Eastern New Mexico University’s Board of Regents met in the Administration Building on Nov. 1 to discuss new business with guests on the docket’s agenda.
First, the Board was visited by a group of students to voice their concerns on the university’s absence in the observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The students proposed that the university officially recognize that as a national holiday on campus and cancel classes and facilities in observation of the holiday so that students can participate in events that happen throughout the day. The proposal is tabled until next December so that the group has ample time to work with administration and student government to work out a schedule that would satisfy observation of the holiday and other university calendars.
The Board of Regents had ENMU’s first lady Edwina Gower as a guest to speak on a new Imagination Library Initiative being implemented at ENMU. The Imagination Library Initiative is a charitable organization that was started by American singer songwriter Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family’s income. The program has received recognition from The Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, Best Practices award from the Library of Congress Literacy. To get the Imagination Library Initiative up and running the program requires as 501 c3 organization to manage the donations. The ENMU Foundation is the suggested organization to manage the program. The Initiative was voted and passed by the Board of Regents by a vote of 4-1.
The Board of Regents discussed and voted into effect a new tuition increase for the new fiscal year. The original proposed changes were a 3% increase to both tuition and student fees. The Board voted and passed an increase of only 2% and no increase to student fees. The new increases to tuition will go into effect in the upcoming fall semester 2020.
Some old business from the September Board of Regents meeting was also discussed. The proposal for the demolition rebuild/renovation of Hardy Hall. If the vote passes Hardy Hal will be either rebuilt or renovated to move departments out of the Student Academic Services building and into the what would be considered as the Hardy Welcome center. The campus administration will come up with a list of ideas and devise a Campus Master Plan of what needs to be fixed first across the university leading up to the next meeting. The estimated cost of the proposed project would be from $10 to $12 million. The Board of Regents will be voting on the continuation of the proposed project at the next meeting in December.