Board of Regents Approve New Programs, Top Marks to President Shepard

© Western New Mexico University

Members the Western New Mexico University Board of Regents presented their evaluation of university president Dr. Joseph Shepard for the ’23 fiscal year and rated his performance as excellent, meeting the conditions of a retention bonus stipulated in President Shepard’s contract, Friday.

“We as a board recognized outstanding performances in all areas,” said Regent Dal Moellenberg with Regent Vice President Lyndon Haviland adding, “We have concluded that President Shepard has had an excellent year.”

Noting the evaluation of the university’s president each year is tied to the strategic plan, the board also passed a new set of goals and objectives tied to the university’s new strategic plan, created through a process that included university-wide collaboration and input from the public.

In his report, President Shepard provided fall enrollment projections remarking the university’s 4K Initiative continues to move forward. “The university continues to aggressively work toward our goal of 4,000 students and we’re knocking on the door of it but not quite there, anticipating an increase in enrollment of between eight and 10%,” he said. 

Also, during his report to the board, President Shepard updated the members on the university’s new effort to address food insecurity and sustainability with seed funding donated by Regent Vice President Lyndon Haviland. “60% of our staff, faculty and students are currently impacted by food insecurity and thanks to the generous donation from Regent Haviland, we will have the resources to create a center that within five years will ensure every local WNMU student is provided fresh produce for free, grown and cultivated in university greenhouses,” said Shepard. 

The board also approved a list of new degrees and certificates for submission to the Higher Education Department as part of the university’s New Degree Program Five Year Plan. The approved programs include medical coding, sustainable energy technology, wildland fire science, Spanish and Geographic Information Systems Science.

Vice President for Business Affairs Kelley Riddle provided the board an end-of-year report presenting a fourth quarter Financial Certification, endowment report and capital project transmittal citing, “nothing of concern with university revenues and no cash flow issues.”

The board will meet next in September 2023.


The July meeting of the Board of Regents may be viewed here.

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