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NMSU Foundation president announces plan to leave in 2010

Nick Franklin, New Mexico State University vice president for advancement and president of the NMSU Foundation, has announced that he will leave this year after a replacement is selected.

Nick Franklin, New Mexico State University vice president for advancement and president of the NMSU Foundation. (NMSU Courtesy Photo)

Franklin, who had been a long-time Foundation volunteer board member, left retirement to serve his alma mater temporarily in 2008.

"We are grateful that Nick has been so committed to this institution," said NMSU President Barbara Couture. "Nick's wealth of experience and deep affection for NMSU have served us well during critical years of our first comprehensive campaign. Even after retiring from a successful career, Nick was willing to share his expertise with NMSU. It is dedicated alumni like Nick who make this institution great."

Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Mike Johnson agreed.

"Nick has been an outstanding leader and a tremendous resource for the Foundation," Johnson said. "In completing the 'Doing What Counts' Campaign, his service has been above and beyond our expectations. We look forward to his continuing involvement with the board in the future."

Franklin is former senior vice president of public affairs for PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. He provided corporate-level leadership to the company in government relations, community relations and strategic communications. Franklin, a 2006 distinguished NMSU alumnus who grew up in Las Cruces, has more than 30 years of experience in the public affairs arena.

He has served on many foundation and charitable organization boards and has a strong background in fundraising. He was an attorney in Albuquerque and Santa Fe for many years and has served the state of New Mexico in several government and business leadership positions.

Under Franklin's leadership, the Foundation's endowment successfully weathered a challenging economic environment. The Foundation also is on course to exceed its campaign goal of $225 million by December.

"I feel very good about my time here. We have stayed focused on the mission of raising money for New Mexico State University," Franklin said. "On a personal note, this has been an energizing experience for me. It is said, 'You can't go back home again,' but I have and it's been great to reconnect."

President Couture has asked Ben Woods, NMSU senior vice president for planning, physical resources and university relations, to chair a search committee for a new vice president for advancement and Foundation president. Greenwood/Asher and Associates Inc. has been contracted by the university to work with the search committee. Greenwood/Asher is a recognized leader in university executive searches. More information about the search will be announced soon.