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Cruzado-Salas named executive vice president and provost

Waded Cruzado-Salas, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University, has been selected for the post of executive vice president and provost.

Waded Cruzado-Salas has been selected as executive vice president and provost at New Mexico State University. (NMSU photo)

NMSU President Michael V. Martin made the announcement to the campus Wednesday morning following a four-month nationwide search for a provost to fill the vacancy left when former provost William Flores was named deputy secretary of education for the state of New Mexico.

"I received considerable input from many sources and I have carefully reflected upon all of it. Based on this input and my own assessment, I have offered this important position to Dr. Waded Cruzado-Salas and she has accepted," Martin said. "It's clear that any of the finalists could serve us well, but I'm convinced Dr. Cruzado-Salas is exactly the right person for this team at this time in NMSU history."

Cruzado-Salas was a finalist for the same position a year ago at the University of Texas- Pan American, but withdrew her name.

Of her new role, she said, "I am honored, pleased and humbled to be able to serve the university in this capacity. I will do my utmost to help President Martin achieve the goals he has set forth in his vision. At the same time, I will serve the faculty, staff and students at NMSU with the deepest devotion to academics and to their success."

Among the items noted in her favor during the search process were the passion about and dedication to NMSU and its students displayed during her interview with the search committee. In addition, Cruzado-Salas stressed the need for better integration among the three roles of the land-grant mission–teaching, research and service–as well as the importance of higher education for elevating the quality of life for all New Mexicans. She also pointed to the significant role advancement and development play at a university, using as an example the establishment of the first three endowed chairs in the College of Arts and Sciences during her four years as dean.

"I have relished my role as dean of Arts and Sciences," she said, "and I am sorry to say goodbye to that. But I am looking forward to serving the entire academic community and the community at large in this new undertaking. With that, I'd like to thank the NMSU Board of Regents, President Martin, the search committee members and all who have expressed their support for providing me with this opportunity for service."

Prior to coming to NMSU, Cruzado-Salas served four years as arts and sciences dean at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. She earned her Ph.D. in humanities at the University of Texas-Arlington in 1990, having also earned her master's in Spanish there. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Puerto Rico in 1982 with a bachelor's in comparative literature. She began her academic career as an instructor at the University of Texas at Arlington and has said on many occasions she treasures the role of professor.

In making his announcement, Martin thanked the 24 members of the search committee headed by Enedina Vazquez, associate dean and deputy director of the Physical Science Laboratory, for their dedication, saying they "did a terrific job of bringing New Mexico State University three outstanding finalists and providing the campus and surrounding communities with the opportunity to interview each of them."

Cruzado-Salas was one of three finalists. The other two were Jeffrey Seemann, dean of the College of Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Rhode Island, and Bob Smith, Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of Arkansas. Her salary will be the same as that of Flores, roughly $220,000 a year.

Martin also thanked Education Dean Robert Moulton for his service during the summer as interim executive vice president and provost and for working two jobs and helping with important decisions.

Her position is effective Sept. 1 and a transition plan soon will be announced, Martin said.