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NMSU Board of Regents approves new contract for President Martin

In a meeting Friday covering a wide range of topics, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved an extension to President Michael Martin's contract, the capital outlay requests for the coming year and the operating budget for the 2007-08 fiscal year.

"We are pleased to be extending President Martin's contract," said Laura Conniff, chair of the Board of Regents, following the vote. "His leadership and commitment are extremely valuable to the future of New Mexico State. He and Mrs. Martin have strong ties to this community and we hope they will be here for a long time to come."

The regents approved extending Martin's contract to 2012, a pay increase from $293,840.98 to $335,000, a housing allowance of $6,000 a month and a deferred payment of $100,000 if he stays at NMSU until the end of his contract. The contract also contains four additional one-year options for Martin to remain at NMSU. That means while his contract is extended three years, he could opt to stay four additional years.

Conniff pointed out that the housing allowance and the deferred payment were supported by private sources - not state funds. That accounts for 85 percent of the new funding, Regent Bob Gallagher explained as he noted that continuity in the president's office is an important component of a university's success. Each of the regents took time to note their feelings about the extension with Regent Steven Anaya calling Martin "a keeper" and Regent Blake Curtis making an analogy that the president was capable of the "long haul." Student Regent Edward Kellum noted he was proud to serve on the board that had hired Martin.

The regents also approved the university's capital outlay plan for 2008 and the fiscal year 2008-09 capital outlay requests.

Key items for each campus include:

Las Cruces main campus - the Arts complex; the Southwest Center for Rangeland Sustainability;

Alamogordo - New Mexico Advanced Technology Education Center; the administration and general classroom building renovation;

Carlsbad -Allied Health and University Transfer Center; infrastructure renovation and expansion;

Dona Ana Community College - Funding Phase VI of the East Mesa Center; infrastructure renovation and expansion;

Grants - Arts and Sciences building; infrastructure and renovation and expansion;

New Mexico Department of Agriculture - NMDA Research Center.

The university also is seeking more than $14 million for technology improvements such as upgrading the core network and providing wireless networking to the major academic buildings, their surrounding areas and three student activity buildings.

The other item of business approved by the regents was the operating budget for fiscal year 2007-08. The budget for all campuses is $597.4 million with operating funds of $533.1 million and capital outlay of $64.3 million.

A breakdown shows individual campuses and their budgets:

Las Cruces -$506.9 million

Alamogordo - $14.4 million;

Carlsbad - $13.5 million

Dona Ana -$53 million

Grants- $9 million.