Brief Bios Of The Presidential Candidates

SOCORRO, N.M. January 20, 2016 – The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents announced the five finalists for the position of university president on Tuesday, January 19.

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  Ronald Elsenbaumer

Kate C. Miller


Nagi Naganathan


Richard Schoephoerster


Stephen Wells


Each of the five finalists has an impressive track record in academia, leadership and publishing. Short bios of each candidate are listed below.

Each of the candidates will spend a day on campus over the next couple weeks, meeting with various constituents, including open forums. The Board of Regents will decide on a new president at its February 18 meeting in Socorro. (Please note that this is a change of date from the originally scheduled Feb. 18 meeting date). 

Dr. Ronald L Elsenbaumer

Dr. Ronald L Elsenbaumer is the Senior Advisor to the President for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at the University of Texas at Arlington. He had been Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, a position he held from 2011 to 2015. He has been at UT-Arlington since 1991, starting on the faculty in Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering. He had also served as Vice President of Research and Federal Relations.

Prior to joining UT-Arlington, Elsenbaumer worked at AlliedSignal in Morristown, N.J., from 1977 to 1991. He earned his bachelor’s in chemistry from Purdue University in 1973 and his doctorate in chemistry from Stanford University in 1978.

Click here for Dr. Elsenbaumer's CV. 


Dr. Kate C. Miller

Dr. Kate C. Miller is the Dean of the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University, a position she has held since 2009. She previously served at the University of Texas-El Paso from 1991 to 2009, joining the faculty in 1992 and rising to full professor in 2002. Miller was the chair of the Department of Geological Sciences from 1999 to 2004 and served as the Associate Dean of the College of Science at UTEP from 2004 to 2008.

She earned her bachelor’s in Geological and Geophysical Sciences from Princeton in 1982, her master’s in 1988 and her doctorate in 1991, both in geophysics and both from Stanford.

Click here for Dr. Miller's CV.  


Dr. Nagi G. Naganathan

Dr. Nagi G. Naganathan is the Dean of Engineering at the University of Toledo, a position he has held since 2000. He also served as interim president of the university for one year, 2014 to 2015. He first joined the Mechanical Engineering Department faculty at Toledo in 1986.

He earned his doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the Oklahoma State University in 1986. He earned his master’s in mechanical and industrial engineering from the Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., in 1980. He earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Madras in India in 1978.

Click here for Dr. Naganathan's CV


Dr. Richard T. Schoephoerster

Dr. Richard T. Schoephoerster is the Riter Professor in the Department of Engineering Education and Leadership at the University of Texas at El Paso, and was also the Dean of the College of Engineering from 2007 to 2015. He served at Florida International University from 1990 to 2007, rising to full professor in 2001.

Schoephoerster earned his bachelor’s in biomedical engineering in 1985, his master’s and doctorate in 1986 and 1989 respectively in mechanical engineering, all from the University of Iowa.

Click here for Dr. Schoephoerster's CV.  


Dr. Stephen G. Wells

Dr. Stephen G. Wells is the president of the Desert Research Institute in Nevada, a position he has held since 1999. He had previously served as the graduate program director for the Department of Earth Science as the University of California-Riverside from 1991 to 1995. He also served on the faculty in the Department of Geology at the University of New Mexico from 1976 to 1991.

Wells earned his bachelor’s in geology from Indiana University in 1971, and his master’s and doctorate, both in geology, from the University of Cincinnati in 1973 and 1976, respectively.

Click here for Dr. Wells' CV.

– NMT –