The Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents held a meeting on April 19 at the Portales campus.
The first thing that took place was recognition of retiring faculty members and their request for emeritus status. All of the following were approved for emeritus status by the board of regents: Dr. Tom Brown, Dr. Romelia Hurtado de Vivas, Ms. Janeice Scarbough, Dr. Dale Streeter and Dr. Patricia Whitney. Officials said together, these professors combine a total of 75 years or service to ENMU.
The following were other actions taken during the meeting:
The board discussed the increase in minimum wage that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham recently signed into law. The first increase to $9 an hour will go into effect at the start of 2020. The board discussed that if the minimum wage increases too much, it could affect the hours that students work and the amount of work that gets done by students.
ENMU Chancellor and President Jeff Elwell discussed the effort of the university for gender equity in Greyhound athletics. He said that ENMU will employ roster management to do so by adding 35 female athletes and reducing the number of male athletes by 27.
He said that the university is also looking to add another female sport to help with the gender equity efforts. He said that sand volleyball and women’s golf were possibilities, but further discussion and planning will be needed until actions are in place.
Regent Dan Patterson discussed renewable resource resolutions with the board. The board agreed that it was important for the university to educate students about renewable resources. As part of an action plan, ENMU will be adding a renewable energy emphasis to be offered for students. The emphasis will include four lab courses. ENMU is currently searching for a faculty member to teach the courses, which are scheduled to start in the fall.
The board approved the request for proposal for architecture and design of the new president’s residence to be used as a public space for meetings and the private home for the president. ENMU recently received $650,000 in state capital outlay funds to use for the new residence.
Dr. Shawn Powell from the ENMU-Roswell branch discussed with the board about capital project plans. Roswell will increase in $1.8 million in their budget. $1.2 million will go to upgrading an old electrical line than runs through their campus.
Dr. Ryan Carstens from the ENMU-Ruidoso branch discussed with the board the adoption of the operation budget. Carstens said that the Ruidoso campus is currently in phase one of improving their campus. There was discussion about increasing media site classes to offer to Ruidoso students.
The board approved all three ENMU campuses spring graduation list.
The board approved the university’s operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The total budget increased 1.96 percent from last year, resulting in a total of $62.23 million. The biggest increase came from a 4 percent salary increase approved by the Legislature. The state will fund $838,000, and the university will fund about $400,000.
There was discussion among the board about the amount of money students are allowed to owe the university so that they could register for classes. Currently, students are allowed to owe up to $1,500 to register for classes. Elwell said that if the limit is too high, the college doesn’t receive as much money back. If the limit is too low, then not as many students will be registered for classes.
Vice president of Business Affairs Scott Smart discussed with the board about the Portales campus solar energy procurement. He said that one of the problems that they face is the layout of the campus, and its electrical limitations. They would have to consider adding solar energy close to Eddy Hall and running all the way to the Greyhound Arena Further discussion will be planned before the board takes action.