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NMSU regents to discuss public comment process

The New Mexico State University Board of Regents will approve changes to its public comment process that would expand the public's ability to offer input and commentary during regents' meetings. These changes will be implemented on a trial basis at the coming meeting.

Regents plan to meet at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26, in the Regents Room of the Educational Services Center on the Las Cruces campus.

Among the items to be acted on are new guidelines for the public comment process, which gives members of the public an opportunity at each meeting of the regents to provide input and commentary on issues being brought before the board for consideration.

As proposed, the new guidelines would further ensure that those wishing to comment are given the opportunity to do so in an orderly and productive manner.

-The board will adopt an agenda for each regular meeting of the board that establishes a specified time for public comment.

-Individuals wishing to comment on items on the published agenda, and those wishing to provide input and comments on items not included on a published agenda, are requested to indicate their intent by placing their name on a sign-up sheet that will be made available at the start of each meeting. The sign-up sheet will establish the sequence in which individuals will be allowed to speak.

-Each individual addressing the board will be provided three minutes for comments. Each speaker will be required to state his or her name before addressing the board. The speaker will be notified when 30 seconds remain in the allotted time and again when time has expired. The chair of the Board of Regents may extend time allotted to an individual for comments at the chair's discretion.

-The chair of the board shall name a moderator who will assist in moving the comment process along in an orderly fashion. This process is intended to afford opportunity for input, not debate, on the merits of concepts or opinions. As such, neither members of the board nor members of the university administration will enter into debate or discourse on comments made by the public. Each person choosing to speak will be afforded common courtesy to offer his or her comments. We request the same from all who choose to participate in the process.

-The board may modify these guidelines at its discretion.

Copies of the agenda will be available at NMSU, Zuhl Library, Las Cruces, 24 hours prior to the meeting. The agenda also will be posted on the university Web site at http://www.nmsu.edu/Administration/regents_meeting.html.

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the meeting, please contact the Regents Chief of Staff at (575) 646-1727 at least three days prior to the meeting or as soon as possible.