Minutes - April 2013
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Board of Regents
9:00 a.m., Sunday, April 21, 2013
Macey Center Copper Room
Socorro, New Mexico
The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents convened at 9:03 a.m., with Board of Regents Chairman Richard N. Carpenter presiding. Other Board members present were Regent Deborah Peacock, Regent Jerry Armijo, Regent Debra Hicks and Student Regent Israel Rodriguez-Rios. University administrators, staff, and guests who were also present included:
Daniel H. López
Proof of Meeting Notice: The meeting was called to order at 9:03 a.m. by Chairman Carpenter, after President López confirmed that proper notice for the meeting had been given.
Approval of Agenda: Regent Armijo moved to approve the Agenda, followed by a second from Regent Hicks. The motion was unanimously approved.
Minutes: Regent Peacock moved to accept the Minutes as written, followed by a second from Regent Armijo.
The President made a few general comments regarding:
Enrollment Updates. Ms. Jaramillo-Fleming noted that Residential Life Director Mitch Tappen is confident the University can accommodate all incoming students, despite the anticipated growth in enrollment, including pointing out that Tech can expect a slight increase in incoming students next year. Subsequently, he asked the Chair to allow Ms. Melissa Jaramillo to say a few words regarding enrollment.
Department Chair Assignments. V.P. Gerity reported that Dr. Michelle Creach-Eakman succeeds Dr. Ken Eack as Chair of the Physics Department. The incoming chair works with Dr. Romero on the interferometer aspect of MRO, and will serve under the standard three-year rotation. Dr. Romero briefed the new Regents on the two research components of MRO, noting that the University is working with federal agencies and the Hilton Foundation to secure the $25 to $30 million necessary for initiating basic research with the interferometer.
Capital Campaign. At the request of the President, Ms. Jaramillo-Fleming gave Board members copies of a report detailing the consultant’s recommendations on fund-raising and the current status of each recommendation. Discussion included a suggestion by Ms. Jaramillo to establish an entity separate from the N.M. Tech Research Foundation for capital campaign donations. President López said, however, that a subcommittee of the current Foundation may be more appropriate, provided that it be given a mission different from the Foundation as a possible alternative way for moving forward. Ms. Jaramillo-Fleming told Regents she would be giving them reports showing month-to-month comparisons on fund-raising activities, along with summarized quarterly reports. The President added that he would try to accompany the vice president to the Colorado School of Mines in researching fund-raising management options.
Boston Bombing. Dr. Romero briefed Regents on efforts to supply federal agencies with requested data related to terrorist/suicide/school- bomb training given to Boston first-responders by EMRTC. He commended EMRTC for its prompt response, adding that the research division detonated two pressure-cooker bombs for media, reports scheduled to air on national television. The V.P. for R&ED noted that the demos secured technical details related to explosives.
Trip to Abu Dhabi. Among the highlights of a business trip taken two weeks ago by President López, Dr. Romero and Mr. Marquez was a visit to the Khalifa University of Science Technology and Research in Abu Dhabi, which wants to increase its research portfolio. Dr. Romero reported that areas of interest are cyber security, astrophysics and mechanical engineering. KhalifaUniversity representatives will visit the Socorro campus within the next two months to join a consortium with N.M. Tech
Trip to India. Tour host for India was Dr. Srinivas Mukkamala, a senior research scientist with ICASA, Adjunct Faculty Computer Science Department, and director of CAaNES, a spinoff enterprise of New Mexico Tech. The University signed MOUs with Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University regarding the intake of Engineering students to the Computer Science and Engineering Departments at N.M. Tech, along with other potential projects in disaster efforts. Other possibilities might be pursued through Tech’s international student program. State of Andhra Pradesh is considering offering scholarships to underprivileged merit students to pursue higher education in the US (NMT).
Dr. Mukkamala also is working with state of Virginia, in developing an East Coast presence for NMT in cyber security along with EMRTC’s partner Command Post Technologies.
CAaNES met all the requirements and applied to one of the most prestigious awards in business, the Inc. 500|5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America.
Agenda for Regents Retreat. The Chairman proposed that the Board meet again in Socorro for the Regents Retreat in August, specifying that the agenda include a tour of, and demonstration at, EMRTC; and make a provision for some type of role for meeting with faculty presentations, noting that many may be away from campus the first week of August. Dr. Romero suggested that an item proposed by Regent Rodriguez-Rios regarding departmental research be combined with the demonstration at EMRTC, in showing how to extract the science from the experiment. Other suggestions were a tour of Smart Classrooms, a trip to the top of M Mountain, and a tour of MRO’s facilities in the MagdalenaMountains. President López will present Regents with a draft agenda for consideration at their May meeting.
Recognition. At the behest of Chairman Carpenter, Regent Peacock stated that she will receive the Colorado School of Mines Outstanding Alumni Award.
Public Comment: None.
Degree Conferrals for March 2013: Dr. Gerity reported that New Mexico Tech conferred two degrees during the month.
Academic Tenure and Promotions: Recommendations to Associate Professor. President López recommended that Regents approve promotion and tenure for the following individuals. They will be introduced to Regents at their May meeting.
- Dr. Jun Zheng, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
- Dr. Jeff Altig, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
- Dr. Mark Person, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Science
- Dr. Bin Lim, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
- Dr. David Meier, Assistant Professor of Physics
Regent Armijo moved for approval. Regent Rodriguez-Rios seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Academic Promotion Recommendations to Full Professor: Promotion to full professor is a high-water mark for faculty, noted Dr. Gerity, explaining that the process includes internal committee reviews, and extremely critical external evaluations. After a final review, the recommendations are forwarded to the President. Dr. Gerity said this year’s three candidates came with unanimous committee recommendations, and their promotions are well deserved:
- Dr. Julie Dyke Ford, Associate Professor of Technical Communication and Mechanical Engineering
- Dr. Alexander Prusin, Associate Professor of History
- Dr. Susan Dunston, Associate Professor of English
Regent Rodriguez-Rios moved to approve the promotions as recommended by the President. Regent Hicks seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Dr. Gerity noted that Dr. Ford’s full professorship in two departments is a first for New Mexico Tech. All three will be introduced to Regents at their May meeting.
Financial Analysis for March 2013: With 75 percent of the fiscal year gone, the budget is tracking at the same pace as last year, reported Mr. Marquez. Spending is at 64 percent. “Everyone has been diligent about staying within budget,” he said. Overhead is down due to a decrease in sponsored research, and cost-center deficits are addressed regularly. Minor deficits for the GRC and Science Fair/Science Olympiad will be covered by the end of the year. The President reminded Regents that the University is operating with less money and more students.
Final Budget Adjustment Request for FY13: The final BAR includes budgeting of carry-forward balances in all funds; increased budget for tuition and fees to reflect actual revenue generated; increased budget to accommodate salary adjustments; increased budget to accommodate new planning department; and augmentation of the library budget to accommodate increased cost of electronic resources. The Chairman took the opportunity to welcome back Miguel Hidalgo, who had been on medical leave, and who provided a projects update: The new residence hall is within eight weeks of completion, with students providing input regarding mock-ups of furnishings for rooms and lounge areas. Mr. Hidalgo continues to work with Mr. Price to complete by month’s end construction documents for the new N.M. Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources facility. The project will be bid in July, with construction to start in August or September. Mr. Hidalgo’s next task is to develop planning documents the President can use in a legislative request for a new Chemistry Building, in time for the 2014 General Obligation Bond series. In accepting a recommendation from both the President and Mr. Marquez, Regent Hicks moved for approval of the final BAR of the year. Regent Armijo seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Tuition Increase: President López reported that after a 90-minute meeting on April 17 with students regarding a proposed tuition increase, the students seemed to accept it, but were not pleased. Questions from Regent Rodriguez-Rios provided an opportunity for the President to explain the intricacies of developing a university budget with reduced state support. Other factors impacting the budget include inflation, increased insurance premiums and utility costs, library shortfalls and the need for parity among research- and teaching assistants. The President cited results of a 20-year study of all universities in New Mexico, showing that N.M. Tech posted the lowest tuition increases during that period, with tuition costs remaining the lowest among the state’s research four-year schools. Another factor is the fees schedule which varies from school to school. Chairman Carpenter noted that legislators know universities are forced to raise tuition, and that they will revisit the Lottery Scholarship issue in January 2014. The Chairman also agreed with a suggestion made by the student Regent that the President do all he can to mitigate chances of another tuition hike next year. President López, in turn, said students could mobilize and play a pivotal role in revamping the Lottery Scholarship program. If it isn’t fixed, said Regent Armijo, “all universities are headed toward a disastrous train wreck.” Regent Armijo then moved to approve the President’s request for a 4.5 percent tuition increase and retain the current fees schedule. Regent Peacock seconded the motion, and discussion continued. Noting the value of an education students receive at N.M. Tech, she agreed with the need for the increase. Regent Hicks called for the question, and the motion passed unanimously.
Budget for 2014: Mr. Marquez asked Regents to approve an operating budget for FY14 of $172,039,596, which includes an additional appropriation of $863,759 in I&G funds and $531,000 for Research and Public Service Projects (RPSP). The state contributes 67 percent of the I&G budget, of which 48 percent goes to instruction. The additional 4.5 percent in tuition funds is estimated to generate an additional $327,020 in revenue. I&G expenditures total $987,000, including a 2 percent salary increase for faculty and staff, tuition waivers and increased funds for research- and teaching assistants. Ms. Sedillo, V.P. for Budget & Analysis, noted that the budget reflects a more clarified hold at the business level. “Every year we get a little better at what we’re doing,” she said. Regents will consider one-time faculty stipends at year’s end, should funds be available. Chairman Carpenter suggested it be included in the final BAR of the year. Regent Peacock moved to approve the budget as recommended by the President. Regent Armijo seconded the motion. Additional discussion revealed that faculty numbers have significantly recovered, although President López cited the problem of finding start-up funds for new faculty. In response to a query from the Chairman, Ms. Sedillo expressed her confidence with the budget. The motion passed unanimously, with praise for both Ms. Sedillo and her deputy, Ms. Emma Aafloy.
Property Items Resolution, Reference NMSA 1978, 13-6-1: Resolutions 130421-01, 130421-02, 130421-03: President López requested approval for three resolutions on behalf of the Property Department:
- Resolution 13421-0l, for the removal of obsolete, worn out unusable property items under $5,000. Regent Hicks moved for approval. Regent Armijo seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
- Resolution 13421-02, for the removal of obsolete, worn out unusable property items over $5,000. Regent Hicks moved for approval. Regent Peacock seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
- Resolution 13421-03, for the removal of non-government furnished property less than $5,000, excluding sensitive property and vehicular items required to be titled and licensed in the state of New Mexico. Regent Rodriguez-Rios moved for approval. Regent Armijo seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Unrestricted Fund Purchase Exceeding $250,000. The President asked for Board approval for an award of $292,421 to Southwest Contract to purchase furniture for the new residence hall. Regent Rodriguez-Rios moved for approval. Regent Peacock seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Notification of Procurement Award – Restricted Funds. The President notified Regents of a purchase order issued on behalf of MRO to Teledyne Scientific & Imaging, LLC. Notification is required for restricted fund expenditures in excess of $100,000.
Individual Board Member Comments. Regents Rodriguez-Rios and Peacock both thanked the President for the dinner the previous evening. Regent Peacock complemented the Tau Beta Phi students who assisted with amenities.
New Business: None
Employee Benefit Trust. The Board recessed its regular meeting at 11:37 a.m. to convene a meeting of the Employee Benefit Trust. Mr. Marquez reported meeting with Meritain representatives on claims. The outlook is more positive with finances moving in the right direction.
Closed Executive Session, Pursuant to NMSA 1978, Sec 10-15-1 (H)(2) (If Required to Consider Legal and/or Personnel Matters): At 11:39 a.m., the Board on a roll call vote closed the open meeting and convened in executive session to consider the performance of the President, as announced by Chairman Carpenter.
Reconvene in Open Session and Report on Final Action, if any, on Such Limited Personnel Matters Shall in Open Session Following Conclusion of the Closed Session: The Board reconvened in open session at 12:14 p.m. Chairman Carpenter announced that pursuant to the above statute governing a closed session of the Board, only the matter stated was discussed. Regent Armijo then moved to amend the existing contract for President López to reflect a 2 percent increase, consistent with raises approved for faculty and staff. Regent Hicks seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously. Regent Armijo noted that cash revenues were up and research units are operating more efficiently. He commended the University’s executive vice presidents and division directors, adding that final credit goes to President López. The President, in turn, offered his thanks.
Adjournment. There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:16 p.m.