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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Regents expected to approve Pacheco as Interim President

The New Mexico State University Board of Regents is expected to vote Tuesday to approve the appointment of Manuel Pacheco as interim president. Pacheco, a New Mexico native and former president of the University of Arizona and the University of Missouri, would lead the university for six to 8 months while a national search is under way for a permanent president.

"When you are considering someone to step in and run a major university for a short period of time, you need someone with an accomplished background who is widely respected," said Blake Curtis, chair of the NMSU Board of Regents. "Dr. Pacheco's name has to be at the top of that list. Should the board approve his appointment, the university will be under very able leadership while we search for our new president."

Pacheco, who is retired and living in Arizona, has indicated that if the board should nominate him he would be pleased to serve while the university is involved in a search process for a new president. He has previously acted in a similar capacity at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M.

"If this opportunity to serve is presented to me, I would consider it both an honor and a challenge" Pacheco said. "My job would be to position the university for even greater accomplishments once the new president arrives and to provide continued stability and support of current initiatives. Obviously, this is not a job that a president does alone, and I will be dependent upon the cooperation of the many capable leaders already involved with NMSU."

Pacheco's tenure would follow Waded Cruzado who will return to the position of Executive Vice President and Provost of NMSU. During the past ten months, Cruzado led NMSU to achieve record enrollment numbers, strong donor contributions and increases in sponsored research awards.

Pacheco, whose long list of honors includes everything from Father of the Year in Tucson, Ariz., to being named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America by Hispanic Business Magazine, is a former Fulbright Fellow and the winner of the Hispanic Achievement Trailblazer Award from Hispanic Magazine. He also was the president of the University of Houston-Downtown and Laredo State University, and is a Distinguished Alumnus of The Ohio State University. Pacheco is a 1962 graduate of New Mexico Highlands University.