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New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu announced a series of broad organizational changes today for NMSU Alamogordo, NMSU Carlsbad and NMSU Grants. While the mission of each campus will remain the same, the three community colleges will undergo administrative restructuring and other adjustments to transition into a more integrated system of branch campuses. The moves will allow NMSU to better serve each of these communities, with added programming from the NMSU main campus, but at a lower cost to taxpayers. At this time, the changes will not affect NMSU’s Doña Ana Community College.
“We’re entering a new era for higher education in New Mexico, where we must be even more responsive to the communities we serve, while also being less reliant on funding from the state,” Arvizu said. “With that in mind, our communities still need us to provide higher education and economic development, as well as extension and outreach programs. This realignment will allow us to be more nimble in addressing those needs.”
As part of the restructuring, the three campus president positions at NMSU Alamogordo, NMSU Carlsbad and NMSU Grants will be eliminated. The overall administrative structure for each campus will be further examined to find additional efficiencies, while also leveraging support from NMSU’s main campus in Las Cruces. Arvizu has appointed former NMSU Alamogordo President Ken Van Winkle as the university’s new branch executive director to lead the transition to a more integrated system model.
“Current health and economic conditions across the country demand we seriously rethink higher education in our own state,” Van Winkle said. “I’m excited to be a part of the leadership team who will implement changes in support of students who attend any of the campuses in the New Mexico State University system.”
“We fully understand that each of these communities is unique, with their own sets of needs and priorities,” Arvizu said. “We have worked closely with local stakeholders for quite some time and we plan to continue those efforts to ensure we are providing the best possible services.”
Van Winkle said an integrated system model lends itself to greater opportunities for each campus to expand economic development through shared programs such as NMSU’s Arrowhead Center. As a result, campuses can take advantage of expertise in the areas of business creation and employment transition skills. Additional operations from the main campus will be explored at the branch campuses in the coming months.
The individual campuses in Alamogordo, Carlsbad and Grants were each, at one point in their history, designated as NMSU branch campuses. NMSU Alamogordo was established in 1958 to serve the needs of the airmen and families stationed at Holloman Air Force Base. NMSU Carlsbad was established in 1950 as the state’s first community college. NMSU Grants was established as a branch of NMSU in 1968 through the cooperative efforts of NMSU and Grants Municipal Schools.