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NMSU Regents approve land lease with Aggie Development for possible future campus hotel

SANTA FE ? The New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved a land lease for Aggie Development Incorporated during their regular meeting in Santa Fe Jan. 30. Aggie Development allows NMSU to better manage and develop its assets. The lease will allow Aggie Development to pursue a third-party to develop a hotel property on the NMSU campus.

A photo of the NMSU Board of Regents.
Outgoing members of the NMSU Board of Regents Jordan Banegas, Isaac Pino and Javier Gonzales (not shown) were honored for their service to the university during the board?s meeting in Santa Fe. (NMSU photo by Justin Bannister)

For a number of years, the university has worked to develop a third-party hotel property on campus for the benefit of the community as well as students. The approved lease is on 2.5 acres along University Avenue, near the Las Cruces Convention Center. As part of the process, Regents also approved of an amendment to the ground lease between the city of Las Cruces and the university for the convention center. That lease amendment will now be forwarded for consideration by the Las Cruces City Council.

During the meeting, resolutions were read for outgoing regents Jordan Banegas, Isaac Pino and Javier Gonzales in honor of their service to the university during their time on the board. Each is also an NMSU graduate.

The Regents presented the Above and Beyond Award to Ben Woods, president and CEO of Aggie Development and special adviser to the NMSU president. Woods has worked at the university for more than 24 years. He has been a direct report to 11 NMSU presidents.

?I have worked closely with Ben over the past four years in my capacity as a member of the Board of Regents,? said Regents Chairman Mike Cheney. ?Ben is the consummate professional and has always represented the university in a way that commands respect. His knowledge and love of history makes him the ?go to guy? when we need to understand context for some of the decisions we make.?

President Garrey Carruthers presented information about NMSU recently receiving the Carnegie Foundation?s Community Engagement Classification. He also outlined the university?s legislative priorities and informed the board of a recent title change for the NMSU president. As a result of a recent meeting among the leaders of NMSU?s Las Cruces campus and the university?s community colleges, the title of NMSU?s president will change to NMSU President and Chancellor of the NMSU System. The change is consistent with existing NMSU policy and allows for better continuity among the university?s campuses. Each of the university?s community college presidents now reports directly to the NMSU President and Chancellor of the NMSU System.

Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard updated Regents on progress in the university?s efforts to align courses offered on NMSU?s Las Cruces campus and its community colleges. The effort is designed to assist students who take courses at different campuses.

NMSU Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Bernadette Montoya updated Regents on enrollment and recruitment. Enrollment for NMSU Las Cruces is expected to be down for the spring 2015 semester. Montoya highlighted recruitment efforts underway by the university, including efforts to attract out-of-state and international students to the university. The Regents will receive a more detailed report on enrollment in March.

NMSU Director of Athletics Mario Moccia updated Regents on the department. Conference realignment, NCAA issues, community outreach and improving the department?s image are among the issues he is focusing on. Moccia was hired late last year and arrived on campus Jan. 5.