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New Mexico State University

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NMSU provost selected as next president at Montana State University

Waded Cruzado, executive vice president and provost at New Mexico State University, has accepted an offer to become president of Montana State University.



Waded Cruzado, executive vice president and provost at New Mexico State University, has accepted an offer to become president of Montana State University. (NMSU Photo)

"I am honored to be the next president of such a superb institution," Cruzado said. "MSU is deeply dedicated to its students and to the state. I look forward to continuing its tradition of excellence."

The NMSU provost will be the first woman and first minority to lead the Montana institution. She is expected to assume the MSU presidency around the first of the year.

"Waded is a valuable asset to our university and we wish her the best of luck in this process," said Manuel T. Pacheco, NMSU's interim president. "Now that she has decided to accept the position in Montana, we will move quickly to select an interim provost."

Cruzado was appointed executive vice president and provost on Sept. 1, 2007. From August 2008-May 2009, she served NMSU as interim president. Prior to her service as provost, she led NMSU's College of Arts and Sciences as dean for four years.

Reflecting on her time as interim president, Cruzado said, "The faculty, students, staff, alumni, elected officials, benefactors and friends of New Mexico State University have been absolutely crucial to our success as an institution. They truly inspired me to be a servant leader and to lead with a style based on consensus-building, transparency and respect.

"I will always be grateful to the NMSU community, the people of New Mexico, and the Board of Regents for the opportunity to serve this wonderful institution," she said.

During her interim presidency at NMSU, achievements included the designation of 2009 as the Year of Sustainability at NMSU; record student enrollment; a substantial increase in funding for research; gains in the university's Comprehensive Campaign despite a troubled economy; full-term reaccreditation of the university by the Higher Learning Commission for the first time in NMSU history; success at the 2009 session of the New Mexico Legislature that included $5.5 million in additional funding for the Center for the Arts, and many more steps to move the university forward.

As executive vice president and provost, Cruzado revamped efforts and initiatives in regards to the First Year Experience and Student Learning Outcomes Assessment. Cruzado increased the number of faculty positions and oversaw an institution that has expanded its efforts to encourage student success, research productivity, and civic engagement.

During her tenure as dean, the College of Arts and Sciences obtained a $4.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation for the establishment of the Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics. She procured public and private funds for various expansion and renovation projects, including Foster Hall (Biology), Gardiner Hall (Physics and Geological Sciences) and the Arts Complex. In 2005, Cruzado provided leadership to establish the J. Paul Taylor Symposium of Social Justice at NMSU. Also during her tenure as dean, the College of Arts and Sciences received the first two endowed chairs in its history: the Michael L. Johnson Endowed Chair on Geological Sciences and the Richard Hedden Chair on Advanced Philosophical Studies.