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Regents select Jay Gogue as next president of New Mexico State University

Jay Gogue, provost at Utah State University, was selected May 11 to be the next president of New Mexico State University.

Jay Gogue has been selected as the next president of New Mexico State University. (NMSU photo)

The vote by the five-member NMSU Board of Regents was unanimous. Several of the regents described the choice among five finalists as a difficult one, but said Gogue's experience was a deciding factor.

"It was a wonderful process and we had five wonderful candidates," said Regent Larry Sheffield of Las Cruces, vice president of the board, "but I do believe Dr. Gogue with his administrative and leadership experience is the best candidate." Gogue (the name rhymes with "rouge") is expected to begin his new responsibilities July 1. He succeeds President William B. Conroy, whose term as president ends June 30.

"Susie and I are extremely excited," Gogue said by telephone after the regents' meeting. "We thought about it a lot, we were really hopeful that we would end up being selected, but obviously we're very, very excited and look forward to being in New Mexico."

"New Mexico State is at a point in its history, with a tremendous past, for us to move to the next level, whatever we as a campus community define," he said. "We're poised to make that next step."

Gogue has been provost at Utah State since 1995, responsible for all academic and non-academic units on the main campus and branch locations. He was vice president for research at Clemson University in South Carolina from 1988 to 1995, and also served as vice president and vice provost for agriculture and natural resources at Clemson. He joined the Clemson faculty in 1986. Both Utah State and Clemson are land grant universities, as is NMSU.

"I am delighted that our Board of Regents has selected Dr. Jay Gogue as the next president of New Mexico State University," President Conroy said. "With his land grant experience and his demonstrated leadership ability and personal qualities, I feel that he will do a terrific job for New Mexico State."

The regents commended Conroy on his accomplishments as president. "Dr. Bill Conroy stepped up at a time when we needed strong leadership to help this university through some tough times," Regent James Manatt of Roswell said. Conroy was executive vice president for 12 years before serving three years as president.

Gogue will have a three-year contract and an annual salary of $175,000.

Board President Adelmo "Del" Archuleta of Albuquerque said the vote on a new president was not the end of a process but the beginning. "I call for all of us to unite behind the new president, as we did behind the present president, to move this university forward," he said.

Gogue said by telephone that he and his wife Susie "wish our very best to the graduates of New Mexico State" in Saturday's spring commencement. He also referred to the forest fires that have been raging in the Los Alamos and Ruidoso areas: "Please let people who have been displaced or injured by the fires know that they're in our hearts and prayers."

Besides higher education, Gogue's background includes extensive experience as a scientist and administrator with the National Park Service. From 1977 to 1986, he was chief scientist for the Park Service, leading scientific programs involving professionals from the biological, physical and behavioral sciences. From 1979 to 1986, he also served as chief of the Park Service's Division of Interpretation, Park Protection and Natural Resource Management, responsible for educational centers, law enforcement activities and natural resource management at 50 national parks.

Gogue received a doctorate in horticulture from Michigan State University in 1973 and bachelor's and master's degrees in horticulture from Auburn University in 1969 and 1970.

He was born on Sept. 21, 1947, in Waycross, Ga.

The other finalists for the presidency were Rodolfo Arevalo, provost at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburgh, Texas; Jill Beck, dean of the School of Arts at the University of California-Irvine; John Burns, provost at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas; and Eugene Garcia, dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California at Berkeley.

Photo is available at http://kiernan.nmsu.edu/newsphoto.
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PHOTO: Gogue_Jay.jpg
CUTLINE: Jay Gogue has been selected as the next president of New Mexico State University. (NMSU photo)

Karl Hill
May 11, 2000