Notes from the March 4, 2002 Regents Meeting

by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M., March 6, 2002 -- With the unanimous approval of New Mexico Tech's governing board, three buildings on the university's campus -- two existing ones and one yet to be constructed -- will now bear the names of three of New Mexico's most prominent statesmen.

The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents voted on Monday, March 4, to name the university's 54,000-square-foot main library building the "Joseph R. Skeen Library" in honor of U.S. Representative Joe Skeen.

In addition, the regents also approved proposals submitted by the New Mexico Tech Office for Advancement to name the school's year-old student apartment complex the "Ben D. Altamirano Student Apartments" and the planned student services building the "Joseph A. Fidel Student Services Center."

State senators Altamirano and Fidel, along with Congressman Skeen, were cited by Tech administrators for their longstanding support and contributions to New Mexico Tech.

Dedication ceremonies for the newly named campus buildings are planned for sometime later this year.

In other matters presented to the board, New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López told regents that ". . . despite being faced with a difficult financial situation, state legislators still managed to be responsive to the needs of higher education" during the recently concluded state legislative session.

In particular, President López said that, pending Governor Johnson's approval, New Mexico Tech stands to benefit from several new capital funding projects on campus, including $4 million more to begin construction on the $12 million Fidel Student Services Center, $3 million for infrastructure improvements, and almost $800,000 for remodeling the Jones and Kelly buildings, as well as $1 million for matching endowment funds and $50,000 for enhancing the Skeen Library's collection.

López also informed the university's governing board that New Mexico Tech recently was designated by the National Security Agency as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, one of only 23 universities across the country to be awarded this distinction.

"Our being named to this select group--which includes other distinguished universities such as Carnegie-Mellon, Georgia Tech, Purdue, and Stanford--highlights New Mexico Tech's commitment to education and research in the field of information assurance and information systems security and speaks highly of our university's Information Technology (IT) degree program and related Institute for Complex Additive Systems Analysis (ICASA)," López said.

"In addition, this new designation will assist us in seeking additional federal funding for this type of critically important research," he added.

In other matters considered at its monthly meeting, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents approved the following measures:

An additional report to the regents, delivered by Marisa Wolfe, coordinator of the New Mexico Tech Community College, and Bob Boston, Distance Education Projects and Development, gave the board an extensive update on Tech's Distance Education programs.