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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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De Leon appointed to state higher education position

Josephine "Jozi" De Leon, associate provost for academic affairs at New Mexico State University, has been appointed to one of the second-ranking positions at the newly created New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED).

Jozi De Leon has been named deputy secretary for academic affairs, research and planning at the New Mexico Higher Education Department. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

De Leon will assume the position of deputy secretary for academic affairs, research and planning on Oct. 11. She said she is taking an 18-month professional leave from NMSU with the intention of returning to the university at the end of that period.

De Leon said she will work with the leaders of the state's colleges and universities "to gather data and look at ways we can deal with higher education issues in New Mexico."

"It's a new position with a new department and I'm really excited about it," she said. "I think I can bring all of my experience in academia to this position."

Secretary of Higher Education Beverlee McClure, head of the new department, said De Leon "will be able to work with the institutions on important issues impacting student success."

"She understands the issues, knows the barriers, and appreciates the opportunities," McClure said. "Dr. De Leon will bring a depth to our academic affairs area that will help us create our statewide higher education policy agenda."

De Leon was a faculty member at the University of New Mexico for five years before coming to NMSU in 1992. At NMSU she has served as a faculty member, as head of the Department of Special Education/Communication Disorders, and since 2000 as associate provost. As associate provost she has worked closely with the CEOs of the university's four community colleges to increase coordination and collaboration among all NMSU campuses.

"I think this new position will be dealing with the things I have dealt with in the Provost's Office, but at the state level," she said. "One of the first things will be to examine educational programs at the various institutions and determine better coordination across institutions. Another will be looking at the exit requirements of our high schools, and coordinating them with university entry requirements and placement exams."

De Leon said she and McClure "share a philosophy of collaboration and working closely with all the institutions."

De Leon earned her bachelor's degree in early childhood education at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, her master's in educational psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her doctorate in curriculum and instruction, with an emphasis on bilingual education and special education, at NMSU.