The current Chancellor of the Eastern New Mexico University System and President of the Portales campus Jeff Elwell has formally withdrawn his request for an extension of his current contract. He has served in these positions for 33 months and accomplished several of his goals during that time. The contract will end on June 30, 2021.
Some of the tasks Elwell completed during his time as the president of ENMU include the creation of the Greyhound Promise Teacher Education Incentive program. The program pays up to eight semesters of tuition for some education students who become licensed teachers and teach for four years in public schools directly following graduation.
Elwell also kept tuition and fee increases low, raised salaries for faculty and staff by an average of 4%, and helped to find presidents for branch campuses of ENMU, as well as a new athletic director. Additionally, Elwell gained support for campus programs through legislative sessions all three years. Elwell helped to grow the Greyhound Connection mentoring program for undergraduate students, and his work with the Chancellor’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion has also benefited the university.
Elwell’s wife, Edwina Gower, has also been working for the community while her husband has been serving president and chancellor at ENMU. She brought Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library literacy program to Roosevelt and De Baca counties. More than 300 children were signed up in the first month of the program, which will help them through the rest of their lives.
When Elwell’s term as chancellor and president ends, he is considering three courses of action: to retire to the Outer Banks, rejoin the ENMU faculty as a tenured professor in the Department of Digital Filmmaking and Theatre or venture down other avenues of leadership.
ENMU’s Board of Regents has 15 months to undertake the process of finding a new chancellor and president. This time will be used to meet with possible candidates and run the course of the interviewing and hiring process.