Notes from the August 12, 2006 Regents Meeting

by George Zamora

SANDIA PUEBLO, N.M., Aug. 14, 2006 – The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents, meeting this past Saturday morning, August 12, after its annual retreat at the Sandia Resort, gave its approval to an extensive list of funding requests for research and public service projects at the state-supported research university in Socorro.

The more than $15 million in approved funding requests for Fiscal Year 2007-2008, along with supporting documentation, will now be forwarded to the New Mexico Department of Higher Education for its consideration. If approved by that state agency, the funding requests will then be presented for consideration for line-item funding at next year’s state legislative session.

Included in the appropriation requests are an increase in funding for New Mexico Tech’s Geophysical Research Center, expansion of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources’ statewide aquifer mapping program, and matching funds for federally funded research projects and additional personnel and staff training at the university’s Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC).

Added funding is also sought for several of New Mexico Tech’s existing research divisions and academic programs, including the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center, Magdalena Ridge Observatory, Institute for Complex Additive Systems, Master of Science Teaching Program, New Mexico Science and Engineering Fair and Science Olympiad, and the New Mexico Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) statewide program.

In other official actions taken at the university governing board’s annual retreat meeting, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents approved a budget recommendation to allocate $101,000 from revenues earned by the university’s Marion and Irving Langmuir Quasi-Endowment toward employee salaries and benefits of personnel working at Tech’s Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, a research facility located atop the Magdalena Mountains since 1963.

In addition, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents also gave its approval to the recent faculty appointments of Nikolai G. Kalugin to the full-time, tenure-track position of assistant professor of chemistry and Andrei N. Zagrai to the full-time, tenure-track position of assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Emeritus status was conferred by the board of regents on longtime New Mexico Tech mineral engineering professor Catherine Aimone-Martin, who recently retired from her full-time position at the university.

In other retirement related matters, the Tech regents also approved the names of two new signatories — Arleen Valles and Anna McLain — to replace recent Tech retirees and former administrators W.D. “Denny” Peterson and Harvey Wilds as check signers for New Mexico Tech bank accounts.

During the meeting, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents also voted to approve the first Budget Adjustment Request (BAR) presented to the governing board for Fiscal Year 2006-2007, due to reclassification of some of the university’s revenues.

The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents was further informed by Tech administrators that three recent expenditures of more than $100,000 were made with restricted funds, including $6.5 million for the construction of the Magdalena Ridge Observatory’s Beam Combining Facility; a $170,000 subcontract to Kinder Morgan Production Company for the Southwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership —Phase II; and a $131,089 subcontract issued to the University of North Dakota on behalf of the PRRC for the research division’s ongoing “Improving Gas Flooding Efficiency” research project.