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Garrey Carruthers selected to lead New Mexico State University

Garrey Carruthers was selected president of New Mexico State University pending contract negotiations during a special meeting of the Board of Regents May 6.


Garrey Carruthers standing at a podium speaking to a crowd.
Garrey Carruthers was selected president of New Mexico State University during a special meeting of the Board of Regents May 6. (NMSU Photo by Darren Phillips)

Regents Mike Cheney, Kari Mitchell and Jordan Banegas voted to select Carruthers, both Regent Javier Gonzales and Regent Isaac Pino voted against the selection and expressed that they were in favor of the selection of Dan Howard, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. However, both Gonzales and Pino said they will support the new president and commit themselves to working together with their fellow board members and the new president for the benefit of NMSU.

After reviewing the criteria set forth at the beginning of the search and outlining the process that led to the selection, Regents Chair Mike Cheney said Carruthers was the best fit for NMSU.

"When we began the search process, we realized immediately that our next president must clearly understand the environment, possess strong leadership skills with a demonstrated track record of maximizing resources and raising funds. Dr. Carruthers was selected because I believe he has the credentials as outlined for the position and the passion as demonstrated by his strong record of leadership and service to the university and the state," Cheney said. "Garrey uniquely represents many NMSU stakeholders. He was a student at NMSU, member of the faculty and the alumni community, he is a generous donor to the university and has valuable experience with the state legislative process. I am proud to have an alumnus lead the university and I am confident in Garrey's commitment to the great land-grant tradition."

All of the regents thanked the search chair, university support staff, search committee and search consultant. They also all thanked the five finalists for "honoring NMSU by participating in the on-campus interview process."

Carruthers began his teaching career at NMSU in 1968. He has served as a White House fellow assigned to the Secretary of Agriculture and as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior during the Reagan Administration. He served as the governor of New Mexico from 1987-1991 - the last constitutionally limited, single-term governor. He was cofounder, president, and chief executive officer of Cimarron Health Plan, a managed care company. The company was sold in 2004 to a national managed care corporation.

He returned to his roots in July 2003 to become the dean of the College of Business at NMSU, where he also has served concurrently as the vice president for economic development and, beginning in 2009, as the director of the Pete V. Domenici Institute for Public Policy. As vice president for economic development, he was instrumental in establishing the Arrowhead Center at NMSU. He has played a central role in the fundraising of about $30 million in support of the College of Business, Arrowhead Center and Domenici Institute.

Carruthers is a founding member and current chairman of the board for Think New Mexico, lifetime board member of the Association of Commerce and Industry, and completed terms on the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce and Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance Board of Directors. He currently serves on the board of directors of a Fortune 500 health insurance company, a regional bank, and a local hospital. He has a bachelor's in agriculture and a master's in agricultural economics and agricultural business from New Mexico State University and a doctorate in economics from Iowa State University.