Regents Minutes -- April 2012

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Board of Regents

9:00 a.m., Sunday, April 29, 2012

Galena Room, Macey Conference Center

Socorro, New Mexico



The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents convened at 9:00 a.m., with Chairman Richard N. Carpenter presiding. Other Board members present were Regent Jerry Armijo, Regent Deborah Peacock, Regent Abe Silver and Student Regent Omar Solomon. University administrators, staff, and guests who were also present included:

Daniel H. López

Peter Gerity

Robert Lee

John Meason

Brian Borchers

Leyla Sedillo

Melissa Jaramillo-Fleming

Greer Price

Divya Suryakumar

Lonnie Marquez

Van Romero

Lala Garcia

Mark Adams

Lorie Liebrock

Mary Dezember

Thomas Guengerich

Valerie Kimble

John Dowdle

$11.      Proof of Meeting Notice:  The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Board of Regents Chairman Richard Carpenter. President López confirmed that proper notice for the meeting had been given.

$12.      Approval of Agenda: Regent Peacock moved to approve the agenda for the April 29, 2012 meeting as presented. Regent Armijo seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


$13.      Minutes:  Regent Armijo moved to approve the Minutes from the March 30, 2012 meeting. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


$14.      Announcements:

$1§         Enrollment Updates. Ms. Jaramillo-Fleming, V.P. for Student and University Relations, reported an additional 15 students enrolled compared with this time a year ago; she mentioned employing creative tactics to ensure adequate housing for new students. Regent Silver relayed to Jaramillo-Fleming and her team a compliment he received from a new enrollee at the University on how well she was treated during the process.


$1§         Department Chair Assignments.  Dr. Gerity, V.P. for Academic Affairs, reported two new department assignments: Dr. Michael Pullen to succeed Dr. Alex Kornienko in Chemistry, and Dr. Corey Leclerc to succeed Dr. Tom Engler in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Engler will be devoting additional time to his position as Dean of Engineering.


$1§         Introduction of Faculty Promotions (Full Professors).  Present at the meeting and introduced by Dr. Gerity were Dr. Lorie Liebrock of the Computer Science and Engineering Department (CS&E) and Dean of Graduate Studies; and Dr. Mary Dezember of the CLASS Department and Associate V.P. of Academic Affairs.


$1§         President’s Goals.  As an informational item, President López presented to the Board a copy of his proposed goals for the 2012 calendar year, some of which are ongoing.

$1§         Construction Projects:

$1§         Macey Family Children’s Center. Construction completed; grand opening set for May 4, 2012. The May meeting of the Board may take place at the center, so that members can tour the facility.

$1§         Athletic Field refurbishment. Underway.

$1§         Macey Center HVAC replacement. Completed. Under consideration is a $3 million project to replace the façade on the south side of the building based on three proposed drawings.

$1§         Next:  Replacement of Workman Center roof.


$1f.       Other:

$1§         President López announced that after a year-long national search, Greer Price has been named Director of the Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, after having served as interim director since the retirement of Dr. Peter Scholle last year.


$1§         Dr. Van Romero, V.P. for Research and Economic Development, reported that in observance of an annular solar eclipse on May 20, special viewing glasses will be included in packets given to New Mexico Tech’s 2012 graduating class, and will be sent to students located in the Southwestern pathway of the eclipse. The glasses are imprinted with logos of the University and the Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO). Dr. Romero added that MRO will host lectures and serve burgers at the site that evening, affording guests “a spectacular view.”


$1§         Chairman Carpenter reported reading an online article citing the University’s designation as a “Center of Academic Excellence,” and corresponding remarks made by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on the need for cyber-security academic offerings. Dr. Liebrock noted that the CS&E Department offers a graduate degree with IT option, an area in the department’s Scholarships for Service program. It was agreed that Dr. Liebrock provide Secretary Napolitano with information on the degree program.


$15.      Public Comment.  None.

$16.      Degree Conferrals for March 2012.  One degree, a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Science, was conferred during the month.


$17.      Financial Analysis.  Mr. Marquez, V.P. for Administration and Finance, reported that both revenues and expenditures were tracking well.


$18.      Quarterly Financials for March 2012.  The financial report for the first three months of the year is in line with that of last year, reported Mr. Marquez, and will be sent to the Higher Education Department as required by law. Following a recommendation from President López, Regent Peacock made a motion to approve the report. Regent Armijo seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


$19.      Proposed Operating Budget & Employee Salary Increase.  Mr. Marquez summarized the proposed operating budget as follows:

$1§         An increase of $687,000, $362,000 of which will cover funds transferred to the ERB back to the University;

$1§         $200,000 for the MRO;

$1§         An additional $279,000 from the proposed 4 percent tuition increase;

$1§         A proposed 2 percent across-the-board salary increase to the I&G budget totaling $538,000, leaving a balance of $67,000;

$1§         Total projected revenues of $39,167,404; and

$1§         Total projected expenditures of $33,467,790.

As part of the discussion that followed, Mr. Marquez reported that the new budget reflects a slight increase in “I”, or instructional, funds. Previously open faculty positions have been filled, in some cases by redistributing funds from departments with lower enrollments. Mr. Marquez cited two outstanding issues: the need to cross-train financial staff, and to compensate for the absence of utilities support in the new funding formula. Additional discussion focused on the effects of rising utility costs on higher education institutions. It was also mentioned that Tech has been able to attract lower-cost and experienced scientists and engineers previously employed but retired from the state’s national laboratories. Regent Silver moved to accept the proposed operating budget, including the 2 percent across-the-board salary increase for employees, pending any budget readjustments that may be required. Regent Armijo seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


$110.  Final Budget Adjustment Request for FY12.  Mr. Marquez presented five budget adjustment requests:

$1§         To budget carry forward balances from FY11;

$1§         To raise the tuition budget to actual tuition received;

$1§         To add funding for the Skeen Library;

$1§         To add funding to Facilities Management from utilities reserves to aid with utility costs; and

$1§         To transfer funding from EMRTC reserves to EMRTC cost centers.

Mr. Marquez explained that reserves, created from years of carry forward funds, are sufficient. Regent Armijo moved to approve the five budget adjustment requests. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


$111.  Tuition and Fees.  President López recommended approval of a 4 percent tuition increase to include a 10 percent increase in the activity fee charged to graduate students – as requested by the Graduate Student Association – to be returned to students in the form of activities. Regent Armijo moved to accept the recommendation. Student Regent Solimon seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.


$112.  Residence Hall Construction.  President López explained that the HED requires Regents’ approval of a resolution to construct a new residence hall financed by a $14.5 million system revenue bond previously approved and issued in August 2011. HED, after its approval, would then forward the resolution to the Board of Educational Finance (BEF) for its approval. Once both authorizations are secured, the issue will return to the Board of Regents for final approval to begin construction. Upon the recommendation of President López, Regent Armijo moved to adopt the resolution. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


$113.  2012 Severance Tax Bond Resolution Notification and Certification.  Upon the recommendation of President López, Regent Armijo moved to approve a resolution to proceed with securing $200,000 in legislatively approved severance tax bonds for infrastructure renovations and improvements at MRO. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


$114.  Unrestricted Funds Purchases Exceeding $250,000.  President López introduced and recommended approval for three purchase requests:

$1a.      Workman Center Reroof. Student Regent Solomon moved to accept the low bid of $879,212 submitted by National Roofing Co. to replace the roof of Workman Center. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


$1b.      Procurement and Gas Services. The Board was presented with a list of bidders who have offered to provide New Mexico Tech with an automobile gas purchasing credit card for official travel. From among all the formal bids for this service, President López recommended that the award go to the most suitable bidder, FIA Credit Card Services.Regent Armijo moved to award FIA Card Services the contract for this service. Student Regent Solomon seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

$1c.       Audit Services. President López, noting that the number of hours included in the low bid might be insufficient for a company conducting its first university audit, recommended accepting the bid from the second-lowest bidder, who committed in their bid a lot more hours on task, Atkinson & Company, LTD, of Albuquerque. Regent Armijo moved to accept the bid from Atkinson. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


$115.  Board Member Comments.   Regent Solomon will spend the summer working for Sandia National Laboratories. Regent Silver and Regent Peacock commented on the President’s Club Dinner held the previous evening. Regent Armijo offered to arrange a meeting with the new Superintendent of Socorro Consolidated Schools to continue the positive association between SCS and New Mexico Tech. President López agreed.


$116.  New Business.  Regent Silver congratulated John Dowdle, the University’s alumnus of the Year, as announced at the President’s Club Dinner the previous evening, and expressed his pleasure at how truly delightful the entire affair was carried out. Regents also agreed to consider options for their annual retreat in August.


$117.  Employee Benefit Trust.  Members recessed as the Board of Regents and convened the meeting of the Benefit Trust at 10:10 a.m. Mr. Marquez reported that claims are down, and that the trust will transition from HCH to Meritain Health effective May 1, 2012. He will continue to work with the campus health insurance committee and to address an upcoming meeting of the Faculty Senate.


$118.  Closed Executive Session, Pursuant to NMSAS 1978 Sec 10-15-1 (H)(2) and Consideration of President’s Performance and Possible Modifications of Employment Agreement.   At 10:13 a.m., the Board on a unanimous roll call vote in the open session on a motion made by Regent Silver and seconded by Regent Armijo, closed the open meeting and convened in closed executive session to discuss the matter as per stated in the Agenda.  Regent Silver’s motion stated for the authority of for the closure and the subject to be discussed with reasonable specificity.  


19. Reconvene in Open Session and Report on Final Action, if any, on such Limited Personnel Matters Shall in Open Session Following Conclusion of the Closed Session:   The Board reconvened in open session at 11:02 a.m. Chairman Carpenter announced that pursuant to the above statute governing a closed session of the Board, only the matters stated in the Agenda were discussed, and no action was taken. Regent Armijo moved to modify the existing agreement with President López with the addition of $10,000 per annum; to increase the President’s car allowance from $20,000 per annum to $25,000 per annum; and to extend the term of his agreement with a one-year option exercisable at the President’s option with one year’s notice. Regent Peacock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. President López was recognized as the longest-serving University president in New Mexico, by far; and for his long-standing loyalty to the Institute. President López, in turn, thanked Board members for their support.

$119.     Adjournment:  There being no further business to come before the Board, Regent Peacock moved to adjourn. Regent Armijo seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 11:13 a.m.