Regents Report: Fall Enrollment Looks Solid

SOCORRO, N.M. May 18, 2011 – The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents met in regular session Friday, May 13, to officially approve the May 2011 graduation list, which was previously recommended by the Faculty Senate and the Registrar.

The May list includes 175 graduates. With monthly graduations since June 2010, the Class of 2011 includes 304 alumni.

Commencement ceremonies are at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13, on the north lawn of Macey Center. At that time, the major annual awards will be announced, including the Brown, Cramer, Langmuir and Founder’s awards.

The incoming class of freshmen appears to be nearly as large as last year’s record class of 400. Applications are well ahead of last year (1,431 vs. 1,303), but paid applicants, which Tech uses as a barometer of the committed students, still lags behind marginally. As of May 12, Tech has received 318 paid applications for new students, compared with 328 at the same time last year.

Regent Richard Carpenter praised Vice President of Student and University Relations Melissa Jaramillo Fleming and the Admission Office staff for their hard work over the past two months.

In January, paid applications were well behind last year. Jaramillo Fleming said the Admission Office staff worked hard to catch up to last year’s mark.

“These are excellent results,” Carpenter said. “You made us nervous early in the year.”

Jaramillo Fleming said the Residential Life Office may have similar challenges as last year in finding sufficient dorm space.

Jaramillo Fleming and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Peter Gerity announced that Tech implemented a new online registration system that allows incoming students to handle all their administrative business on the Web, including selected a class schedule. President Dr. Daniel H. Lopez said Tech is now the only university in the state to offer the complete process online.

“This is something we’ve been trying to do for a long time,” Gerity said. “ By embracing new technology, we’ve leapfrogged everyone and now the other guys are behind.”

In other news:

  • Lopez reported that he has been asked to work with the three research universities in New Mexico in the effort to devise a new funding formula, which recognizes the special needs of the research universities in higher education.
  • Marquez reported that the construction of the new child care center has commenced and will be complete in about six months.
  • Vice President of Research Dr. Van Romero reported that a group of the original scientists from the VLA held a reunion in Socorro. The group toured the Magdalena Ridge Observatory and sent an encouraging letter to Tech supporting the need to complete the MRO project. “In the letter they expressed how important this facility is and how it’s truly a world class facility and will add to science base of interferometry,” Romero said. The Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer is on schedule for first light later this year and first fringes in 2012. Once the facility installs a third telescope, scientists will be able to produce high resolution images of distant and faint objects, Romero said.
  • Vice President of Finance Lonnie Marquez presented the month-end financial statements and the quarterly statement from March 31. He said the university is within budget.
  • The Board approved emeritus status for Dr. Abe Gundiler and Robert Eveleth, both of whom retired from the Bureau of Geology. Both are Tech graduates and worked at the Bureau for more than 30 years.
  • The Regents learned of one restricted fund purchase; EMRTC paid $1.37 million to Command Post Technologies for support services at Playas
  • The Regents also approved one unrestricted fund purchase. Tech will pay $259,424 to Altura Communications Solutions for upgrades to campus phone system.
  • Marquez reported that the Employee Benefit Trust, which administers Tech’s health insurance, is still running a deficit, but the gap has been shrinking since the rate increase in January 2011. The Trust has had $6.8 million in revenues and $8 million in expenditures.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech