Notes from the May 11, 2002 Regents Meeting

by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M., May 15, 2002 -- New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López presented "some very good news" in a recent report given to the university's governing board concerning enrollment projections for the school's 2002 Fall Semester.

When compared to enrollment figures obtained at the same time last year, this year's preliminary enrollment numbers at New Mexico Tech show a more than 25 percent increase in undergraduate applications and paid applicants for the upcoming fall semester at the state-supported research university.

"These early figures show a significant increase in these key areas," López said, "so it's looking like we're going to be in a fairly good position in terms of enrollment for the fall semester."

Student enrollment at New Mexico Tech has been fairly stable over the past five years with about 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students attending classes each academic year.

At the May 10 meeting of the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents, López also informed regents that John Juarez of Las Vegas, N.M, had been offered and had accepted the position of vice president for student and university relations at Tech.

Juarez, who has more than 30 years of administrative experience in higher education, will assume his new position at New Mexico Tech effective June 15. He currently serves as vice president for research, planning, and institutional development at New Mexico Highlands University.

In addition, López briefed the regents on the status of a proposed state budget, which will be considered during an upcoming legislative special session, and also made mention of two possible multi-million dollar research projects that are in the works for both New Mexico Tech's Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) and Institute for Complex Additive Systems Analysis (ICASA).

In other actions taken during its monthly meeting, the Tech Board of Regents approved the recent appointments of Wim F. A. Steelant as an assistant professor of chemistry and Aly I. El-Osery as an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the university, both full-time, tenure-track faculty positions.

The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents also approved a contract task order totaling $168,000 with EWA Services, Inc., to provide consulting services, including developing proposals, technical editing, and preparing marketing materials for EMRTC.

Furthermore, the regents also ratified their previous phoned-in approval of a low bid submitted by Gear & Condon, Inc., for a $670,000 construction project for ICASA.

In addition, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents was given an informational briefing by EMRTC director John Meason on special initiatives and partnering programs being actively pursued by the university research center.

After being given an detailed overview by W. Dennis Peterson, Tech's vice president for administration and finance, of the university's proposed operating budget for Fiscal Year 2002-2003, the board of regents approved the $155 million budget contingent upon enactment of the state budget and with the caveat that the board would probably have to revisit the school's budget later this summer--making adjustments and fine tuning it -- after the state budget is approved by the Governor.

In another, separate meeting conducted the following morning on Saturday, May 11, the New Mexico Tech regents conferred degrees on more than 200 undergraduates and graduate students at the university, just prior to commencement exercises held later that morning on the university campus.