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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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President Gogue outlines goals for 2001-02

[NOTE: New Mexico State University President Jay Gogue discussed accomplishments of the past year and outlined the university's targets for 2001-02 at a convocation Aug. 20 to open the new academic year. Major points of his address are included in the following letter to university faculty and staff.]

, 2001

To All Faculty and Staff:

Welcome to the start of a new academic year -- and thank you for all that you have done in the past year to make New Mexico State University a better place.

Thanks to our donors and to those of you who have worked hard to increase our development activities, private gifts to the university reached a record $13.3 million in the past year, up from about $8.5 million the previous year. Our level of research activity also reached a new high, $135 million in grants and contracts in the past year. That's a remarkable figure for a university this size, and on a per-faculty basis it surely puts us among the top universities in the United States.

These major accomplishments deserve recognition, but just as important are the things you all do every day on this campus, things that often go unseen. From the people who maintain the beauty of our campus and the quality of our facilities to those who advise students, serve on committees and participate in outreach activities, your efforts are greatly appreciated.

For the 2001-2002 academic year, thanks to the valuable input of many people, including our Board of Regents, we have identified about 20 institutional targets for improvement. Many of these are continuing priorities rather than new initiatives. For example, we made some progress last year in getting rid of unnecessary bureaucracy, but there's still a lot to do. Your ideas are welcome as we continue to identify activities and procedures that do not add value so that we can eliminate them or streamline them where possible.

Implementing the university's new organizational structure is another target. We are very pleased to have Bill Flores with us now as the university's provost, and Rebecca Dukes as vice president for university advancement. National searches will begin soon for a vice president for student services, an associate vice president for enrollment management, a vice provost for research and a vice provost for distance education. Our new organizational chart was developed after much discussion and I hope it will fit us well.

Student recruitment and retention continue to be high priorities. We want to develop better articulation plans with our branch campuses and community colleges to increase our numbers of transfer students. And we must look for ways to do a better job of retaining the students we have.

We made progress over the past year in our efforts to provide more programs by distance education, notably with degree programs offered by the Criminal Justice Department and the College of Education. We want to have more degree offerings in place for the fall of 2002 using electronic distance education. We think by the end of next year we will have distance education capabilities in each of our county extension offices.

Faculty and staff compensation increases will again be our top priority in the New Mexico Legislature. We are grateful to our legislators for providing faculty salary increases this year averaging 7 percent and staff increases averaging 6.5 percent. We're going to be asking for another 7 percent next year. We have to get our salaries more in line with those at our peer institutions.

We have a goal of establishing 20 new professorships, and I'm pleased to say that we will be able to start eight of them right away. These faculty members will be known as Regents Professors. The provost will work with the Faculty Senate and the deans to determine how we will award these professorships, which will carry stipends of $12,500 a year. Our ultimate goal is to have 75 to 100 chairs and professorships to recognize and reward outstanding faculty members.

As mentioned already, we had a good year in fund raising last year. This year we hope to do even better. Our goals are to exceed $20 million in private gifts and to increase the size of the university's endowment.

Compliments go to our Alumni Relations Office, which established 25 formal alumni clubs in the past year. This year's goal is to start another 25, and to increase by 20 percent the number of dues-paying alumni. Building this base is critically important to our long-term success.

Other targets for the coming year, just to touch on them, include continuing to develop appropriate strategies for the university in United States-Mexico border issues; continuing to meet or exceed our minority enrollment for Hispanic and African-American students relative to the state's demographics, and developing strategies for increasing our Native American enrollment; developing plans to generate revenue from the university's lands and water rights; and fostering more interaction between the university and the community.

Those are our goals in summary. We hope 2001-2002 will be a great year for each of you and for each of our students.

Please help us welcome our new students and returning students as we begin the fall semester. It can be a stressful time, especially for students who are new to our campus; please lend a hand whenever you can.

Thanks again for all that you do, the seen and the unseen.


Jay Gogue