The Western New Mexico University Board of Regents met on Thursday, September 28 on campus in Silver City and virtually. Present at the meeting were Regent Chair Mary E. Hotvedt, Regent Lyndon Haviland, Regent Dal Moellenberg and Student Regent Trent Jones.
In the president’s report to the Board of Regents, WNMU President Joseph Shepard highlighted the university’s fall enrollment numbers, noting that overall enrollment had increase by approximately 6% and freshman enrollment was up 37%.
The board approved the FY24 Q1 Financial Certification required by the New Mexico Higher Education Department and a revision of the 5-Year Capital Outlay & Infrastructure Projects Plan. New to the plan were a food sustainability initiative and the addition of a PE and student complex as well as eventual demolition of student housing that will be retired in the future. Also approved were a revised Capital Project Transmittal for safety and site improvements to Old James Stadium and a resolution for plan contributions to the president’s alternative retirement plan. Vice President of Business Affairs Kelley Riddle clarified that the latter is not a change in the president’s compensation package but a way to deliver the retirement benefits that the president is entitled to based on his current salary.
The board also approved awarding honorary doctorates to former State Rep. Rudy Martinez and former NM Legislative Finance Committee Director David Abbey. WNMU President Joseph Shepard stated that Martinez “represented this whole region in an amazing fashion and particularly this university through his efforts and leadership.” In support of Abbey’s nomination, Hotvedt said Abbey “has been a great advocate for higher education, for the universities [of New Mexico], and for us in particular.” The honorary doctorates will be awarded at the December commencement ceremony.
The Board of Regents will next meet on December 7, 2023.