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Meeting, May 15, 2008

New Mexico Tech Alumni Association
Board of Directors’ Meeting
May 15, 2008

Directors Present: Geza Keller, Brett Wendt, Louise Chamberlin, Steve Dixon, Linda Gonzales, Tom Dillon, Paul Shoemaker, Russ Erbes

Staff Present: Marcelle England, assistant director of Admission; Mike Kloeppel, director of Admission; Lonnie Marquez, vice president for Administration and Finance; Ricardo Maestas, vice president for Student and University Relations; Carol Lynn Tiegs, assistant director for Advancement
Admission Office presentation: Mike Kloeppel

  • Enrollment goals set by the university’s Strategic Plan are to increase overall enrollment to 2,500 students. Currently there are around 1,900 students (500 graduate students; 1400 undergrads).
  • A further goal is to establish New Mexico Tech as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS). This would give Tech access to federal funds limited to HSIs, increasing Tech’s access to funds while decreasing competition to those funds to the 462 HSIs nationwide rather than to all colleges and universities. To qualify as an HSI requires a minimum of 25% Hispanic students; Tech is currently at 24%.
  • Tom Dillion urged Tech to look at ways to work with companies in hiring students as many other HSIs have done.
  • Ricardo Maestas indicated that a personal goal is to diversify the campus population to provide an experience more similar to larger Research I university campuses.
  • Tech’s third-semester retention rate is around 72%, so Tech must work on retention as well as recruitment.
  • Admission Office staff does personal visits and college fairs. There is not enough staff to be everywhere so they ask alumni to help locally. Personal visits are focused especially in the western states. Alumni are used nationwide. Mike said it’s important to use as many alumni as possible.
  • Admission Office staff works to cover 90 to 120 college fairs per year; 20 to 30 fairs occur in October alone. Currently alumni do around 30 fairs per year. Cost of fair registration ranges from $50 to $450. Mike, Marcelle and two other recruiters cover as many fairs as possible with help from Student and University Relations staff. Spring and fall are primary recruiting times.
  • Mike will be going to Denver to do training with the alumni chapter there, and will go to other chapters as well as soon as dates are set.
  • In response to a question from Brett on how much effort goes into recruiting in Texas Mike replied that September 11 changed things with students becoming less willing to travel much beyond 500 miles from home for college. Now that is starting to change, but the rising price of gasoline has become a limiting factor. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California are markets Tech is targeting, especially for Hispanic students. Key Texas markets are El Paso, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.
  • Mike indicated that the Admission Office looks at statistics annually and does focus groups with incoming students to assess success and fine-tune the marketing program. The department purchases some 65,000 names annually based on targeted criteria.
  • Brett mentioned the receptions held in the Houston schools; Mike indicated that Tech does this now and could do more with alumni help, but that it is very expensive.
  • Alumni are invited to contact Mike (mkloeppel@admin.nmt.edu) or Marcelle (mengland@admin.nmt.edu) regarding student recruitment.
  • Ricardo emphasized the value of alumni making personal contacts with the math-science academies, high-tech highs and other good schools they know, introducing New Mexico Tech. It’s also great for alumni to contact top notch students, take them to lunch, show interest and promote New Mexico Tech in the manner of recruiting student athletes.

Presentation by Lonnie Marquez, Vice President for Administration and Finance

  • Use of endowment fund dollars is restricted to the specific purpose for which the endowment was established. (Carol Lynn mentioned the Victor Saracini Memorial Endowed Scholarship as an example.)
  • Endowment funds managed by New Mexico Tech are invested at the State Investment Council in Santa Fe, which handles two $7-billion funds for the State of New Mexico. Tech is in its Core Bond Fund and Large Cap Fund, typically with 60% in equity and $40% in fixed income. Interest distribution is achieved by taking the average 5-year balance and distributing 4.5% for the specified endowment purpose and the remainder into the corpus of the endowment account so that it continues to grow over time.
  • The New Mexico Tech Foundation is a separate 501( c)(3) established in 1960 to facilitate gifts of real estate to the university. Alex Thysson is the Foundation’s director. The board is comprised of Tech employees, community members, and members of the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents.
  • In response to a question from Tom Dillon regarding the ability of the Alumni Association to do restricted gifts either through New Mexico Tech or through the New Mexico Tech Foundation. Lonnie replied that this could be established through either organization. The Association would provide a letter stating the amount given and the specified use. The Office for Advancement would monitor the fund.
  • Board members asked Lonnie to provide additional information on the Foundation, including a list of the board of directors, and Lonnie indicated that he would work on this prior to the June Association board meeting.

General Comments

Geza indicated that the board is exploring how best to utilize the Alumni Association as both a social and financial tool for New Mexico Tech, and is looking for feedback from the institution.

Ricardo said he is committed to growing the Alumni Association and to its closer alignment with New Mexico Tech. He sees the draft Alumni Association Strategic Plan document as “right on target with what we want to do.”

Both Ricardo (rmaestas@admin.nmt.edu) and Lonnie (lmarquez@admin.nmt.edu) invited board members to contact them with questions and comment.

Minutes submitted by Carol Lynn Tiegs