Regents Minutes -- April 2012

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Board of Regents

9:00 a.m., Sunday, April 29, 2012

Galena Room, Macey Conference Center

Socorro, New Mexico


The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents convened at 9:00 a.m., with Chairman Richard N. Carpenter presiding. Other Board members present were Regent Jerry Armijo, Regent Deborah Peacock, Regent Abe Silver and Student Regent Omar Solomon. University administrators, staff, and guests who were also present included:

Daniel H. López

Peter Gerity

Robert Lee

John Meason

Brian Borchers

Leyla Sedillo

Melissa Jaramillo-Fleming

Greer Price

John Dowdle

Divya Suryakumar

Lonnie Marquez

Van Romero

Lala Garcia

Mark Adams

Lorie Liebrock

Mary Dezember

Thomas Guengerich

Valerie Kimble


1. Proof of Meeting Notice:  The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Board of Regents Chairman Richard Carpenter. President López confirmed that proper notice for the meeting had been given.

2. Approval of Agenda: Regent Peacock moved to approve the agenda for the April 29, 2012 meeting as presented. Regent Armijo seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

3. Minutes:  Regent Armijo moved to approve the Minutes from the March 30, 2012 meeting. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

4. Announcements

Construction Projects:


5. Public Comment.  None.

6. Degree Conferrals for March 2012.  One degree, a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Science, was conferred during the month.

7. Financial Analysis.  Mr. Marquez, V.P. for Administration and Finance, reported that both revenues and expenditures were tracking well.

8. Quarterly Financials for March 2012.  The financial report for the first three months of the year is in line with that of last year, reported Mr. Marquez, and will be sent to the Higher Education Department as required by law. Following a recommendation from President López, Regent Peacock made a motion to approve the report. Regent Armijo seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

9. Proposed Operating Budget & Employee Salary Increase.  Mr. Marquez summarized the proposed operating budget as follows:

As part of the discussion that followed, Mr. Marquez reported that the new budget reflects a slight increase in “I”, or instructional, funds. Previously open faculty positions have been filled, in some cases by redistributing funds from departments with lower enrollments. Mr. Marquez cited two outstanding issues: the need to cross-train financial staff, and to compensate for the absence of utilities support in the new funding formula. Additional discussion focused on the effects of rising utility costs on higher education institutions. It was also mentioned that Tech has been able to attract lower-cost and experienced scientists and engineers previously employed but retired from the state’s national laboratories. Regent Silver moved to accept the proposed operating budget, including the 2 percent across-the-board salary increase for employees, pending any budget readjustments that may be required. Regent Armijo seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

10. Final Budget Adjustment Request for FY12.  Mr. Marquez presented five budget adjustment requests:

Mr. Marquez explained that reserves, created from years of carry forward funds, are sufficient. Regent Armijo moved to approve the five budget adjustment requests. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

11. Tuition and Fees.  President López recommended approval of a 4 percent tuition increase to include a 10 percent increase in the activity fee charged to graduate students – as requested by the Graduate Student Association – to be returned to students in the form of activities. Regent Armijo moved to accept the recommendation. Student Regent Solimon seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

12. Residence Hall Construction.  President López explained that the HED requires Regents’ approval of a resolution to construct a new residence hall financed by a $14.5 million system revenue bond previously approved and issued in August 2011. HED, after its approval, would then forward the resolution to the Board of Educational Finance (BEF) for its approval. Once both authorizations are secured, the issue will return to the Board of Regents for final approval to begin construction. Upon the recommendation of President López, Regent Armijo moved to adopt the resolution. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

13. 2012 Severance Tax Bond Resolution Notification and Certification.  Upon the recommendation of President López, Regent Armijo moved to approve a resolution to proceed with securing $200,000 in legislatively approved severance tax bonds for infrastructure renovations and improvements at MRO. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

14.  Unrestricted Funds Purchases Exceeding $250,000.  President López introduced and recommended approval for three purchase requests:

15. Board Member Comments.   Regent Solomon will spend the summer working for Sandia National Laboratories. Regent Silver and Regent Peacock commented on the President’s Club Dinner held the previous evening. Regent Armijo offered to arrange a meeting with the new Superintendent of Socorro Consolidated Schools to continue the positive association between SCS and New Mexico Tech. President López agreed.

16.  New Business.  Regent Silver congratulated John Dowdle, the University’s alumnus of the Year, as announced at the President’s Club Dinner the previous evening, and expressed his pleasure at how truly delightful the entire affair was carried out. Regents also agreed to consider options for their annual retreat in August.

17.  Employee Benefit Trust.  Members recessed as the Board of Regents and convened the meeting of the Benefit Trust at 10:10 a.m. Mr. Marquez reported that claims are down, and that the trust will transition from HCH to Meritain Health effective May 1, 2012. He will continue to work with the campus health insurance committee and to address an upcoming meeting of the Faculty Senate.

18.  Closed Executive Session, Pursuant to NMSAS 1978 Sec 10-15-1 (H)(2) and Consideration of President’s Performance and Possible Modifications of Employment Agreement.   At 10:13 a.m., the Board on a unanimous roll call vote in the open session on a motion made by Regent Silver and seconded by Regent Armijo, closed the open meeting and convened in closed executive session to discuss the matter as per stated in the Agenda.  Regent Silver’s motion stated for the authority of for the closure and the subject to be discussed with reasonable specificity.  

19. 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:   The Board reconvened in open session at 11:02 a.m. Chairman Carpenter announced that pursuant to the above statute governing a closed session of the Board, only the matters stated in the Agenda were discussed, and no action was taken. Regent Armijo moved to modify the existing agreement with President López with the addition of $10,000 per annum; to increase the President’s car allowance from $20,000 per annum to $25,000 per annum; and to extend the term of his agreement with a one-year option exercisable at the President’s option with one year’s notice. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. President López was recognized as the longest-serving University president in New Mexico, by far; and for his long-standing loyalty to the Institute. President López, in turn, thanked Board members for their support.

19. Adjournment:  There being no further business to come before the Board, Regent Peacock moved to adjourn. Regent Armijo seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 11:13 a.m.