Regents Minutes - May 2014

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Board of Regents

1:30 p.m., Friday, May 9, 2014

Fidel Center , Ballroom A

New Mexico Tech Campus

Socorro , New Mexico


The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents convened at 1:41 p.m., with Board of Regents Chairman Richard N. Carpenter presiding. Other Board members present were Regent Debra Hicks, Regent Deborah Peacock, and Student Regent Israel Rodriguez-Rios. University administrators, staff, and guests who were also present included:

1. Proof of Meeting Notice.  The meeting was called to order at 1:41 p.m. by Chairman Carpenter after the President affirmed that proper legal notice had been given.

2. Approval of the Agenda.  The Agenda was approved as presented on a motion by Regent Hicks and a second from Regent Peacock. The Chairman announced there would be no executive session.

3. Minutes.  The Minutes from the April 13, 2014 were approved, with two typographical errors corrected, on a motion by Regent Armijo and seconded by Regent Hicks. The motion passed unanimously.

4. Announcements.

Introductions.  President López introduced Dr. David Burleigh, representing the Faculty Senate in the absence of Dr. Richard Sonnenfeld; and Dr. George Veni, director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) in Carlsbad. Dr. Veni reported that the last year was spent building a national and international reputation, and hosting conferences, “Money is tight, but we’re building up our research credentials,” he said, inviting Regents to visit the facility. Sink holes became a focus of discussion, with Dr. Venti explaining the processes and forms. “We’re doing our best to learn from (recent sink-hole incidents).” Dr. Romero suggested that the Board plan a meeting in Carlsbad.

Graduation Ceremony.  President López announced the schedule for the May commencement exercises.

Candidates for Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The President completed interviews with VPAA candidates last Friday, and has reviewed online feedback regarding presentations by each candidate. Five of the 24 applicants were interviewed. A decision will be rendered soon.

Construction update.  At the President’s request, Mr. Hidalgo updated the Board on the status of the new Bureau of Geology building, which remains ahead of schedule thanks to “a good set of drawings and an excellent contractor.” The President commended Mr. Hidalgo for his efforts.

Enrollment updates.  Ms. Jaramillo-Fleming reported enrollment statistics for Fall 2014, noting that paid applicants are ahead of last year, but slowing down. One-third of paid applicants are listed as minority. She noted that retention of Hispanic students was around 75 percent for 2012 – 2013, compared with an overall retention rate of 76 percent. President López noted that retention stats have been “very constant” over the past several years. Having done well with persistence rates for Hispanics, the Chairman suggested that Tech acquaint Native American students with programs and resources that would meet their needs. The school has a fairly good representation of Native Americans, including the AISES chapter on campus. Ms. Jaramillo-Fleming will follow up on suggestions.

Faculty Senate. Dr. Burleigh, on behalf of Faculty Senate Chair Richard Sonnenfeld, announced that faculty selected Google over Microsoft by a large majority vote, which should save funds. Faculty also put into writing the unwritten policy regarding emeritus status: the department nominates the candidate, the name goes to the VPAA for approval, then to President López for his approval, then submitted to the Board of Regents for final authorization.

Other. The Board will consider a special meeting, following legal review, regarding emeritus status requests. The President raised the issue, noting that a request has been made for an individual who is leaving the University, but seeks emeritus status to maintain an academic relationship with his students. Following discussion, President López noted that it was useful in getting the policy in sync with legal requirements.

Dr. Dezember noted that five new department chairs will take over by July 1; and that a campaign to curb underage drinking has met with some success; i.e., based on a survey, 87 percent of University students never missed class due to drinking. A discussion followed on Tech’s student discipline policy.

Public Comment.   None.

Approval of May 2014 Graduates.   Dr. Dezember brought forward for Board approval the list of graduates, comprised of 182 baccalaureate degrees, 34 master’s and four Ph.D.s. Regents officially approved the list of graduates on a motion by Regent Rodriguez-Rios and a second by Regent Armijo. The motion passed unanimously.

Financial Analysis for March 2014.   Mr. Marquez reported no items of concern, while the Playas Research and TrainingCenter continues to chip away at reducing its debt. EMRTC Director John Meason noted a total back debt of ~$600,000 including Playas and IERA, with a promising outlook on future projects after Oct. 1. During discussion, conflicting numeral entries were clarified. Regent Armijo moved to approve the financial analysis. Regent Hicks seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

Quarterly Financial Report.   Regents were asked to approve the quarterly financial report as given by Mr. Marquez, as required by the Department of Finance and Administration. Regent Peacock moved for approval. Regent Rodriguez-Rios seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

2014 Severance Tax Bond Resolutions – 3.  Mr. Marquez brought forward the three resolutions for Board approval. Resolution for Approp ID 14-2122, $90,000, Magdalena Ridge Telescope: Regent Hicks moved for approval, followed by a second from Regent Peacock. The motion passed unanimously. Resolution for Approp ID-2123, $75,000, north campus parking lot: Regent Hicks moved for approval. Regent Peacock seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously. Resolution for Approp ID-2124, $25,000, parking lot south campus: Regent Armijo moved for approval, followed by a second from Regent Rodriguez-Rios. The motion passed unanimously.
Unrestricted Fund Purchases Exceeding $250,000.   Mr. Marquez requested approval for the following purchases: Blueline Rentals, $256,799.20, EMRTC. Regent Armijo moved for approval. Regent Peacock seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously. Macey Façade Renovation, $428,000, Bradbury-Stamm Construction, which includes $800,000 for mechanical system improvements: Regent Hicks moved for approval, followed by a second from Regent Rodriguez-Rios. The motion passed unanimously. Campus Food Services Contract: The University was required to go out for bid on the contract. A campus committee rated the proposals, with Chartwells submitting the most competitive, best option, the President noted. The contract includes extended seating in the dining hall and enclosing the current patio, which is not well utilized. Regent Rodriguez-Rios, who moved to approve the bid from Chartwells, cited significant improvements in the variety and quality of service. Regent Hicks seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Notification of Award.  Dr. López and Dr. Romero explained to Regents the purpose of a $245,000 project undertaken by the Tech Transfer Support group. The research is important to MRO.

Property Items Resolution, Reference NMSA 1978, 13-6-1.  Mr. Marquez introduced new property director Steven Hicks, and requested approval for three resolutions regarding the disposal of property. Resolution 140509-01 for obsoleteor worn-out items less than $5,000: Regent Peacock moved for approval. Regent Rodriguez-Rios seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously. Resolution 140509-02 for obsolete or worn-out items over $5,000: Regent Armijo moved for approval, followed by a second from Regent Hicks. The motion passed unanimously. Resolution 140509-03 for salvaged equipment over $5,000: Regent Hicks moved for approval. Regent Armijo seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

Individual Board Member Comments.  Regent Rodriguez-Rios thanked University staff for their efforts on behalf of Commencement activities. Regent Peacock thanked Dr. Veni for his presentation. Regent Hicks echoed the sentiment, encouraging the Board to visit the NCKRI facility in Carlsbad.

New.  A reception at 4 p.m. will mark the debut of an area off the Office for Advancement featuring historical memorabilia for alumni to view and browse through, as part of marking the University’s 125th anniversary. Regents also discussed potential dates for the annual retreat, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 1-2 in Santa Fe, with members suggesting possible sites and itineraries. For the August meeting, Chairman Carpenter said presentations would be limited, and there would be no handouts.  Mr. Price suggested an update on a Bureau project regarding the San Juan Basin , to be completed in October. It was agreed that Ms. Garcia would make arrangements and notify the Board.

Employee Benefit Trust.  The Board recessed the meeting at 3:42 p.m. to convene as the Benefit Trust. Mr. Marquez reported that the Trust is in good shape. The Trust meeting recessed at 3:43 p.m.

18. Adjournment. With items 16 and 17 vacated, and there being no further business to bring before the Board, Chairman Carpenter adjourned the meeting at 3:44 p.m.