Minutes - March 2013 Meeting
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Board of Regents
1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 28, 2013
Fidel Center, Ballroom A
Socorro, New Mexico
The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents convened at 1:34 p.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 1:34 p.m. by Chairman Carpenter, after President López confirmed that proper notice for the meeting had been given.
Election of Officers: Chairman Carpenter announced that President López would preside over the election of Board officers, an item added to the Agenda, and asked that nominations specify term duration. Regent Armijo nominated Regent Carpenter to continue as Chairman for a two-year term. Regent Peacock seconded the motion. There being no further nominations, Regent Carpenter was re-elected as Chairman, and he resumed those responsibilities by asking for nominations for Secretary-Treasurer. Regent Peacock nominated Regent Armijo to continue in that position for two years, and he was re-elected unanimously.
Approval of Agenda: Chairman Carpenter stated that Item #17 of the agenda, would require an Executive Session to discuss legal matters pertaining to public documents and receive an update of litigation. Regent Hicks moved to approve the Agenda, followed by a second from Regent Armijo. The motion was unanimously approved.
Minutes: Regent Armijo moved to accept the Minutes as written, followed by a second from Regent Rodriguez-Rios. Regent Peacock noted an item under Announcements referring to the “New Mexico Tech Foundation.” The entry omitted the word “Research,” prompting Chairman Carpenter to declare that the Minutes be approved as amended by unanimous consent.
The President introduced Dr. Fred Phillips, standing in for Dr. Richard Sonnenfeld as Faculty Senate liaison; and Dr. Nelia Dunbar, attending on behalf of Greer Price, Director of the N.M. Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.
Enrollment Updates. President López said that having slightly more paid applications this year than the previous year is a good sign of stability; but the University needs additional growth going forward. V.P. Jaramillo-Fleming reported that enrollment numbers were down earlier in the month, but caught up; while the President reminded the Board that the University was coming off last year’s record-setting numbers.
Legislative Update. The President reported that as many as 80 bills introduced during the 60-day session had a potential impact on New Mexico Tech, from regent qualifications to new purchasing regulations. The University was marginally successful in acquiring additional I&G funds which will be used to address two critical areas – filling new positions and addressing compensation and compression issues. Tech faculty are woefully underpaid when compared with New Mexico’s research universities, and fare worse against national peer groups, an issue in retaining faculty. The President told Regents he will seek their approval for a tuition increase, not to exceed 5 percent, at a later meeting to offset funding shortfalls; and reiterated his concerns that the new funding formula fails to recognize the additional costs associated with operating a research university. President López also noted Legislators provided partial funding to cover the 1.5 percent temporary tax on employee retirement funds. The Lottery Scholarship was another hot-button issue, one on which a team of New Mexico Tech students spent their spring break working to pass legislation to fully fund the scholarship program for one more year.
Report on Lottery Bill by Student Government Association. Sohaib Solimon and Colin Newton of the Student Association reported on their involvement with proposed legislation regarding the Lottery Scholarship. The pair initially worked with NMSU students; but, toward the close of the session, it was the two Tech students who carried the banner for student government leaders at all of the state’s four-year colleges except UNM. While the session ended with no long-term solution, legislators did provide funds for a $10 million “patch” to buy time, Solimon reported. They also learned first-hand about behind-the-scene activities and committee meetings that underline the legislative process. He added that the Student Association will host a summit on April 27 to discuss the Lottery Scholarship with analysts, financial aid officers and other student government leaders. During discussion, Chairman Carpenter noted that the public does support the scholarship; still needed for the long term fix for the scholarship program is a finding mechanism to fully fund the program.
Legislative Update Continued. The President wrapped up his legislative report, noting that the Legislature approved $6 million for the new Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources project, $100,000 for a parking lot to replace slots lost to construction, $235,000 for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory and $100,000 for the Geophysical Research Center. During discussion, it was noted that the University was involved in negotiations regarding the operation of Sandia National Laboratories, and was surprised by an announcement by UNM that it is working to participate in the bid for the management contract of the labs. While public statements made by UNM were valid, “the fact that we were all doing this together was omitted,” Dr. Romero reported. Chairman suggested that Tech take a stand as a project partner, and that President López expand his goals for the coming year to include this effort. The President also informed the Board about University efforts to establish a joint program with San Juan College to support in the development and production of oil and gas reserves in the San Juan Basin, as well as to explore ways of how Tech can be involved in meeting industry needs.
President’s Goals. President López handed Regents a report on his goals for 2012, and agreed to expand his current list of goals to include the Sandia labs project.
Sabbatical Request Leave for Dr. Raul Morales-Juberias, Associate Professor, Physics Department. Dr. Dezember reported that Dr. Morales-Juberias will spend the fall semester working on grant proposals.
- Dr. Dezember reported to Regents that the University is on track regarding the scheduled HLC accreditation visit in 2014, with President López and his vice presidents contributing electronic data for an evidence file.
- Chairman Carpenter suggested that the annual Regents Retreat in August include a report from PresidentLópez regarding fund-raising, and how the University is following its consultant’s recommendations. Ms. Jaramillo-Fleming updated Regents on the annual giving campaign (~$70,000 to date), the 1889 Society and reestablishing ties with the Alumni Association. As an addendum, the President noted that a half-million bequest to the University includes funds for scholarships.
- The President, Dr. Romero and Mr. Marquez will travel to the United Arab Emirates and to India, with Dr. Srinivas Mukkamala, regarding “exciting prospects” for the University. Dr. López also reported that Sen. Martin Heinrich visited MRO and the New Mexico Tech campus, where he was impressed with the University’s 22 Smart Classrooms.
Public Comment: None.
Degree Conferrals for February and March 2013: Dr. Dezember reported that the University awarded 18 degrees during the two-month period.
Financial Analysis for February: Mr. Marquez reported that all I&G categories are tracking properly and within budget, while debt coverage for EMRTC and Playas are within range for this calendar year.
Determination of Award – Library Subscription to Elsevier, BV: Librarian Lisa Beinhoff asked the Board to approve a $285,073.34 award to Elsevier, BV, a sole-source provider for journal subscriptions. Last year, faculty downloaded 22,000 articles from 958 journal titles. Dr. Beinhoff noted that she cancelled 74 journal titles to trim costs. In reply to a question from Regent Peacock, Dr. Beinhoff reported the cost of each article as between $30 and $60; and that some sources are unavailable elsewhere. Regent Armijo moved to award the subscription, followed by a second from Regent Rodriguez-Rios. The motion passed unanimously.
Determination of Award – Library Subscription to EBSCO: Dr. Beinhoff also asked Regents to approve a $499,722.14 award to EBSCO Subscription Services, a conglomerate, third-party vendor. During discussion, President López noted that the library’s administrative costs have dropped 30 percent, and that he subsidized $350,000 to retain journal subscriptions, an issue, he added, the state refuses to recognize. “We cannot have a research university without these services,” the President said. Regent Armijo moved for approval, followed by a second from Regent Peacock. The motion passed unanimously.
Capital Project – President’s Hall Remodel: Mr. Marquez requested approval for a $1.5 million renovation of President’s Hall to bring the 1936-built dormitory up to code. Construction would start in August and extend into 2014. Ninety beds would be temporarily lost, but the University will gain 60 beds with the new residence hall, with the option of housing additional students at Super 8. Regent Peacock moved for approval. Regent Armijo seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Property Items to be Removed from Inventory: Mr. Marquez presented two resolutions on behalf of the Property Office:
- Resolution 130328 – 01, for the removal of obsolete, worn-out and unusable property under $5,000. Regent Hicks moved for approval. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
- Resolution 130328 – 02, for the removal of obsolete, worn-out and unusable property over $5,000. Regent Armijo moved for approval. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Security Managerial Group Resolution: The resolution pertains to the University’s work with classified information, and would provide an alternative to having Board members undergo a formal security clearance by establishing a management group within the University. President López and Dr. Meason provided background on the waiver process. Regent Peacock moved for resolution with an amendment changing a word in the second-to-last sentence to read “previous.” Regent Hicks seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Individual Board Member Comments: Regent Peacock reported getting “the real tour” with her great-nephew, who will attend Tech this fall, and gave kudos to the Admission Office. Regent Rodriguez-Rios queried the President on aspects of bills related to the Lottery Scholarship, who agreed to gather statistics from the Registrar in time for the scholarship summit.
New Business. None.
Employee Benefit Trust: The Board recessed its regular meeting at 3:29 p.m. to convene a meeting of the Employee Benefit Trust. Mr. Marquez reported large claims, though fewer than previously, adding that it was a constant struggle to balance claims against revenues. He reported $458,000 in the account as of today. Regents adjourned the meeting of the Trust at 3:30 p.m. and reconvened the regular session.
Possible Executive Session, NMSA 1978 Section 10-15-1 (H) (2); (If Required to Consider Legal and/or Personnel Matters): Chairman Carpenterannounced that the Board would meet in executive session regarding public records and pending litigation. Regents on a roll call vote recessed the regular meeting at 3:31 p.m.
Reconvene in Open Session and Report on Final Action, if any, on Such Limited Personnel Matters in Open Session Following Conclusion of the Closed Session: Chairman Carpenter reconvened the regular meeting at 4:24 p.m. and reported that Regents took no action during the executive session.
Adjournment: Regent Armijo moved to adjourn the meeting at 4:25 p.m., followed by a second from Regent Peacock. The motion passed unanimously.