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NMSU secures millions from 2023 legislative session

NMSU saw most of its requests granted after the New Mexico 2023 legislative session concluded on April 7. Even though the university did not see the exact number it had requested, it is still receiving millions of dollars in funding.

“We never set our sights on a dollar amount per se, but we do go in with a number of priorities,” said Clayton Abbey, NMSU director of state government relations. “We certainly would have been grateful for a higher amount as that helps us meet a variety of needs we have on campus, but we are still grateful.”

NMSU saw most of its requests granted after the New Mexico 2023 legislative session concluded on April 7. The university received more than $77 million in new recurring and non-recurring funding. (Photo by Einar Einarsson Kvaran courtesy of WIKICOMMONS)

The university will see an increase in capital outlay projects, instruction and general funding, compensation for employees, and infrastructure. Going into the session, the university requested a total of $113.6 million in funding and received more than $77 million in new recurring and non-recurring funding. A detailed breakdown of the system’s funding highlights is contained in the 2023 Post-Session Legislative Report prepared by NMSU’s Office of Government and Community Relations. 

One of the major highlights that NMSU officials were watching closely was funding for the NMSU Global Campus and the graduate assistants’ endowment.

“One of the items we did secure some funding in was the NMSU Online,” Abbey said. “That was a $23.5 million ask and we got $10.5 million. Obviously we didn’t get the full amount, but we got funding towards that, so we would consider that a victory.”

The graduate assistants endowment, however, did not receive direct funding, but there was funding received for graduate students. The university’s instruction and general funding did not receive the full amount that was requested, but there was still an increase. In instruction and general funding, NMSU’s main campus received $4.7 million, NMSU Alamogordo received over $157,000, NMSU Grants received $78,000, and Doña Ana Community College received $710,000. 

“We targeted a 5% instruction and general increase, and we got a 1% increase,” Abbey said. “Our faculty are feeling overwhelmingly underpaid and so we are really hoping that targeted faculty compensation can provide some relief on the compensation side.” 

Abbey also indicated people are excited about the $10 million funding received for the New Mexico Reforestation Center. He explained this funding was a priority since reforestation has impacted all parts of the state. Even though the funding received only covers a portion of the initiative’s first phase and that funding for three or four more phases is needed to be a fully operational center, Abbey said the $10 million funding is a step in the right direction.

The university also received $1.5 million in non-recurring funding for facility modernizations at the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. Abbey explained that this funding was crucial since these modernization projects have been in process since 2020.

Another highlight was the Opportunity Scholarship was awarded with a total of $191 million. A total of $146 million was directed to the scholarship in recurring funding and $45 million for the current fiscal year.

“We made major investments in the next generation and lots of students will be benefitting from that in years to come,” Abbey said.

Abbey explained that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham had the ability to eject any of the funding, and university official are thankful that no bills failed or were vetoed.

“We are ultimately grateful for what we received and are extremely happy for the outcomes of this session,” he said. “I think, in general, the attitude is that you certainly have high expectations, and you go into these sessions pushing your priorities, but at the end of the day there is sort of an awareness that our state has limited resources and lots of needs.”

Garrett Moseley, former president of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University, explained that ASNMSU also did not receive the full amount requested for the new weight room renovation at the Activity Center, but still received an adequate amount of $670,000.

For questions on the legislative results, contact the Office of Government and Community Relations at gaffairs@nmsu.edu

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