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NMSU names finalists for provost position

Executive Vice President/Provost Search Committee Chair Ramon Dominguez has announced the names of the five finalists for the position of executive vice president/provost at New Mexico State University. They include Kevin Bedell, Ph.D., of Boston College, James Coleman, Ph.D., of Rice University, Cameron Hackney, Ph.D., of West Virginia University, Jay Jordan, Ph.D., of New Mexico State University and Wendy Wilkins, Ph.D., of the University of North Texas.

"The committee was tasked with the major responsibility and opportunity of recommending to NMSU President Barbara Couture candidates for the second-highest ranking administrative position at the university," Dominguez said. "I want to thank President Couture for her trust in the search committee. Throughout the process, Dr. Couture allowed the committee to work independently in partnership with the consulting firm of Greenwood/Asher and NMSU's Human Resources Department in reviewing a highly qualified pool of internal and external individuals. The investment of energy and commitment resulted in the selection of five finalists for the position."

Details about the finalists follow:

Kevin Bedell - Bedell has been at Boston College since 1995 and has served as vice provost for research since 2006. He chaired the physics department at Boston College from 1995 to 2006. Before that, he worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for 10 years, five of which he spent as a section leader and five as a program director. He held research associate positions at SUNY Stony Brook from 1982 to 1985. Bedell received his B.S. in physics from Dowling College and his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from SUNY Stony Brook.

Jim Coleman - Coleman has been vice provost for research at Rice University since 2007. He was at University of Missouri-Columbia for four years as vice chancellor for research and was at Desert Research Institute for six years, the last three of which were in the position of vice president for research and business development. He was a program officer at the National Science Foundation for one year and prior to that spent seven years as a faculty member at Syracuse University. Coleman received his B.S. in forestry from the University of Maine and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

Cameron Hackney - Hackney has been the dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry, & Consumer Sciences and director of the West Virginia Experiment Station at West Virginia University since 2000. Prior to that, he was a faculty member at Virginia Tech University for 15 years, and served as the department head of Food Science & Technology for his last five years at Virginia Tech. Hackney received his B.S. and M.S. from West Virginia University and his Ph.D. in food science from North Carolina State University.

Jay Jordan - Jordan has been at New Mexico State University since 1981. He began as a faculty member in the College of Engineering and moved up to be department head and then dean of the College of Engineering and director of the Physical Science Laboratory. Jordan received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering from New Mexico State University.

Wendy Wilkins - Dr. Wilkins has been the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of North Texas since 2007. She was the Dean of the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University for six years and prior to that she served as the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and as the English Department Chair at Arizona State University. Dr. Wilkins is a Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science and began her university teaching career in Mexico. She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Linguistics from UCLA.

The finalists will be on campus next week to meet with faculty, students and staff. Additionally, the candidates will meet with the president, executive president/provost reporting areas and NMSU constituents.

"The candidates are highly qualified as evidenced by their present and past administrative and faculty roles," Dominguez said. "Their academic and experiential qualifications are impressive. Each candidate brings significant skills and attributes to the position."

Detailed candidate information and interview/presentation schedules are available at http://www.nmsu.edu/provostsearch/index.html.

"NMSU is fortunate in the quality of personnel selected to serve on the search committee," Dominguez said. "They are an outstanding group of professionals. Their dedication and wisdom are definitely recognized and appreciated. I also want to acknowledge the guidance and support provided by Greenwood/Asher and NMSU's Human Resources Department."

The search committee members include: Chair Ramon Dominguez, associate professor, educational management and development; Tilahun Adera, dean of the College of Health and Social Services; Mark Andersen, professor of fishery and wildlife sciences and vice chair of the Faculty Senate; Roseanne Bensley, associate director of Career Services and chair of NMSU Employee Council; Cynda Clary, interim department head of agriculture and Extension education; Melody Duran, student in the College of Engineering; Margie Huerta, president of NMSU Dona Ana Community College; Ricardo Jacquez, dean of the College of Engineering; Michael Johnson, professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Justin McHorse, director of American Indian programs; Bernadette Montoya, assistant vice president of enrollment management; Michele Nishiguchi; professor of biology; Nancy Oretskin, professor of finance; Steve Stochaj, professor in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Jennifer Taylor, senior vice president for Business, Finance and Human Resources; and Marsha Weisiger, associate professor of history.