Notes from the Nov. 29, 2000 Regents Meeting

by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M., November 29, 2000 -- The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents was given an extensive overview of the university's new Institute for Complex Additive Systems Analysis (iCASA), a collaborative, interdisciplinary organization which will conduct basic and applied research, as well as training and education, in complex additive systems such as computer-linked information networks, international financial markets, and national infrastructures.

At its November 27 meeting, the board listened to Tech faculty members and representatives from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a partner in the iCASA program, expound on the research, educational, and economic opportunities iCASA will create in the burgeoning fields of critical systems management.

In conjunction with iCASA's strategic goals, New Mexico Tech will soon develop an undergraduate program in information technology, with specialty tracks in system security, multimedia, telecommunications, and information economics.

The formation of iCASA was initiated by the Tech Board of Regents and a $350,000 appropriation from a bill to be enacted by the New Mexico State Legislature. Negotiations currently are underway to garner up to $5 million a year for iCASA through federal government funding.

In other matters considered at its monthly meeting, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents further reiterated its commitment to implementing a multi-year fundraising campaign for the state- supported research university, beginning early next year with a "silent campaign phase" which would raise start-up funds for a subsequent two-year major gifts campaign.

During its board meeting, New Mexico Tech regents also were informed that Tech recently received an "unqualified" report on an independent audit conducted of the university's budget and finances. The outside auditing firm reported finding no discrepancies in its annual audit and declared Tech to be "in good financial health." The regents then voted to unanimously accept the audit report.

In addition, W. Dennis Peterson, Tech's vice president for finance and administration, told regents that after one-third of the current fiscal year had transpired, the university's overall budget "is in very good financial shape."

An update on the specific goal of having New Mexico Tech increase enrollment and retention rates, as outlined in Tech's Strategic Plan, was provided by Peter Gerity, Tech's vice president for academic affairs.