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NMSU Regents approve 19-member Chancellor Search Committee

On Monday, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved a 19-member search committee to help in selecting the university’s next chancellor. The charge of the search committee is to generate a strong pool of candidates and present finalists to the Board of Regents. The committee includes members who are internal and external to the university.


“We received an overwhelming response to our call for nominations,” said NMSU Board of Regents Chair Debra Hicks. “Each member of our search committee is highly accomplished and esteemed in their fields. These committee members also have demonstrated a passion for New Mexico State University and will do an excellent job in helping to select our next chancellor.”

The search committee includes:
• Mike Cheney – NMSU Regent (will serve as committee chair)
• Rick Baugh – General manager of Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
• Raymond Berry III, Graduate student and research assistant
• Dino Camuñez – Regional president/director of commercial banking for First Western Trust
• Adam Cavotta, Chair of NMSU’s Employee Council
• Dina Chacón-Reitzel – Executive director of the New Mexico Beef Council
• Mickey Clute – President and CEO of GenCon
• MaryLou Davis – Chair of the NMSU Foundation Board
• Jed Fanning – Executive vice president of Citizen’s Bank
• Rolando Flores, Ph.D. – Dean of NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
• Laura Gutierrez-Spencer, Ph.D. – Director of Chicano Programs
• Tony Hernandez – COO of Ernest Health
• John Hummer – Executive director and president of the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
• Kevin Prieto, President of ASNMSU
• Lakshmi Reddi, Ph.D. – Dean of NMSU’s College of Engineering
• Renay Scott, Ph.D. – President of NMSU’s Dona Ana Community College
• Jerry Smith – President and CEO of Laguna Development Corporation
• Steve Stochaj, Ph.D. – Professor and faculty senator
• Patricia Sullivan, Ph.D. – Associate dean for outreach and recruitment

During the search committee selection process, the Regents identified approximately 25 key stakeholder groups that make up the complex composition of NMSU. More than 80 highly qualified and accomplished nominations were submitted for consideration.

“The Board had a tough decision in narrowing the list to 19, given the caliber of the nominees. We want to thank everyone who was nominated,” Hicks said. “This committee includes a variety of backgrounds, expertise and perspectives to represent the interests of the university and state employment trends.”

Of the 19-member search committee, approximately 63 percent are from traditionally underrepresented groups, 53 percent are from the academic community and 47 percent are external stakeholders. About 56 percent of the internal candidates have been tenured, and 78 percent of the external candidates are NMSU alums.

Last week, the board voted to work with Wheless Partners, an executive search and leadership consulting firm, on the chancellor search. The search firm’s contract was approved during Monday’s meeting.

Early in the search process, individual members of the Board of Regents had one-on-one conversations with a broad set of stakeholders including students, faculty, staff, administrators, donors and business leaders, as well as leaders from high performing higher education institutions.

In October and November, board members facilitated six statewide listening sessions, and met with the community college advisory boards during each visit. More than 400 people representing the interests of the institution and the state attended these listening sessions to provide significant input. More than 40 comments were provided electronically via the university’s chancellor search website.