Eastern is starting off its 2017-2018 school year with a new president, Dr. Jeffery Elwell, who is ready to bring a new level of success to students and faculty.
Dr. Elwell officially started his position as president of Eastern New Mexico University a few months ago and has already enacted new initiatives to raise student enrollment and success on campus. “My goal is to graduate more students, recruit more students, try to keep tuition as low as possible, [and] try to compensate the faculty as well as possible for being successful,” says Elwell.
Adapting to life in Portales has been fairly easy for Elwell as he has lived in a small town before. The most enjoyable part for him so far has been meeting all the different people in Portales. “The new students, the continuing students, the townspeople, the faculty and staff. That’s definitely the best part.”
During his short time on campus, Dr. Elwell is developing new ways to recruit students through more advertising. In an effort to “expand the brand” of the university, there are now four billboards advertising Eastern New Mexico University around the state. Two of the billboards are written with the words “Not the best kept secret in New Mexico, just the best,” while the other two promote “greyhound pride.” The university website is listed at the bottom of all four billboards so passersby can then do their own research and learn more about what Eastern has to offer.
“You drive along and you see these things for New Mexico State and New Mexico Western; well [now] there we are and hopefully some people will contact,” says Elwell. “It builds pride. Exposure.”
In his few months as president Elwell believes his greatest accomplishment so far is being open to the population of Eastern. “I’m on Twitter a decent amount and it seems to do well connecting with students and others,” says Elwell. “My job is to help and make Eastern the best it can be and I’m very accessible and open.”
Although the school year has only just started, Elwell is hopeful for the greatness to come. He wants Eastern to “not nearly survive, but thrive,” and he is ready to do everything in his power to make sure that happens.