Notes from the Nov. 18, 2003 Regents Meeting


by George Zamora

ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents has approved a revised travel policy for the university, allowing faculty, staff, and students traveling on official Tech business to be reimbursed for their allowable personal travel expenses at current state and federal rates.

The governing board of the state-supported research university in Socorro voted unanimously to immediately adopt the new travel policy that is based on state per diem rates which went into effect on July 1, 2003.

In other official actions taken during the November 18 meeting in Albuquerque, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents formally ratified a $15 million contract for the construction of the university’s new Joseph Fidel Student Services Building. The multi-million-dollar contract had been approved earlier this month by the board of regents during an emergency telephonic meeting.

The on-campus construction project was awarded to Albuquerque contractor Bradbury & Stamm Construction, Inc., which submitted a low bid of $15,009,000 to construct the 92,000-square-foot, three-story facility.

During the board meeting, New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López informed the regents that preliminary statistics on projected enrollment for Tech’s upcoming spring semester are pointing toward a slight increase in freshmen and transfer students, while projections for the 2004 Fall Semester are currently showing a slight downturn from this fall semester’s record enrollment of 1,800 students.

“All in all, I’m feeling fairly confident that we’ll be able to hold next year’s enrollment at the same level as this year’s, or perhaps even increase it a bit,” López said.

In other announcements, the board of regents was told that two new graduate degree programs at New Mexico Tech recently garnered full state approval and would be implemented as early as next semester at the university.

A master of science degree in electrical engineering and a doctorate in applied and industrial mathematics will now be offered at New Mexico Tech.

In addition, Tech President López informed the regents that New Mexico Tech’s ongoing negotiations with the Phelps-Dodge Corporation to purchase the company town of Playas, N.M. were nearing the final stages, “with remaining issues in the contract possibly to be resolved before the end of the year or by early next year.”

The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents also was told that a sabbatical leave had been granted to Tech hydrology professor Fred M. Phillips.

A briefing on federal research funding that recently was awarded to the university’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) was also provided during the meeting by Van Romero, vice president for research and economic development at Tech.

Of special note among the recent EMRTC awards, Romero said, is a $656,995 contract with Laguna Industries to develop a voice translator device that can be used by U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and other areas around the world.