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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU president selected as finalist for top post at University of Houston

New Mexico State University President Jay Gogue has been selected as the finalist for the position of chancellor of the University of Houston System and president of the University of Houston, according to an announcement Tuesday morning by UH System Board of Regents Chairman Gene McDavid.

New Mexico State University President Jay Gogue (NMSU photo)

Texas law requires the UH Board of Regents to give public notice at least 21 days prior to a meeting at which final action is taken on hiring the finalist. The current chancellor/president, Arthur Smith, is retiring effective Sept. 1.

Laura Conniff, president of the NMSU Board of Regents, said she expects to call a special meeting of the board in the near future to consider a transition plan.

"We are proud of Jay Gogue and his accomplishments at New Mexico State, and of course we will miss him and his wife Susie very much," Conniff said. "Thanks to his leadership over the past three years, we have an outstanding administrative team in place, and excellent employees at all levels, so we are in a strong position as we look toward a transition to a new president."

She said no decisions will be made until the board meets, but typical steps might include appointing an interim president and establishing a search committee.

"I'm sure Dr. Gogue will be very helpful to the board in this process," she said.

Gogue was at the University of Houston Tuesday for the announcement of his selection.

Gogue, who became the NMSU president on July 1, 2000, has been credited with boosting the university's fund-raising activities, strengthening relationships with state government and increasing the number of endowed professorships for outstanding faculty members, among other accomplishments.

His wife Susie also has been an effective advocate of the university, working with alumni, donors and community organizations, Conniff said.

Before coming to NMSU, Gogue had been the provost at Utah State University and vice president for research at Clemson University in South Carolina.

NMSU, the state's land-grant university, has about 15,000 students at the main campus in Las Cruces and more than 24,000 including students at four two-year branch campuses. The main campus is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Doctoral/Research - Extensive university, the foundation's top classification.

The four UH System universities have about 55,000 students, including more than 34,000 at the main campus.

The University of Houston's announcement of Gogue's selection is on the Web at