Notes from the Feb. 20, 2007 Regents Meeting
by George Zamora
SANTA FE, March 6, 2007 – The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents welcomed Abe Silver, Jr. of Santa Fe as the newest voting member of the research university’s governing board, during the board’s last monthly meeting held on February 20 in Santa Fe.
Silver, who was described by New Mexico Tech Board of Regents chairman Richard Carpenter as a “respected civic and charitable activist,” recently was appointed to the position by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. In turn, his appointment to a six-year term as a regent was confirmed by the New Mexico State Legislature.
The Governor’s appointment of a new student regent to the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents is pending and is expected to be announced soon.
During the board’s February meeting, New Mexico Tech regents also were briefed on some of the highlights of the current session of the New Mexico State Legislature, with particular focus on legislation being considered that pertains to the state-supported research university.
New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López characterized the 60-day legislative session as “ . . . shaping up to be a good legislative year for New Mexico Tech, as well as for higher education in New Mexico.”
New Mexico Tech could stand to gain from several bills that state lawmakers are considering, López told the regents, including funding for the following programs and capital projects at the school:
- full-formula funding for state research universities;
- five percent salary increases for university faculty and other employees;
- zero tuition credits for state institutions of higher learning;
- $15 million for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO);
- $12 million for matching endowments programs at New Mexico Tech and the other universities and two-year institutions of higher learning;
- $1 million for planning costs for a new facility for the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR);
- $500,000 for planning costs for a new Wellness Center on campus;
- $450,000 for the Institute for Complex Additive Systems Analysis (ICASA);
- $250,000 for the NMBGMR to continue a statewide aquifer mapping project; as well as
- $7.5 million for infrastructure improvements at state universities.
In addition, López pointed out that the New Mexico State Legislature is currently considering at least 25 additional bills that include some funding for New Mexico Tech, as well as about 50 bills in which Tech is mentioned.
However, the New Mexico Tech President cautioned Tech regents that any legislation that is passed is still subject to approval or veto by Governor Bill Richardson.
It was also announced during the board’s meeting that New Mexico Tech psychology professor Robert Holson had recently been granted a sabbatical leave.
In official actions taken at its meeting, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents approved the academic appointment of Ingo Janser to the full-time, tenure-track position of assistant professor of chemistry with the New Mexico Tech Department of Chemistry.
The board of regents also approved granting academic degrees to a list of 128 candidates who had fulfilled their degree requirements at New Mexico Tech this past December at the end of the 2006 Fall Semester.
The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents also adopted a resolution to establish a “sweep account” on an existing bank account held by the university at the local Wells Fargo Bank, which would allow Wells Fargo to make overnight investments from the account and would, thus, garner the university a higher interest paid on the account.
Also, acting in an official capacity as the university’s trustees for the New Mexico Tech Employee Benefits Trust, Tech regents voted to establish a similar sweep account for an existing Benefits Trust bank account.
During its meeting, the New Mexico Tech Board of Regents also was informed that three recent purchases of more than $100,000 were made by the university with restricted funds, including the following contracts:
- a $2.8 million subcontract to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) from the university’s ICASA;
- a $2.75 million contract with Optical Surface Technologies of Albuquerque for the procurement of six sets of optics for the unit telescopes for the MRO Interferometer project; and
- a $347,562 subcontract to Penro Group, LLC to represent the university’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) in business and program development.