Notes from the May 2000 Regents Meeting

by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M., May 23, 2000 -- Financial matters filled the slate of the May 12 meeting of the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents, resulting in an approved adjustment for this fiscal year's budget at the state-funded research university, as well as the regental approval of an adjusted operating budget for fiscal year 2000-2001

During the board meeting, W. Dennis Peterson, Tech's vice president for finance and administration, told regents that this year's budget would require no additional expenditures in the Instructional and General accounts, but rather an adjustment in the Capital Outlay portions of the university's budget.

Peterson went on to provide details of next fiscal year's operating budget, which will be forwarded to the state's Commission on Higher Education.

He then asked the regents for their approval of the 2000-2001 budget, along with an okay for adjustments to that same budget, which would assist the university in reaching its Strategic Plan goals in key areas, including establishing a new Academic Advising Center.

New Mexico Tech's proposed budget for next fiscal year totals more than $80 million in unrestricted funds and more than $42 million dollars in restricted funds.

In other matters presented at the board meeting, New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López told regents that projection figures for fall enrollment were "slightly improved, and might catch up with last year's student enrollment numbers as the recruiting cycle progresses."

López also reported that six finalists for the open position of Vice President of Academic Affairs had been interviewed and had made presentations for Tech faculty, staff, and students over the past week. A decision on who will be the new vice president at the university will be made within two weeks, he added.

López's report also made mention of new statutory requirements which will affect the submitted budgets of all state universities. "As a result, there may be some variance with some of the goals which are spelled out in our Strategic Plan," he explained.

The Tech President noted that he and other university administrators from around the state are planning to meet with New Mexico legislators and legislative committee members on a regular basis during the summer to discuss budgets and other issues concerning higher education in the state.

In other actions taken during its monthly meeting, the Tech Board of Regents approved awarding a construction contract of nearly $750,000 to Hanna Plumbing to replace air handling units and make roof repairs on the campus's Mineral Science and Engineering Complex (MSEC) building.

The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents also appointed Thompson Sarkodie-Gyan to the faculty position of assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Sarkodie-Gyan's appointment begins the development of a degree-granting program in mechanical engineering at the university.

Tech regents also approved the selection of the firm of Neff & Ricci LLP to provide auditing contract services for New Mexico Tech during the next fiscal year.

In other official actions, the regents also approved amendments to the school's procurement policy, which primarily address credit card purchases of under $2,000 made by Tech departments.

In addition, the regents were given an comprehensive overview of the New Mexico Tech Foundation during their meeting.