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NMSU Regents elect officers, discuss Building the Vision strategic plan

New Mexico State University Regent Mike Cheney was elected to serve as chair of the Board of Regents at a regular meeting of the board Monday, March 12.

Head shot of NMSU Regent Chair Mike Cheney.
New Mexico State University Regent Mike Cheney was elected to serve as chair of the Board of Regents at a regular meeting of the board Monday, March 12. (NMSU Courtesy Photo)

Regent Isaac Pino was elected vice chair and Regent Christopher Dulany secretary/treasurer. They will serve in these roles for one year.

Regent Cheney is the president of the Bank of the Rio Grande. He has worked in the banking industry for more than 25 years.

Pino serves the City of Santa Fe as director of both the Department of Public Works and the Community Services Department.

Dulany is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in business with an emphasis in finance.

The five-member board also includes Laura Conniff, who is a broker and co-owner of Mathers Realty Inc. and co-owner of Leveldale Farms and Conniff F Cross Farm, and Javier Gonzales, who has 15 years experience as a leader in a broad range of projects in the public and private arenas.

In other business, the board chose to table a vote on a fractional grading policy, asking the president and provost to conduct student forums and bring the issue back to the board for a final vote in May.

Informational presentations to the board included updates on the 2012 legislative session and enrollment, as well as a presentation on the new strategic plan, Building the Vision.

Building the Vision both honors the current strategic plan, called Living the Vision, and incorporates presidential goals. Building the Vision is a five-year rolling plan and will be presented to the board for adoption at its May meeting. To view the Building the Vision document, visit http://provost.nmsu.edu/initiatives/building-the-vision/.

The board also presented the Above & Beyond Award to Greg Vogel, a hazardous waste specialist in the Environmental Health and Safety Department. 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.

Vogel ensures all NMSU chemical, biohazard and universal waste is safely picked up, researched, processed and shipped (an annual average of 70,000 pounds). To do this he must suit up twice a month in a chemical resistant suit and air-supplied respirator to mix hazardous chemicals in 55-gallon drums. This saves the university thousands of dollars annually by reducing disposal costs. This process requires that he carefully perform unknown hazardous chemical analysis and emergency chemical spill response as needed. In addition to these services, Vogel also conducts dynamic environmental compliance and defensive driving training classes for faculty, staff and students.

In May 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency conducted an unannounced hazardous waste inspection of the NMSU campus. Vogel led a team of inspectors through various departments explaining how NMSU manages waste. No major violations or fines followed. The inspectors stated that NMSU had a solid hazardous waste management program.

NMSU Environmental Health and Safety Director Katrina Doolittle said, "Greg makes the extra effort to ensure that the outcome of his work is of high quality and very professional. He is a committed team member, exceptionally considerate of others and he puts NMSU success above his own."