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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Regents approve policy exception to hire executive vice president and provost

At a regular meeting June 20, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents unanimously approved an exception to the rule requiring a national search to fill the position of executive vice president and provost.

Regents agreed with NMSU President Garrey Carruthers about need for urgency to hire a provost as quickly as possible. They also pointed to the benefits of selecting a provost from among the four other finalists from the recent presidential search.

"I'm convinced that even if a search were conducted for a provost, it can't possibly meet the level of the search we just had, so I am comfortable with the one-time exception," said Ike Pino, secretary/treasurer of the board.

Regent Kari Mitchell also pointed to the cost savings in not conducting a formal search, which amounts to $100,000 - $125,000.

"One of the things we heard throughout the state was the need to stabilize this institution. It seems like granting this one-time exception that allows the president to select from the finalists would allow us to move forward," said vice chair Javier Gonzalez. "I have the absolute confidence in the president to select the best person to step into this critical position to address these key issues."

"One candidate in particular fit what stakeholders said they wanted in leadership at New Mexico State University," Carruthers said. "So I am asking for a policy exception to move the process forward because this person would absolutely fit New Mexico State University."

The board also heard updates from NMSU community college campus presidents. They pointed to recent enrollment trends and accreditation and retention efforts. NMSU Alamogordo announced its recent accreditation for the next 10 years while other campuses outlined future accreditation plans.

Associate Provost Roberta Derlin also informed the board about changes in procedures of the Higher Learning Commission, which will govern the future accreditation process for all NMSU campuses.

The board presented the Above & Beyond Award to Jacki Griffin, senior human resource specialist. 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.

In her role in the human resources department, Griffin administers key benefit programs including the Family Medical Leave Act, retirement and disability benefits. She works closely with employees, their families and departments to ensure that all are aware of their rights under federal, state and NMSU leave programs.

One of Griffin's strengths is her genuine care and concern for every person she deals with. Dorothy Anderson, director of human resources, says Griffin greets everyone with a smile and a willingness to help. "Jacki treats her customers with respect and takes time to meet, to listen and then to explore available options and to assist them in finding solutions."

Griffin's Supervisor Rene Yoder described the types of situations Griffin often encounters. "Recently Jacki helped a family transition from employment to leave and then to retirement due to unforeseen medical circumstances. Jacki spent countless hours assisting them, not only with leave and retirement, but any issue where they simply did not know where to turn for help."