The NMSU Board of Regents has narrowed down the chancellor search to five finalists. NMSU and the Las Cruces community will host the finalists in the coming weeks, giving each candidate the opportunity to visit the campus and city separately.
Current Chancellor Garrey Carruthers is set to retire on July 1. Alexander Warner-Garrett, an ASNMSU College of Arts and Sciences senator, seems very pleased with what he has done for the university during his term.
“I believe Garrey Carruthers has done a lot for the university during the five years he has been the chancellor. During his term of office, we saw Domenici Hall and the Hardman and Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center constructed and several buildings on campus renovated. The university has raised over 90 million dollars in donations over the last five years. Additionally, for the first time in several years, freshman enrollment is up,” Warner-Garret said.
The Board of Regents voted on the five final candidates, selected by a 19-member search committee, on April 9. The university hired Wheless Partners, an executive search and leadership consulting firm, to recruit candidates for the upcoming chancellor position.
Adam Cavotta, a staff training specialist on campus and a member of the search committee, seems hopeful about the candidates’ potential. “I think the five finalists have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I hope the new chancellor brings some ideas about how to move the university forward to continue the momentum we have seen over the past few years with the leadership of our current chancellor and working on enrollment and retention and other areas that are fundamental to the business and success of the university,” Cavotta said.
Here are brief biographies for each of the five finalists taken from the official NMSU chancellor search website:
Candidate Dr. Dan Arvizu currently serves as a senior adviser to the Emerson Elemental practice of Emerson Collective and also serves as a Precourt Institute for Energy scholar and adjunct professor at Stanford University. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University and a master’s and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.
Candidate Dr. Barbara Damron currently serves as secretary of the New Mexico Higher Education Department and is the State Higher Education Executive Officer for New Mexico. She received her bachelor of science in nursing degree from Union College, her master of science in nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and she completed her Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.
Candidate Dr. John Floros currently serves as dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension where he began in July of 2012. He guided K-State to record-high student enrollments, retention and graduation, and almost 100-percent placement. He received his Ph.D. in food and science technology from the University of Georgia.
Candidate Dr. Robert Marley currently serves as the provost and executive vice chancellor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and is also a professor of engineering management and systems engineering. He has a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Wichita State University.
Candidate Dr. Brian Stevenson is the former president of Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada. He has a B.A. in political science and philosophy and M.A. in political science from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, and a doctorate in political studies from Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario.
The candidates will be visiting NMSU and the city of Las Cruces between April 22 and May 5. During their visits they will meet with students, faculty, staff and community members.
Below is a schedule of the candidates’ campus visits:
Dr. John D. Floros will visit April 22-24 and will hold a public forum on April 23.
Dr. Robert J. Marley will visit April 25-27 and will hold a public forum on April 26.
Dr. Brian J. R. Stevenson will visit April 29-May 1 and will hold a public forum on April 30.
Dr. Dan Arvizu will visit May 1-3 and will hold a public forum May 2.
Dr. Barbara Damron will visit May 3-5 and will hold a public forum May 4
Each forum will be open to the public and is scheduled from 3:15-4 p.m. in the second-floor Corbett Center auditorium.
Students of New Mexico State University seem enthusiastic about what the new chancellor could bring to the university. “I’m really excited to see what the new chancellor will bring to NMSU. NMSU has been doing a great job lately on getting our name out there via athletics, campus organizations and so forth. I’m really excited for the new chancellor to continue to do this for our university,” said Laura Loya, an ASNMSU College of Education senator.
Jessica Tarin, a member of the NMSU Sundancers dance team, also has high hopes. “As a Sundancer who performs at every athletic game and community event, we are not under the athletic department, but rather [Pride Band], meaning we do not qualify for athletic scholarships. Therefore, I hope the new chancellor will bring scholarships to [Pride Band] and recognize our commitment to the university,” Tarin said.
More information on the candidates and updates on the chancellor selection process are available on the NMSU chancellor search website.