Regents Minutes - August 2013
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Board of Regents
8:30 a.m., Friday, August 9, 2013New Mexico Tech Skeen Library Tripp Room
The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents convened at 8:31 a.m., with Board of Regents Chairman Richard N. Carpenter presiding. Other Board members present were Regent Jerry Armijo, Regent Debra Hicks, Regent Deborah Peacock, and Student Regent Israel Rodriguez-Rios. University administrators, staff, and guests who were also present included:
- Daniel H. López
- Peter Gerity
- Van Romero
- Lonnie Marquez
- Melissa Jaramillo-Fleming
- John Meason
- Robert Lee
- Lala Garcia
- Miguel Hidalgo
- Lorie Liebrock
- Mark Adams
- Richard Sonnenfeld
- Richard Cervantes
- Mike Kloeppel
- Thomas Guengerich
- Greer Price
- JoAnn Salome
- Valerie Kimble
1. Proof of Meeting Notice: The meeting was called to order at 8:31 a.m. by Chairman Carpenter, after President López confirmed that proper notice for the meeting had been given, including email announcements to media.
2. Approval of Agenda: Regent Hicks moved to approve the Agenda as presented, followed by a second from Regent Peacock. The motion passed unanimously. Chairman Carpenter announced that an Executive Session would be necessary to discuss potential litigation and personnel issues.
3. Minutes for May 2013: Regent Carpenter recommended the Minutes of the May 10, 2013 meeting be approved with changes agreed to at the April 2013 meeting. Regent Armijo so moved, followed by a second from Regent Peacock. The motion passed unanimously.
- Enrollment Updates. V.P. Jaramillo-Fleming reported an enrollment drop of 19 students for the month ending July 31, compared to the same time period in 2012. Pending enrollment of 10 international students will help close the gap. Also pending are 74 applicants who have been accepted, but have not yet registered; of these, Jaramillo-Fleming had personal contact with 25 students who said they are still planning to attend New Mexico Tech. The President then recognized Mr. Kloeppel, who is retiring from the University after 17 years, 15 as Admission Director, for a “great job.” Dr. Liebrock noted that paid applicants are down for graduate enrollment as well, prompting discussion on marketing graduate programs, the role faculty play in attracting grad students, the limited budget for teaching assistants, and the lack of resources for maintaining the NMT website, a first-contact recruiting tool for new students. It would be beneficial for the Institute to look at improving the website, noted Chairman Carpenter, prompting a suggestion that NMT’s website be the number-one priority. It’s on the radar, responded President López, rhetorically asking where he was to find funds for 10 other number-one priorities. The President expressed his frustrations over the financial squeeze of the past several years, noting that while there are some reserves, he cannot keep rolling number-one priorities into the mix of costs.
- Sabbatical leave. V.P. Gerity reported that Mathematics Professor Anwar Hossain has graciously agreed to defer his sabbatical for a year to ensure sufficient faculty for the coming academic year. Sabbatical leave also has been approved for Professor William X. Chavez of Mineral Engineering, whose replacement will be announced at the next Board meeting.
- Mr. Hidalgo reported that the University has received a certificate of acceptance for the new residence hall, following approvals from the State Fire Marshal and building inspector. During discussion, it was noted that the new hall is completely cabled for wireless, including an interactive learning center, and landscaping is planned.
- The President invited Regents to tour the new hall at their September meeting as part of a dedication ceremony/ribbon-cutting.
- President López reported meeting with HED Secretary Garcia on unresolved issues with the funding formula, with the state pulling 3.4 percent from the formula base and holding it in “escrow” until universities meet funding formula goals regarding completion rates and closing the achievement gap. He likened it to budgeting with non-recurring funds, adding that the state’s position is part of a nationwide trend toward incentive formulas. During discussion, the President agreed with the Chairman that the community-colleges-versus-research-universities argument is still part of the debate, noting that two-year schools can offer more classes and thus post higher completion rates than four-year schools “that cannot manufacture new courses overnight.” He would be unable to operate the Institute under a proposal to sequester 5 percent from the base next fiscal year.
- Dr. Liebrock presented the President with the Grapevines in STEM Vanguard Award for his progress in promoting STEM education and increasing student success in STEM fields. Nominating President López were Dr. Liebrock and Mr. Marquez.
Public Comment: None
Degree Conferrals for June and July 2013: Regents were informed of five Master of Science degrees and one Master of Science for Teachers degree conferred on students for June, and four Master of Science degrees and one Doctor of Philosophy conferred for July.
Financial Analysis for June 2013: Mr. Marquez reported on the period ending June 30, noting that tuition revenues are up $1.8 million, and overhead also is up, $1.7 million. All departments are in line with their budgets on the I&G side, with a $691,000 deficit for Facilities Management in utilities costs, to be covered with excess revenue and overhead, as will a deficit with the GRC. President López noted that the original intent of the GRC was short-term faculty support; instead, it’s become a subsidy of sorts for the collegiate division. Mr. Marquez also reported deficits for Professional Development, Science Fair/Science Olympiad, programs targeted by the Legislature. The Playas operation continues to pay $65,000 monthly under a plan to work the deficit to zero. According to Dr. Meason, the new Playas account is generating revenue, and he expected the positive trend to continue. Chairman Carpenter credited the leadership in financial areas in keeping the Institute afloat.
Langmuir Endowment Budget for FY 14: The Langmuir family’s donation of $160,000 in 1992 in support of laboratory operations has grown to $2 million. Mr. Marquez recommended approval of the FY 14 budget of $94,569, with $191,000 in carryover funds. Regent Armijo so moved, followed by a second from Regent Israel Rodriguez-Rios. The motion passed unanimously.
Capital Projects/Five-Year Facilities Plan: President López recommended that Regents approve the Institute’s five-year master plan, noting that with the new Bureau of Geology project fully funded, a proposed new Chemistry Building moved up a notch. Two years ago, the list included the MRO interferometer; however, because the facility is not strictly academic, a special request was made to fund the project through severance tax funds, rather than a General Obligation bond, to receive the funds sooner. Regent Peacock moved to approve the master plan. Regent Armijo seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Notification of Awards – Restricted Funds: Regents were notified of contract awards as required for all restricted funds purchases over $100,000, in support of EMRTC, STEM education, MRO, PRRC, an EPA contract and the Tech Transfer Support Group at Kirtland AFB.
Property Items Resolution, Reference NMSA 1978, 130809-01 and 130809-02: Mr. Marquez presented two resolutions for Board approval:
- Resolution 130809-01 for disposal of property under $5,000. Regent Hicks moved for approval. Regent Peacock seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
- Resolution 130809-02 for disposal of property over $5,000. Regent Armijo moved for approval. Regent Hicks seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Smoke-Free Campus Policy: In response to a legislative memorial requiring universities to post smoke-free policies, Mr. Marquez noted that the University has such a policy, but it had never been brought to the Board for approval. Regent Armijo moved for approval, but there was no second until Regent Peacock did so, to allow discussion on the matter. Regent Rodriguez-Rios asked if the policy included electronic cigarettes, while Regent Hicks cited the use of cloves in the proposed policy, and a concern that it may not be appropriate to what the policy was meant to accomplish. The President said he would work with counsel on the policy and revisit the issue at the Board’s September meeting. Regent Armijo then withdrew his motion.
Set 2013 – 2014 Meeting Calendar: Working with Ms. Garcia and the President, Regents set the following dates for the year ahead; all meetings will be in Socorro `unless otherwise noted:
- Sept. 26
- Oct. 31 (8:30 a.m., EMRTC, tour and presentation in the afternoon)
- Dec. 3 (in Albuquerque)
- Feb. 13 (in Santa Fe)
- March 13
Date to be determined with President’s dinner
- May 9
- Aug. 1 – 2 (Retreat; location TBD)
Chairman Carpenter made special note of scheduling a tour of EMRTC for the October meeting, perhaps arriving the night before, adding that the time is subject to change.
Individual Board Member Comments: Regent Hicks asked President López to provide details on Preparing New Mexico’s Next Generation of Educators, a conference he had attended earlier in the week in Las Cruces. The President reported that a key element of a data-driven seminar was to improve the academic performance of students from high-poverty backgrounds by creating an environment where the classroom teacher is the central agent for change. If the teacher is interested in the student, the student will achieve. Regarding a query about university remedial classes, the President reported mixed feedback, adding that universities still are responsible for student success, whether students are prepared or not. Regent Hicks noted that URENCO is interested in New Mexico and plans to recruit here. Regent Rodriguez-Rios reiterated his concern regarding e-cigarettes, with the President assuring him that counsel will research the issue. Regent Peacock complimented the Advancement Office for their efforts, adding that she personally plans to make connections with potential donors. The President offered to follow up as needed. Regent Armijo reported that the Charles Headen trust should be settled by the end of the year. Still to be worked out are tax issues and long-term plans. New Mexico Tech is the only beneficiary of the independent trust, the corpus of which is significant. Half of all income generated will be returned to the corpus, with the other fifty percent strictly earmarked for scholarships. Chairman Carpenter asked if there had been any progress on the lottery scholarship issue. New Mexico Tech has a student representative on the lottery task force charged with developing a proposal for the 2014 legislative session; however, to date, no revenue stream has been identified, according to President López.
New Business: None.
Employee Benefit Trust: Regents recessed the meeting at 10:15 a.m. to convene as the Benefit Trust. Mr. Marquez reported revenues of $7.9 million and a deficit of $876,000. The University has been able to overcome some losses, and is looking at other changes, including a $1500 deductible option. “We’re trying to come up with something comparable to the rest of the industry,” he said, adding that the Institute’s plan won’t be affected as much by the Affordable Care Act because the University is self-insured. Regents adjourned the Benefit Trust at 10:20 a.m. to reconvene as the Board of Regents.
17. Possible Executive Session NMSA 1978, Sec 10-15-1 (H)(2) (If Required to Consider Legal and/or Personnel Matters): At 10:21 a.m., the Board on an unanimous roll call vote closed the open meeting and convened in executive session to consider only those items noted.
18. Reconvene in Open Session and Take Final Action, if any, on Such Limited Personnel Matters Which Shall be Acted Upon in Open Session Following Conclusion of the Closed Session: The Board reconvened in open session at 11:55 a.m. Chairman Carpenter announced that only the matter stated in the Agenda was discussed, and no action was taken.
19. Adjournment. There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned
at 11:56 a.m.