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NMSU Regents adopt dining services master plan

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. - At a regular meeting Monday, Oct. 10, in Alamogordo, N.M., the New Mexico State University Board of Regents adopted a master plan for dining services at the university.


A group photo of the NMSU Board of Regents being presented a LEED Gold Certification for NMSU Alamogordo's Advanced Technology Center.
New Mexico State University Alamogordo President Cheri Jimeno, center, presents the NMSU Regents with the LEED Gold Certification for NMSU Alamogordo's Advanced Technology Center, the second building project on that campus to be certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. (NMSU Courtesy Photo)

The dining services plan, which is an addendum to the university's overall master plan, was based on recommendations from Envision Strategies, an operations consulting and strategic planning firm for the restaurant, food service, hospitality and retail services industries. The firm's June 2011 report to the university includes an evaluation of current facilities, programs and services; identifies the demand for dining services across the Las Cruces campus through 2019; and gives recommendations for aligning the dining program with other strategic planning initiatives and optimizing operating efficiencies and financial performance.

A few of the recommendations in the plan include looking at the possibility of "late night options" for students, as well as improving day-to-day menu options. In retail dining, the plan suggests redeveloping the Corbett Center Student Union Food Court, creating extended-hours cafe types of environments and adding to options on the south side of campus, possibly through mobile food solutions. There are many more recommendations encompassed in the plan, including strategies for catering and conference dining as well as concessions and recreation dining.

In other business, the Regents heard reports from NMSU Alamogordo President Cheri Jimeno and Bernadette Montoya, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management.

Jimeno discussed updates from the Alamogordo campus including an HSI STEM Grant for Strengthening Science, Engineering and Energy Career Options, their Completion Programs with the Las Cruces campus and enrollment. She also presented the Regents with the LEED Gold Certification for NMSU Alamogordo's Advanced Technology Center, the second building project on the NMSU Alamogordo campus to be certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Montoya gave an update on enrollment at the Las Cruces campus. She said after four years of increasing growth, the fall 2011 enrollment at NMSU Las Cruces is 2.8 percent less than last fall. She discussed the need to focus on retention and graduation rates. She said one of the reasons for a decline in entering freshmen is likely attributed to the decrease in the number of New Mexico high school graduates.

The board also presented the Above & Beyond Award to Julie Weber, director of Housing and Residential Life. The Above & Beyond Award recognizes full-time employees who go the extra distance in service to any and all aspects of the NMSU system. Individuals are recognized for performance that goes "above and beyond" their regular responsibilities and for demonstrating a positive attitude that inspires others.

Weber is responsible for all aspects of the Housing and Residential Life division including housing facilities, budget/administration and dealing with about 3,000 residents and their families each day at NMSU Las Cruces.

"Many work side by side with Julie to bring our students the highest standard of housing service. But, it is her overall leadership that binds these individuals together so successfully," said Tammy Anthony, associate vice president for Auxiliary Services. "Julie never hesitates to do what is needed to support our Housing and Residential Life students and staff. She does it effectively and with complete commitment to successful resolution of each challenge."