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New Mexico State University

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Bankers head back to school as NMSU hosts Western States School of Banking

About 65 banking professionals from around the western region are hitting the books this week as the Western States School of Banking brings them back to campus for a week of intensive training in their field.

Seated Western States School of Banking students review their notes.
Students listen and take notes during a 2007 Western States School of Banking class held at New Mexico State University. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

New Mexico State University has played host to the annual banking school since 2007. The eight-day session began Saturday and continues through June 15. Bankers will stay in the residence halls and attend classes in credit management, funds management, banking law, human resources and team building, technology, sales and marketing and risk management, along with a bank simulation course.

The senior class is completing the program with this final intensive on-campus period, and will graduate from the program on June 15. The newly admitted freshman class will follow this summer's study with additional online coursework during the coming year, and their final on-campus period next summer, to complete the two-year program.

Lizbeth Ellis, head of the Finance Department in NMSU's College of Business, said the training provides professionals from smaller community banks with some additional training that can help them advance their careers.

"The faculty members come from all over the country and right here at NMSU," Ellis said.

NMSU faculty members teaching classes at the banking school are James Nelson, associate professor in accounting and information systems; John Loveland, professor emeritus in quality management; and Violeta Diaz, assistant professor in finance.

Jerry Walker, director of WSSB, said independently owned community banks often do not have the resources that larger national banks do for in-house training. The banking school gives professionals at smaller banks an opportunity to improve their skills and gain a deeper understanding of the banking industry.

Ellis said the affiliation between the WSSB and NMSU gives the university a strong industry connection that it plans to use to strengthen academic programs, including its banking program.