I often get asked what makes Western New Mexico University unique. Though we have excellent degree programs that can compete against any university, the answer is not our degree offerings. Western New Mexico University is known for our people and what we do for people. We are more like a private university, but at a public price.
We are the university that is known for the first, second and third chances. The place where babies can begin their first developmental moments in our nationally accredited early childhood learning lab, and the place where senior citizens can continue enriching the mind through lifelong learning. We are known for educating people from birth through death. A place where you can get your High School Equivalency Diploma, your Associates of Arts degree, your Bachelor’s degree or your Master’s degree. We are a place where we are first educators before anything else.
There are thousands of universities tucked away in small foothills and beautiful parts of the world. We are one of them, but what makes us stand out from the rest is that we know where we are going, and we are defining that direction for our peers.
Our Board of Regents recently met to discuss the important issue of identity. They directed our historic university into three areas of distinction: 1) becoming an applied liberal arts institution; 2) developing programs in the use and public policy of drones; and 3) developing curriculum in the area of transportation and delivery. Additionally we will further enhance five areas of rural health, rural education, international partnerships, business curriculum development, and including our surrounding Gila national forest into our programs.
To pursue these objectives Western New Mexico University must focus on emerging technologies and be dedicated to developing the training and policies for new innovations. This focus will ensure that we are training for the careers of the future. We must pursue more than just the academic development of our students, but also enhance their creative and critical thinking abilities.
We are preparing to be a university of distinction – knowing our place in history while paving our way to a prosperous future.
As the fall semester begins, I invite our community members and alumni to visit our beautiful campus and connect with our new Mustangs. Enjoy our newly renovated landscaped areas such as The Gardens, or take a tour of familiar places like Light Hall – home to our School of Business. Work out in our new fitness center or play a friendly game of pickle ball in the gym.
While Western New Mexico University is not about any one person, a single person can make a difference in the lives of others. You have made a difference in my life. I am looking forward to continuing to grow and learn with you throughout the new school year.
President Joe Shepard