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NMSU Regents punt on presidential finalists, start new search


The Board of Regents of New Mexico State University began a second search for a new leader on March 11 after deciding not to hire any of the five candidates they'd interviewed in recent weeks. 

The regents also moved to find an interim president in the same vote. 

The vote does not indicate whether Jay Gogue, who has been filling the presidential role since April 2023, will remain interim. In September 2023, the regents amended Gogue's contract so that it must be renewed monthly. 

The unanimous vote of the regents renews the process of hiring a long- and short-term leader for NMSU.

"After careful consideration, I do not believe that any of the current finalists fully meet the needs of New Mexico State University at this critical juncture," regents chair Ammu Devasthali said in a prepared statement. "Finding the right leader is paramount.”

Student-regent Garrett Mosley made the motion following a closed-door discussion about the five candidates that lasted about an hour.

The five candidates were:

  • Wayne Jones, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of New Hampshire
  • Richard Williams, former president of Utah Tech University
  • John Volin, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of the University of Maine
  • Michael Galyean, Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor in the Department of Veterinary Sciences and former Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas Tech University
  • Austin Lane, Chancellor of Southern Illinois University

"While the presented candidates possess impressive qualifications and are assets to their respective institutions, we have yet to see the next leader for our university," Devasthali said.

No other public discussion was had during the meeting on March 11.

"The Presidential Search Committee has worked extremely hard to bring forward the best candidates from the pool, and we appreciate their efforts," Devasthali said. "The motion today does not reflect the committee's valuable contributions."

NMSU Presidential Finalists, new leader