Regents Minutes - October 2012

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Board of Regents

1:00 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19, 2012

Macey Center Copper Room

Socorro, New Mexico


The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents convened at 1:05 p.m., with Board of Regents Chairman Richard N. Carpenter presiding. Other Board members present were Regent Deborah Peacock, Regent Abe Silver and Student Regent Omar Solimon. University administrators, staff, and guests who were also present included:

Daniel H. López

Peter Gerity

Leyla Sedillo

Rudy Correa

Richard Sonnenfeld

Michael Olguin Sr.

Lonnie Marquez

Mona Torres

Thomas Engler

Robert Lee

Greer Price

John Meason

Lala Garcia

JoAnn Salome

Angie Gonzales

Bill Schattschneider

Miguel Hidalgo

Emma Aafloy

Thomas Guengerich

Valerie Kimble


Proof of Meeting Notice:  The meeting was called to order at 1:05 p.m. by Chairman Carpenter, after President López confirmed that proper notice for the meeting had been given.

Approval of Agenda:  President López presented the agenda and asked for an amendment to the agenda asking for the removal of Item 12, Purchasing Policy.  Regent Silver moved to approve the Agenda as amended.  Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Minutes for September 2012:  The minutes were presented for approval.  Regent Peacock asked for an amendment to the minutes asking for Item 4, Announcements, Headen Estate to be simplified with one statement showing President López had provided the Board with an update.  Regent Soliman seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.  


Enrollment updates.  President López reported that the university is on target with its enrollment numbers but, of course, continues to monitor its progress.  López also stated that as of this date, twelve students were still in hotels awaiting openings at the dorms.

GO Bond.  President López described the events that have taken place thus far on the bond campaign and his personal involvement with presentations and discussions with groups and individuals.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Visit.  President López talked about the meeting with Emirate representatives who were provided with a presentation on Cyber Security. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibilities of our two entities (Tech and UAE) working together.

Student Housing. Mr. Hidalgo, director of special projects, reported that framing began Oct. 14 on the new residential hall, and crews will lay joists for the second floor within the next two weeks. The University is developing specifications for furnishings and equipment, and will go out to bid on them in a couple of weeks. Mr. Hidalgo explained that the large cement structure towering above the first-floor frame-up will house an elevator.

Playas Update.  President López asked Dr. Meason, EMRTC director, to bring board members up to date on the dramatic changes at the research site in southeastern New Mexico. According to Dr. Meason, the most significant changes were the transition to a new business model on 7/01/12 whereby the University is operating the facility as a government-owned and contractor-operated entity. The model appears to be working well, reported Dr. Meason, with University personnel managing site activities from headquarters at EMRTC. Revised rates reflect cost-model operating fees, with expenses such as utilities and maintenance paid from a facility support account. During the discussion that followed, and in response to a query, it was noted that conflicting figures regarding the debt Playas carries reflected transitional costs in employing the new business model. Regents were assured by Mr. Marquez that the Playas team “is doing a good job,” with a more accurate financial tracking by year’s end.


President López introduced Dr. Richard Sonnenfeld, associate professor of physics, as the new president of the Faculty Senate. Dr. Sonnenfeld will deliver a Faculty Senate report at future Board meetings. Also introduced was Cynthia Lorry, substituting for Board counsel Mark Adams.

Public Comment.  None.

Degree Conferrals for September 2012.  V.P. Gerity reported degree conferrals for September 2012: Three Bachelor of Science, fourteen Master of Science, three Master of Science for Teachers, and two Doctor of Philosophy degrees awarded.

Financial Analysis for September 2012.  In his financial analysis for the first quarter of the new fiscal year, Mr. Marquez noted that revenues and expenditures are tracking normally. Overhead recovery is slowing down, totaling $1.6 million this year, and lagging a bit on the EMRTC side.

Report of Actuals 2012.  Regents were given a copy of the original budget, revised budget, unaudited actuals and investments, and Mr. Marquez pointed out Exhibit 19, which includes revenue from the President’s Golf Tournament. In response to Mr. Marquez’s recommendation that Regents approve the budget, Regent Silver so moved, followed by a second from Regent Solimon. The motion passed unanimously.

Budget Adjustment Request (BAR) FY’13.  Mr. Marquez recommended that Regents approve the first budget adjustment request for FY13 to reflect carry-forward monies, funds from the recent tuition increase, and increased institutional support. Regent Peacock moved to approve the BAR. Regent Silver seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

Notification of Procurement Award – Restricted Funds. Regents were informed of one Restricted Fund purchase which does not require Board approval but is brought to the attention of the Board for Information purposes. The purchase was for $263,152.34 to buy computers for the Campus Post Office.

Property Items Resolution, Reference NMSA, 13-6-1. Resolutions 121018-01, 121018-02, 121018-03 & 121018-04.  Property Director Bill Schattschneider presented four resolutions for Board approval as follows:

(Item removed from agenda).

Individual Board Member Comments.  The meeting will be the final one in Socorro for Regent Silver, who announced he will not serve another term. Regent Silver, whose term ends on Dec. 31, recognized fellow Board members as “a wonderful team to work with,” adding that of his work in public service, “New Mexico Tech ranks number-one.”

New Business. None.

Employee Benefit Trust.  The Board, on a roll-call vote, recessed the regular meeting at 2:12 p.m. and convened a meeting of the Benefit Trust. Mr. Marquez announced that starting in 2013, New Mexico Tech is proposing three PPO health plans. The proposal has been vetted with faculty and staff. According to Mr. Marquez, each plan is identical in coverage, only differing in the amount of the deductible – $500, $750 and $1000. The new health plan will create savings and cost less to operate. Human Resources Director JoAnn Salome told Regents that the University will continue with Meritain next year, and that the largest premium increase will be for retirees. Ms. Salome, who acknowledged the work of her assistant, Angie Gonzales, added that Tech will host a benefits fair on Nov. 27, with enrollment through December; in the meantime, information on the plans will be posted on the University’s website. Acting on a recommendation by Mr. Marquez to approve the health plan, Regent Peacock so moved, and Regent Silver seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

Possible Executive Session, NMSA 1978, Sec 10-15-1 (H)(2) (If Required to Consider Legal and/or Personnel Matters).  Regents in a unanimous roll-call vote closed the regular meeting at 2:30 p.m. to meet in executive session, as per the referenced statute.

Reconvene in Open Session and Take Final Action, if any, on Such Limited Personnel Matters Which Shall be acted Upon in Open Session Following Conclusion of the Closed Session.  The Board reconvened at 3:02 p.m., with Chairman Carpenter announcing that Regents discussed only those matters allowed under the referenced statute, and that no action had been taken.

Adjournment.  There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:03 p.m.