Melissa Jaramillo-Fleming said that even with an increase of 90 bends on campus, she expects housing to be tight again for the 2013-2014 school year. Enrollment continues to increase and students increasingly want to live on campus, she said. She said she is working with the cafeteria to help them deal with increased demand as well.

Hidalgo said construction of the new Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources building will commence shortly after commencement. Construction documents should be in hand by the first of May, he said. Work will begin with demolition of the existing ISD Building to make way for construction.

Vice President of Research Dr. Van Romero reported on a trip to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and India.

Romero said he, Lopez and other administrators had productive meetings in the United Arab Emirates. Leaders in the U.A.E. hope to partner with Tech to develop programs for their “Disaster City,” which is a training ground for first responders. They are also interested in partnering with Tech in areas of mechanical engineering and management education, cyber security and astrophysics research.

Romero said the U.A.E. expressed interest in lending support to the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer. Tech’s research partner, Cambridge University, also welcomes participation from the U.A.E., Romero said.

“They have resources and they are anxious to sign an M.O.U.,” Romero said. “They’ll be visiting Tech in the next few months.”

Dr. Srinivas Mukkamala, senior scientist at ICASA, lead the Tech contingent on visits to a university in India. He told the Regents that India represents fertile ground to recruit students, particularly in computer science. The host university is interested in entering into a memorandum of understanding that would pave the way for students from India to study at New Mexico Tech. The university already has similar M.O.U.’s with other American universities. The Indian government has an established program to provide tuition scholarships for Indian students to study in the United States, Mukkamala said.

The Tech contingent also visited one of India’s largest seaports, which includes plans for a liquid natural gas import facility. The port officials are interested in partnering with EMRTC to advise them on security issues.

In other action, the Board approved tenure and promotion to associate professor for five individuals:

  • Dr. Jun Zheng, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Dr. Jeff Altig, Chemistry
  • Dr. Bin Lim, Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr. David Meier, Physics

The Board also approved promotion to full professor to three individuals:

  •             Dr. Julie Dyke Ford, Technical Communications and Mechanical Engineering
  •             Dr. Alexander Prusin, History
  •             Dr. Susan Dunston, English

The board also approved tenure for professor Dr. Mark Person, Earth and Environmental Science

In recommending the promotions and tenure, Vice President Dr. Peter Gerity gave high praise to all of the faculty members. He said all of this year’s promotions were unanimous and he told the Board briefly about each professor’s specialties. Gerity said he hopes to have those eight professors attend an upcoming meeting and introduce them to the Board of Regents.

  • The Board learned that two degrees were awarded in April: one bachelor’s and one master’s.

  • The Board approved a final Budget Adjustment Request for fiscal year 2013.

  • Convening as the Employee Benefit Trust, the board learned that the trust’s finances are improving. Vice President of Finance Lonnie Marquez said the fund was as much as $1.2 million in the red. That deficit is now only $854,000 and improving, he said.

  • The board approved four resolutions to dispose of obsolete, worn-out or unusable property, to be sold via auction.

  • The board approved a 2 percent raise for President Lopez.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech

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