COMMENTARY: I want to thank the legislators, editorial writers, higher education colleagues at NMSU and in New Mexico, and private citizens who have expressed their confidence in my leadership of NMSU and their hope the Board of Regents would extend my contract for another two years. Your support is heartening and humbling.
My focus has been and always will be on doing what’s best for this great university. I also believe when you are a public servant, you need to be as open to the public as possible. It’s not in my character to withhold information when asked. For that reason, it has become clear to me the best way to serve NMSU, and ensure its growth and stability, is to be more forthcoming about my decision to announce my retirement.
Over the past several months, in discussions with NMSU’s leadership team as well with other many stakeholders, I have let it be known I would welcome the opportunity to serve another two years as the Chancellor of the NMSU system.
However, in a meeting on August 1, the Regents made it known to me that, although they appreciated the strong leadership I have exerted over the course of the past four years, they did not intend to extend my contract. In light of this discussion, I did not ask them for a contract extension, and I let them know I would announce my retirement, effective July 1, 2018, which would trigger the search process.
Since this announcement, concerns have been expressed across the state about the need for stable leadership of NMSU and the importance of continuing the good work now underway. While I am grateful for the outpouring of support, I recognize the decision about the extension of my contract belongs to the Regents. Should they change their minds, I am willing to serve. If not, I will honor their decision and work diligently over the course of the next 10 months to continue to advance this great institution and its teaching, research, and service mission.