Regents Minutes - March 2011

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Board of Regents

1:30 p.m., March 22, 2011

New Mexico Tech, Fidel Center, Ballroom B

Socorro, New Mexico


The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents convened at 1:45 p.m., with Regent Jerry Armijo presiding.  Other Board members present were Regent Richard N. Carpenter, 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

Bill Stone

Clint Richardson

Edie Steinhoff

David Manzano

Sharon Sessions

Ken Eack

Allan Stavely

Claudia Wilson

Peter Mozley

Paul Fuierer

Dave Westpfahl

Andrei Zagrai

Penny Boston

Peter Anselmo

Raul Morales-Juberias

Anders Jorgensen

Dr. López also advised the Board that Agenda item number 10 required a change.  Dr. López asked to have the OST Surplus Equipment list removed from the agenda until further notice.

Regent Silver moved to approve the agenda, along with the modifications.  Regent Carpenter seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

Enrollment Updates:  Dr. López referred to the report showing we are lagging behind last year to the tune of 60 fewer paid applications.

With respect to future enrollments, President López also announced that a taskforce has been named to develop a new funding formula which will not be solely based on student FTE’s. 

This new formula, if properly structured, should mitigate the dramatic negatively impact of loss of funding due solely to enrollment decreases.  Enrollment growth, then, will not be as critical as it is under the current formula.  More specifically, this taskforce is to provide recommendations by October for a new formula.  He stated that a further complication with the current higher education funding situation is due to the lumping of all three levels and types of post secondary institutions: research, comprehensive and two year schools, because the formula, as currently structured, is a function of tuition credits and other miscellaneous credits, and as a result it negatively impacts four year institutions more heavily than two year institutions.  For example, he stated, that the four year institutions have experienced a 92% reduction in funding versus the two year schools who have experienced 8% reduction for same period under the current formula.  The fairness of such a disparity in funding has been called into question.

Introduction of New Regents:  Regent Carpenter introduced the Board’s two new regents.  Ms. Deborah Peacock was introduced, as well as Mr. Omar Soliman who was introduced as the student regent.  Both Ms. Peacock and Mr. Soliman addressed the body and provided a brief summary of their background.

Hot Water Loop Progress Report:  Dr. López reported that construction of the hot water loop is progressing and the project is approximately 85% completed.  He advised the Board that during Spring break water hook-up connections were made campus wide.  Regent Carpenter asked about the status of the geothermal project.  Dr. López replied that it remains on hold indefinitely until matching funds can be found.

Sabbatical leave request for Dr. Diedre Hirschfeld:  Dr. López reported that Dr. Hirschfeld had been granted sabbatical for the 2011-2012 academic year.  Dr. Hirschfeld will be working at Sandia Labs expanding her research capabilities on the fundamental physics and chemistry that underly tamper-indication markings which are created by using pulsed laser irradiation.  Arrangements have been made to cover her classes in her absence.

Sabbatical Report by Dr. Brian Borchers:  A report prepared by Dr. Borchers detailing his activities during his sabbatical leave was presented to the Board.  Dr. Borchers’ report detailed his participation at the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics at UCLA.  He also highlighted his second goal in completing his work on the CRONUS project which was funded by the National Science Foundation and meant to improve the technique of dating geological samples  that are produced by cosmic rays.`

Legislative Update:  Dr. López described the political atmosphere during the recently completed legislative session and talked about some of the fifty seven bills introduced during the session, which if enacted, would have negatively affected higher education.  He also reported that Tech’s I&G portion of the budget will be reduced by .71% and it will amount to about $350,000 less than last year.  Other cuts include 15% for some key programs, 10% for others and 5% for still other categories.  He stated that all capital projects, two of which pertained to NM Tech, died as the Session expired. 

Although House Bill 2 has not been acted on by the Governor, Dr. López presented the Board with a pro forma budget providing an informal overview of NM Tech’s budget for fiscal year 2012.  Once the Governor has signed HB 2, Dr. López noted, a formal budget would be prepared for the Board’s formal consideration. 

Regent Armijo asked about the general status of special capital projects at New Mexico Tech and what might the future hold for those projects.  He especially wanted to know if it may be possible to get them funded and completed at some future date. Dr. López responded that the Geology Building has been a project which has been on the drawing board for some time, but it is now uncertain when and if it may be funded.


Dr. López recognized Dr. Allan Stavely, Emeritus Professor, who has been working on the New Mexico Tech Press since last year.  Dr. Stavely proudly announced that New Mexico Tech Press is open for business and unveiled the first published work.  Dr. Stavely added that New Mexico Tech Press will begin publicizing their business and hope to publish two more books next year.

Subsequently, Regent Soliman moved to approve the recommendations for tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor for all recommended candidates.  The motion was seconded by Regent Silver and it carried unanimously.

Academic Tenure and Promotion Recommendations to Full Professor:   Dr. López presented the following candidates for tenure and promotion to Full Professor for the Board’s consideration, and he asked Dr. Gerity to introduce the candidates to the Board and present their credentials:

Subsequently, Regent Soliman moved to approve the recommendations for tenure and promotion to the rank of Full Professor for all recommended candidates.  The motion was seconded by Regent Armijo and it carried unanimously.

10. Property Items – Disposition of Surplus Equipment at sealed bid and remove assets from Inventory:  As noted in Item 2 of the Agenda, Dr. López asked to remove the OST Surplus Equipment property list for disposition from the agenda.  The Board approved removal of OST surplus equipment as requested.

In a related matter under this same agenda item, the request was made to remove certain capital assets from inventory, along with the entire listing of those assets which are detailed in Exhibit B.  Regent Carpenter noted, however, that the resolution, as written, did not accurately reflect the request; therefore, he asked New Mexico Tech Counsel Robert Lucero to amend the resolution.  Mr. Lucero did provide wording for an amended resolution that included the proper language, and provided for the Board of Regents’ approval of the removal of such capital assets from NMIMT inventory.  Regent Armijo moved to approve the request with the amended wording proposed by New Mexico Tech Counsel, Robert Lucero.

Whereas the Board of Regents of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology at a meeting held at the Fidel Center in Socorro, NM on the 22nd day of March 2011 hereby finds that each such item is lost, damaged, worn-out or destroyed to the extent that such item is no longer economical and/or safe for continued use by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Now, Therefore, the Board of Regents hereby approves removal of capital assets from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology inventory during FY’09/10 identified in Exhibit B.

Regent Silver seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

11. Financial Analysis for February 2011.  President López called on Vice President Lonnie Marquez to explain the financial analysis.  Vice President Marquez reported that all departments are staying within their budgets.  He added that we continue to maintain a strong financial position.  Regent Soliman asked a question about the equipment expenditure and noted that it appears to indicate that funds were not spent last year but the budget summary shows a deficit in equipment expenditures for this year.  Vice President Marquez clarified that the column in question reflected accrual versus cash disbursements; thus the numbers show an apparent shortfall.  Vice President Marquez congratulated and acknowledged his colleagues for maintaining balanced budgets.

12. Macey Center Air Conditioning/Mechanical Renovation:  Dr. López reported on the condition of MaceyCenter and its use for NM Tech functions as well as explaining that it serves as a venue for external community events.

The heating and air conditioning system, however, is approximately forty years old and requires constant maintenance which in the final analysis indicates a need for a new system.  Granting that the Board would approve the bid for replacing the heating and air conditioning system, the bid would be forwarded to the Department of Higher Education and the State Board of Finance for their approvals.  Regent Armijo moved to approve the request and forward to the state entities for their approval.  Regent Silver seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

Executive Session:  At 3:30pm, Regent Armijo moved for the Board to go into Closed Executive Session limited to the two remaining names deferred from Agenda #8 in conformity with the amended agenda, pursuant to the “limited personnel matters” exception in the Open Meetings Act (NMSA 1978, Sec. 10-15-1 (H) (2)).  Regent Silver seconded the motion.  The roll was called and all Board members present voted to go into Executive Session.

At 4:15pm, the Board reconvened, by a unanimous roll call vote, in open session.  The Chair reported that the Board had restricted consideration solely to the matters called for in the motion providing for the Closed Executive Session. 

Regent Armijo moved that the university grant Professor Raul Morales Juberias tenure and promote him to Associate Professor.  Regent Silver seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

Regent Armijo further moved that the university not grant tenure and not promote Professor Carlos Ulibarri to Associate Professor but allow Professor Ulibarri to serve his one additional terminal contract year if he chooses to do so.  Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved by the ones voting, with Regent Soliman abstaining.

After this discussion, the Trust meeting adjourned and the Board reconvened in open session.