Regents Hear About Enrollment Spike

SOCORRO, N.M. September 28, 2012– The official tally of students this semester hit an all-time high, New Mexico Tech Board of Regents learned at the regular meeting Tuesday in Socorro.

The official enrollment on census day, September 7, was 2,102 students, including 1,563 undergraduates and 539 graduate students.

Melissa Jaramillo-Fleming, Vice President of Student and University Relations, said that a recent focus group with the parents of new students showed that a range of promotional and recruiting activities have encouraged more students to consider Tech. Those include booths at college fairs, web interactions, T-shirts and eclipse-viewing glasses, open houses in Albuquerque and campus events in Socorro.

The influx of new students created a housing crunch again this year, with students on the dorm waiting list staying in local hotels.

Miguel Hidalgo, director of special projects reported that construction of the new dorm is on schedule despite some rain this fall. He said the contractor will begin pouring the foundation before October 1. The three-story building will start being framed in mid-October. The target date for completion is May 28, 2013. He expects the 150-bed dorm to be furnished and ready for occupancy by the beginning of the fall 2013 semester.

Dr. Lopez reported to the board about the recent President’s Golf Tournament and changes to the methods those revenues are reported.

He said this year’s tournament brought in more than $200,000 for the President’s Scholarship Fund before expenses. He is working with the Finance Office and the Foundation to codify reports about the tournament and the scholarships awarded each year. Since its inception 19 years ago, the President’s Golf Tourney has provided tuition assistance to more than 200 students, many of whom are fifth-year seniors who no longer qualify for the state-supported Lottery Scholarship.

Lopez also reported on the fund-raising consultant that is working with the Advancement Office to develop a capital campaign. The university will start the silent phase of the fund-raising over the next several months.

He also reported to the board about the Charles F. Headen Estate, which has bequeathed a sizable amount of assets to New Mexico Tech. Headen was a Socorro businessman who passed away in 2011. Lopez said the Headen Estate’s generosity will create a significant addition to the university’s foundation. Another sizable estate from a Nebraska businessman is expected to be settled over the next year or two.

Lopez said these two large donations will dovetail nicely with the larger capital campaign that New Mexico Tech is planning.

In other action:

Marquez reported that the Employee Benefit Trust, which administers the health insurance plans, continues to run at a deficit. The university is considering options and is likely to abandon the Indemnity Plan, which is more costly, and offer three different PPO options. He said employees are likely to see premium increases again in January 2013.

The Board approved a list of seven Research and Public Service Projects that are requesting the same amount from the state as in the previous year. Those include the Petroleum Recovery Research Center ($1.9 million); Homeland Security programs ($540,000); ICASA ($734,000); EMRTC ($634,000); Intercollegiate Athletics ($200,000); and the Bureau of Mine Safety ($258,000).

Several other state-funded projects that are requesting increases in funding were reported to the Regents – and to the State of New Mexico – at a previous meeting.

The Board learned of two large expenditures of restricted funds: $300,000 to Schlumberger for a project with the PRRC; and $167,000 to URS Corp. for a project with the Magdalena Ridge Observatory.

Lopez presented the Board with the list of September 2012 graduates, including 3 bachelor’s, 17 master’s and 3 Ph.D.’s.

The Board approved two resolutions authorizing the disposal or sale or surplus property.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech