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Regents Minutes - April 2011

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Board of Regents

 

1:30 p.m., April 19, 2011

 New Mexico Tech, Macey Center, Galena Room

Socorro, New Mexico

M I N U T E S

The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents convened at 1:30 p.m., with Regent Richard Carpenter presiding.  Other Board members present were Regent Jerry Armijo, Regent Deborah Peacock, Regent Abe Silver, Jr. and Regent Omar Soliman.  University administrators, staff, and guests who were also present included:

Daniel H. López

Peter Gerity

Leyla Sedillo

Melissa Jaramillo

Robert Lucero

Robert Lee

Peter Scholle

Thomas Guengerich

Lonnie Marquez

Lala Garcia

John Meason

Suzanne Barteau

Arleen Valles

Erik County

Annette Kaus

Greer Price

Larry Carmony w/

 Moss Adams

     

Enrollment Updates:  Dr. López referred to the report showing that we are closing the gap on last year’s peak enrollment when compared to this year’s corresponding mid-month report.  This time last year we had 283 paid applications compared to this month’s 252 paid applications.  Vice President Melissa Jaramillo reported that we do have additional applications moving through the process and they should convert into paid applications by the fall term.  She also reported that applications for the residence hall are coming in at the same rate as last year and student housing will be occupied at full capacity. 

Regent Soliman asked about availability of student housing and wondered if Tech was prepared to accommodate a large influx of new students.  Vice President Jaramillo replied that it will take some creative juggling to ensure everyone has a place to stay.  One of the options for housing an unexpected large increase and overflow of new students, she noted, is to place them on off-campus facilities such as local hotels and private houses.  President López reminded everyone that we are working on a bond issue in order to move forward with building a new student residential hall to accommodate future enrollment growth.

Hot Water-Loop Progress Report:  Dr. López asked Vice President Lonnie Marquez to update the Board on the status of the hot water-loop construction project.  Vice President Marquez mentioned that he was pleased to report that the project is near completion.  The contractor is now at the point of landscaping the areas which were disturbed by excavation during the construction phase of the project and are making the final utility connections.

Department Chair Assignments:  Dr. López asked Dr. Peter Gerity to report on the assignments of new Chairs.  Dr. Gerity announced the new Chairs who included:

Dr. Bhaskar Majumdar              Materials Engineering

Dr. Alexander Kornienko           Chemistry

Dr. Gary Axen                           Earth & Environmental Science

Dr. Snezna Rogelj                     Biology

Dr. Gerity stated the Chairs serve on a three year rotation basis.

President’s Goals:  Dr. López presented the Board with the goals for calendar year 2011 and suggested that a detail discussion regarding the goals could take place later in the agenda.  Dr. López noted that one of his primary goals would be to participate and help develop recommendations for a new higher education funding formula.  He stated the funding formula group will be looking at a number of specific issues affecting the funding of the different types of higher education institutions in New Mexico.  Regent Armijo stated that he whole heartedly agreed with Dr. López sentiment as outlined by the proposed goals but mentioned that Goals 5 and 7 were almost identical and suggested consolidating these two goals which will result in a total number of six goals for the President in 2011.

Student Forum:  Dr. López reported on the recently completed Student Forum meeting held on April 7.  He described and summarized for the Board his overview for students at the forum regarding the overall funding for New Mexico Tech for next fiscal year, including his recommendation of an 8% tuition increase.  Along with his recommendation, he indicated that he did commit to the students to make ever effort to fill 2 to 3 faculty positions; two for sure, possibly three.  He stated that students did not to strongly object to the proposed increase but neither was there an endorsement of the proposal. 

A question was asked regarding the number of students on lottery scholarships.  Dr. López noted that approximately 30% of the student body are on lottery scholarship.  Further discussion centered on other students financial support and work study programs which are also available to students.

Other:  Dr. López recognized Dr. Allan Stavely, Emeritus Professor in Computer Science, who has been working on organizing and implementing a New Mexico Tech Press since last year.  Dr. Stavely proudly announced that the New Mexico Tech Press is open for business and unveiled the first published work.  Dr. Stavely added that the New Mexico Tech Press will begin publicizing the opportunity for individuals to publish their works and hopes to have at least two more books published next year.

Final Action on General Appropriation:  Dr. López reported that the General Appropriations Act included language requiring quarterly reports on all grants and contracts secured by universities and other government agencies.  This language in the Act was vetoed, however.  He also reported that the House and Senate failed to agree on capital projects, and so a Senate filibustered during the waning hours of the Session ensued and as a result the Capital Appropriation died.

Other:  Dr. López handed out an article regarding the discovery of a major gas field in the Tucumcari Basin.  Dr. Ron Broadhead of the Geology Bureau of Geology and Minerals Resources is credited with this valuable discovery.  The discovery and characterization of this gas field, according to the article, may prove to be one of the largest and most valuable in New Mexico and what may make it even more valuable is that it may contain large volumes of helium, along with the gas.

6. New Mexico Tech Annual Audit:  Vice President Marquez introduced Mr. Larry Carmony of Moss Adams, to present the New Mexico Tech 2010 Audit Report.  Mr. Carmony reported that the audit resulted in a clean audit opinion.  He stated that they had tested not only state funded programs but federal programs as well and also looked at the status of internal controls.  He further stated that even though Tech received a clean audit, the audit, however, does contain a number of observations and recommendations for improvement of certain accounting functions.  He further stated that they examined some 16 to 17 state statutes related to university accounting requirements and found that the audit revealed some minor matters requiring attention.  In conclusion, he reported that he was confident that these matters would be resolved in a relatively short period.  At this point, Regent Silver moved to accept the audit as presented by Moss Adams.  Regent Armijo seconded the motion and it was unanimously accepted. 

       Regent Armijo made a final observation regarding Tech’s audit.  He observed that his participation in the annual exit audit conferences have made him aware of the more detailed auditing requirements and expansion in scope of today’s audits as well as their increasing complexity which have made accounting and financial functions more challenging for Tech’s staff. 

Regent Armijo, in further discussion, reminded the administration of the need for a staff succession plan in the financial and accounting areas as incumbent staff begin to retire.  A succession plan will avoid losing the institution’s corporate memory currently in place which is so important in maintaining the excellent financial and accounting functions of the institution.  Regent Silver echoed the same sentiments and noted that good communications among the financial and accounting staff is a very important factor in achieving clean audits.  President López whole heartedly agreed with these sentiments and stated that indeed the administration has been discussing these very matters.  He gave an example of Leyla Sedillo, Budget Director, who has nurtured Erik County as her assistant and has involved him in the details of the budget which has increased his knowledge of the budget and has prepared him to act in her stead when she is absent.

9. Financial Analysis for March 2011:   Vice President Marquez reported that Tech continues to maintain expenditures well within the budget.  He also reported that overhead recovery is better this year than last.  Instruction & General (I&G) expenditures are well within budget but are running about $500,000.00 less than last year.  It is anticipated that Tech will end the fiscal year with a balanced budget.

$111.      Proposed Operating Budget:  The revised proposed operating budget was presented and it reflected the increase in tuition. 

A summary of previous budgets starting in fiscal year 2007 shows the decline in funding for the university, especially in such programs as research and public service.  

 

Regent Carpenter referred to page 1, exhibit 1, lines 4-15 of the budget and asked Vice President Marquez to provide more detail on such line items by indicating the purpose and functions supported by those line items for the benefit of the new regents. 

Further discussion included budgeting of private funding, scholarships, and endowments.  At the end of this discussion it was ascertained that these sources of funds are not budgeted but they are reported and audited.  It was suggested that the administration draft a policy for the expenditures of unbudgeted funds in order to insure that such expenditures are based on formally authorized policy.

Dr. López, following the discussion, stated he would develop a draft policy by May for dealing with the expenditures of unbudgeted funds.  Regent Armijo moved to approve the operating budget as presented.  Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

 

$113.      Restricted Fund Purchase Notifications:  For information purposes, Dr. López provided the Board with a list of restricted expenditures exceeding $100,000.  These expenditures were made by the New Mexico Tech Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center in support of the Playas Training Center as well as for supporting the SEAL Team TEN Village Stability Operations exercise, along with the issuance of purchase orders to vendors who support the First Responders Program.

New Mexico Tech Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center issued a Task Order MA-006 to Strategic Operations, Inc. to support the Playas Training Center for support to the SEAL Team TEN Village Stability Operations exercise. The funding for this award is from fund TSFG50 and is for contract labor services, travel, wardrobe and special vehicles.  The estimated cost of the award if $128,203.38.

New Mexico Tech Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center issued purchase orders in support of the First Responders program.  The program conducts a variety of training activities at the Playas Training and Research Center. The individual vendors and estimated costs are:

Hampton Inn-Deming                 $110,325.75

Holiday Inn –Deming                  $353,042.40

Radisson Suites, El Paso              $100,831.25

Holiday Inn Socorro, NM             $322,822.56

ARB-Reddy Best Western            $588,347.52

Comfort Inn Socorro                  $180,633.60

Enterprise Car Rentals                $793,250.00

Raks Building Supply                  $121,926.35  

$114.     Library Subscription: Dr. López presented the bid for library subscription services effective July 1, 2011 and running through June 30, 2012. 

Dr. López and Dr. Peter Gerity both expressed their frustration with the cost for these services due to the near monopoly held by the service provider.  The vendor of these services is the only major vendor in the nation providing them.  Dr. Gerity assured the Board that the university has done everything possible to negotiate for the lowest possible price as best it could.  He also said that he is communicating with other universities and associations in an effort to find another avenue for this type of service.  At the conclusion of this discussion, Regent Silver moved to approve the purchase of library electronic subscription services.  Regent Soliman seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

$115.     Property Disposition (NMSA) 13-6-1 & 13-6-2:   Vice President Marquez provided the detailed listing of inventory items requiring action for disposition.  The items included for disposition were as follows:

Transfer the title of a Pinpoint Weather system to Capital Middle School.  Regent Peacock moved to approve the transfer via a resolution to read:

Whereas, the Board of Regents of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology at a meeting held at the Macey Center in Socorro, NM on the 19th day of April , 2011 hereby finds that each such item is transferred by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

 

Now, Therefore, the Board of Regents hereby approves removal of capital assets from inventory to allow transfer of title to Capitan Middle School and Maxwell Municipal schools.

Regent Armijo seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

Transfer the title of a pinpoint Weather system to Maxwell Municipal School.  Regent Peacock moved to approve the transfer via resolution:

 Whereas, the Board of Regents of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology at a meeting held at the Macey Center in Socorro, NM on the 19th day of April , 2011 hereby finds that each such item is transferred by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

 

Now, Therefore, the Board of Regents hereby approves removal of capital assets from inventory to allow transfer of title to Capitan Middle School and Maxwell Municipal schools.

Regent Soliman seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

Sell five tangible assets through sealed bid on behalf of the Chemistry Department for an asking price of $10,821.48.  Regent Peacock moved to approve the sale via resolution:

Whereas, the Board of Regents of the New Mexico Institute of mining and Technology at a meeting held at the Macey Center in Socorro, NM on the 19th day of April, 2011 hereby finds that each such item is transferred from inventory as a result of receiving sealed bids requested by the Chemistry Department and Energetic Materials Research Testing Center

 

Now, Therefore, the Board of Regents hereby approves removal of capital assets from inventory to allow the sale of capital assets through the receipt of sealed bids.

Regent Silver seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

Sell 3700 lbs. of brass cartridge casing with a minimum bid of $1,250.00 and 17,000 lbs. of Steel spent cartridge casings with a minimum bid of $2,500 by sealed bid for Energetic Materials Research Testing Center.  Regent Peacock moved to approve the sale via resolution:

Whereas, the Board of Regents of the New Mexico Institute of mining and Technology at a meeting held at the Macey Center in Socorro, NM on the 19th day of April, 2011 hereby finds that each such item is transferred from inventory as a result of receiving sealed bids requested by the Chemistry Department and Energetic Materials Research Testing Center

 

Now, Therefore, the Board of Regents hereby approves removal of capital assets from inventory to allow the sale of capital assets through the receipt of sealed bids.

Regent Silver seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

Authorize cannibalizing a computer cluster for parts for the Earth and Environmental Science Department.  The computer cluster has not been used since June 2010 as a cluster because in its current configuration it is of no use to the Department.  Regent Peacock moved to approve the cannibalization via resolution:

Whereas, the Board of Regents of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology at a meeting held at the Macey Center in Socorro, NM on the 19th day of April, 2011 hereby finds that such item is obsolete and subject to cannibalization as requested by the E&ES Department and may be reutilized within the Department.

 

Now, Therefore, the Board of Regents hereby approves the cannibalization of capital asset from inventory to allow reutilization by the Department.

Regent Soliman seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

$116.     Individual Board Member Comments:  Regent Soliman asked about the card board box-appearing posts around campus and wondered why they are out there, and further wondered about their cost.  President López replied that this is part of New Mexico Tech’s initiative to maintain a safe campus by providing emergency call stations.  He reminded everyone that there have been many incidents across the country where students have been harmed.  These emergency call stations are a safety measure which will hopefully allow students to call if they feel threatened and thus allow security to promptly respond to emergencies. 

 

Regent Peacock, in her comments, reported on her visit to a computing business in Las Cruces.  The management of that business told Regent Peacock that most of their hires include graduates from New Mexico Tech.  In their opinion, New Mexico Tech has the best pool of computer trained employee candidates.  

Regent Soliman announced that he has been accepted for an internship this summer with the Department of Defense.

$117.     New Business:  Regent Carpenter asked if there was any new business under the regular agenda to be considered.  There being none, he requested that the Board convene as the Benefit Trust.

$118.     Employee Benefit Trust:  The Board recessed at 3:40pm and convened as the Employee Benefit Trust.  Vice President Marquez summarized for the Board the March financial statement.  He further indicated that a meeting would be held this week with the HCH representative who is Tech’s plan administrator.  He, in addition noted, that claims have slightly decreased since November 2010 and revenues are slowly building up.  President López, for his part, stated that he has issued instructions to look for alternative benefit plans that may be more economical.  The Board reconvened at 3:45pm.

$119.     Closed Executive Session, NMSA 1978, Sec 10-15-1(H) (2):  Regent Armijo, consistent with the provisions of NMSA 1978, Sec 10-15-1 (H) (2),  moved to go into Executive Session to consider the following:

Appeal by Dr. Carlos Ulibarri on his denial of Tenure and Promotion; discussion of Dr. Andrew Budek terminal contract; and the President’s Goals and President’s Contract Review and Amendment.  The roll was called and with all Board members present, they unanimously voted to go into executive session.

$120.     Reconvene in Open Session and Report on Final Action, if any, on Such Limited Personnel Matters Shall in Open Session Following Conclusion of the Closed Session:  After the executive session, the Board reconvened on a unanimous roll call vote.  The Chair announced that the executive session had considered only matters authorized by the Limited Personnel Exception of the Open Meetings Act and delineated in the motion calling for the executive session, and had taken no action in the executive session.  The Board took the following actions in open session:  Regent Armijo moved that the appeal by Dr. Carlos Ulibarri be denied.  Regent Peacock seconded the motion and the denial was unanimously affirmed.  Regent Armijo also moved to approve the recommendation made by the Academic Executive Committee and Dr. López to terminate Dr. Budek’s employment within his probationary period effective May 13, 2011.  Regent Silver seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.  Regent Armijo, in addition, moved to adopt the President’s goals as presented, with an added goal which calls for the President to continue to work on securing funding for building new student housing.  Regent Silver seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved. 

 

In a final personnel matter related to the President’s employment contract, which was discussed in executive session, Regent Armijo moved to amend the President’s current contract and include a provision which modifies the cap on accrued annual leave for the President.  The modification will allow the President to accrue annual leave up to the annual limit allowed by the Employee Handbook, without losing any of it once his cumulative annual leave has reached the current maximum of 336 hours.  The new accrual annual leave plan for the President will become effective July 1, 2011, subject to review by legal counsel.  Regent Soliman seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

 

Regent Armijo complimented Dr. López on his report to the Board.  He stated that the report was concise and very informative.  He also recognized Dr. López’s longevity at New Mexico Tech and his commitment to the university. Consequently, he felt that the President should be compensated for the loss of annual leave upon retirement.  Regent Silver offered his thanks to the President and stated that New Mexico Tech is still one of the best kept secrets.  Regent Soliman thanked Dr. López for his foresight and his willingness to meet and work with students.

$121.     Adjournment:  There being no further business to come before the Board, Regent Carpenter adjourned the meeting at 5:40 p.m.

                                                              ____________________________

                                                                        Secretary-Treasurer

Attest:

___________________________

President of the Board