The Board of Regents at Western New Mexico University met on Tuesday, August 22 in Silver City to vote on the University President’s annual performance evaluation.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of the results of the annual performance evaluation, which found that President Shepard exceeds expectations.
“Dr. Shepard came in and has done a fantastic job. Dr. Shepard puts academic first,” said Jerry Walz, Regent President.
President Shepard began his tenure in July of 2011. During his Presidency, the Silver City Campus has been transformed with new student apartments, a new on-campus movie theater, indoor swimming pool, renovated fitness center, and the addition of The Gardens that has been the site of several outdoor concerts and events.
Community leaders representing area businesses, organizations, and local government were present to deliver remarks in support of President Shepard.
“In my 41 years in Silver I believe that the relationships that now exist between the university and community is the best that it has ever been. The atmosphere and ambiance on campus is vibrant. The bottom line is that President Shepard is a valued and respected member of our community. He has made great strides in helping to bond the university and town together,” said Ken Ladner, Silver City Mayor.
Small business owners including Diane Barrett, owner of Diane’s Restaurant; and John Mahl, owner of J&J Signs praised President Shepard for his determination to continue to bridge the gap between the university and the town.
“When you see Dr. Shepard in any setting he is always engaged in progressive discussions on ways we can all improve the environment in this college town. He has been an agent of change for the betterment of the university in this community,” added Paul Leetmae, owner of Lawley Automotive Group in Silver City.
Other community leaders expressing comments in support of President Shepard’s initiatives included included Fred Baca, retired educator and LULAC representative; Peter Falley, Grant County Community Concert Association President; Scott Terry, Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director; and Jeremiah Garcia, Gila Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees member.
Students and alumni were also present to voice their opinions.
“I was touched deeply by the support of this community. President Shepard is an exceptional leader. He is a person of high character. We are very graced and blessed to have you at this point in time,” said Dr. Dan Salzwedel, Regent member.