Chronic staffing shortages plague NMSU

In the past few years, numerous departments on the NMSU campus have been dealing with staffing shortages, which has led to staff and faculty carrying extra-heavy workloads. With these heavy workloads, faculty and staff have become more exhausted as they spend all day and many nighttime hours grading and prepping. 

Jamie Bronstein, a professor in the NMSU history department and vice-chair of the faculty senate, said there are numerous factors contributing to the staffing shortages. 

NMSU has been dealing with chronic staffing shortages for years. (Illustration by Xavier McCombs/Kokopelli)

“NMSU can’t keep up with market rates of pay, and so it is often beneficial for junior faculty to move to other universities that pay them better,” Bronstein said. 

Bronstein said the high turnover means faculty and staff, including herself, often have “to do more with less.” She said faculty often need to teach more and larger classes along with more adjunct faculty being hired compared to regular faculty. Bronstein also said that exhaustion has set in among faculty and staff, especially after the pandemic. 

Some students at the university also say the departments are understaffed and overworked. One student from the College of Arts and Sciences, who asked to remain anonymous, said that her department is “severely understaffed” and overworked.

“There’s a shortage right now,” the student said. “The ones doing work are struggling to maintain everything.”

She also said that even though it has gotten better this semester, during the fall semester her professors would fall behind on grading. Bronstein suggested one solution could be making better, more strategic solutions regarding allocation of funding. 

“I think the university probably needs to make some decisions about where funding really needs to go,” Bronstein said.

Another solution that has come up in talking to faculty members is to hire more graduate assistants to help take some of the load off faculty and staff.

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