Notes from the Aug. 16, 2003 Regents Meeting
by George Zamora
CHAMA, N.M. — The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents has approved plans to construct a new office building at the New Mexico Tech Research Park in Socorro, a measure prompted by the growth of two new research programs at the state-supported research university.
The $2 million building will be used to house about 50 offices for the university’s Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO) and EarthScope projects.
After garnering unanimous approval from the Tech Board of Regents, the proposal to allow construction of the building on the Socorro campus will now be forwarded to the New Mexico Commission on Higher Education (CHE) for its authorization.
During the governing board's August 17 meeting in Chama, N.M., the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents also approved a Five-Year Facilities Plan Priority List for the university — a list of six capital project requests, in order of priority, that will also be forwarded to the CHE for its formal evaluation as capital projects the State Legislature may possibly consider funding in future legislative sessions.
Topping the list of capital project requests is the $2 million estimated cost of equipment and furnishings for the university’s soon-to-be-constructed Joseph A. Fidel Student Services Center. Construction of the three-story facility is scheduled to begin later this year, with a completion date as early as Fall 2005.
Other campus construction projects receiving high priority on the New Mexico Tech “wish list” were the renovation of the university’s Kelly and Jones halls (second); a new building to house the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (third); a Physical Education/Wellness Center (fourth); infrastructure improvements (fifth); and campus improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
In other official actions considered at the board's monthly meeting, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents also approved a list of Special Projects Funding Requests for Fiscal Year 2004-2005, totaling more than $2 million in possible state funding for changes in existing projects and the addition of new projects at the university.
In addition, the regents also approved the following measures:
- a $103,917 contract awarded to TFC Construction of La Joya, N.M. to build an addition to the southeast side of the university's Energetic Material Research and Testing Center (EMRTC);
- a three-year, $230,454 contract for annual auditing services awarded to Neff & Ricci LLP of Albuquerque;
- a Fiscal Year 2003-2004 additional budget recommendation of $96,190 for Langmuir Laboratory from revenues earned from the Marion and Irving Langmuir Endowment;
- an annual resolution allowing New Mexico Tech to participate in the New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department Local Government Road Fund Program, making the university eligible for more than $71,000 in state funding for road improvements around the Tech Physical Plant;
- a lease arrangement with Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation for the university’s new Information Systems Validation Center to be housed in a 10,000-square-foot space in the Los Alamos Research Park;
- adoption of a Policy on Human Subjects Research at New Mexico Tech, including establishing an Institutional Review Board;
- the purchase of the Chapman water rights; and
- a professional services contract for EWA Services, Inc. to provide EMRTC with writing, editing, and publishing services.
The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents also approved the recent appointments of the following seven Tech faculty and professional staff members:
- Michelle Creech-Eakman, assistant professor of physics;
- Peter Hofner, associate professor of physics;
- John Starrett, assistant professor of mathematics;
- Oleg Makhnin, assistant professor mathematics;
- Tae-Chang Jo, assistant professor of mathematics;
- Hai Xiao, assistant professor of electrical engineering; and
- Mark Sirota, interferometry and project manager for MRO.