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Kevin Boberg named to economic development chair at NMSU

Kevin B. Boberg, associate dean of business at New Mexico State University, has been named to the newly created Garrey E. and Katherine T. Carruthers Chair in Economic Development in the university's College of Business Administration and Economics.

Kevin Boberg is the first holder of the Garrey E. and Katherine T. Carruthers Endowed Chair in Economic Development at New Mexico State University.

The announcement was made by Garrey Carruthers, dean of business and vice provost for economic development, at the business college's spring convocation Monday.

Carruthers said Boberg has a history of involvement in business and economic development in New Mexico and as holder of the chair "will become the go-to person for the university in this critical area."

The new endowed chair was made possible by a gift of $500,000 from Carruthers and his wife. The gift was used to qualify for $1 million in matching funds from the state. Earnings from the $1.5 million endowment will be used to support the salary of the faculty member holding the chair, as well as program development and other needs.

"My intent would be to provide students with opportunities they wouldn't otherwise have," Boberg said of his appointment. "Dean Carruthers has often said we need to use the university as an engine for sustainable economic development in the state. To do that we need to give students a chance to get involved in economic development and business development."

As an example of the initiatives he has in mind, Boberg noted that the technology transfer group at Los Alamos National Laboratory has agreed to provide NMSU with "15 licensable technologies each semester for us to evaluate as business prospects. We will assign student teams to do those evaluations, and some of the funds from the chair will support those students."

In addition to providing the students with financial support, such projects "will supplement what they learn in class and get them enthusiastic about business development," Boberg said. "We want to achieve the vision of the donors, who saw this endowment as a way to pay back the state for the successes they have had."

Before becoming dean of business at NMSU, Carruthers was president of the Cimarron Health Plan from 1993 to 2003, governor of New Mexico from 1987 to 1990 and assistant U.S. secretary of the interior from 1981 to 1984.

The economic development chair is an appointment of up to three years, with a possible three-year renewal.

In addition to serving as associate dean of business, Boberg is director of the Arrowhead Center at NMSU, which was created to commercialize new technologies and stimulate economic growth in the state, and director of the college's Bureau of Business Research and Services.

Boberg earned his Ph.D. at The Pennsylvania State University in 1983 and also earned degrees at Iowa State University. He taught at Penn State and the University of Hawaii before joining the NMSU faculty in 1987.