Meetings watch: ENMU regents

At the Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents meeting Friday regents:

• Approved a blended degree and licensure program for elementary education and special education. Vice President of Academic Affairs Jamie Laurenz said the program combined the requirements for elementary and special education so students could get licenses in both areas. He said that would make them more competitive in the job market and more effective in the classroom.

• Approved $150 course fees for two new “culinary essentials” courses. Laurenz said the classes would provide prerequisite skills for upper-level culinary courses, and the fees would pay for ingredients and equipment. Student Regent Santana Chavez voted against the measure, while the rest of the board voted for it.

• Heard ENMU President Steven Gamble say the ENMU Foundation was close to having $11 million in their endowment. Despite the economic troubles of the past three years, he said, the endowment has grown at a faster rate than in the past.

• Heard Gamble say Gov. Susana Martinez’s two-year moratorium on new higher education construction wouldn’t affect the ENMU system. It aims at construction of college service centers built in various communities and will bring more structure to higher education building initiatives, he said.

• Approved emeritus status for retiring faculty members William Brunsen, Anne Cable, Michael O’Connor, Merlene Olmsted and Robert Pierce.

• Approved revisions of art department lab fees. Laurenz said the fees weren’t increasing but had been reassessed for art classes that had been modified after a program review.

• Voted to eliminate the student-designed educational program. Laurenz said it was designed so students could tailor their major to their career goals, but less than one student per year had used the program. Also, with the bachelor of university studies degree offering the same flexibility with more structure, he said, he didn’t expect students to go into the student-designed educational program.

• Approved construction of a Student Services Center for ENMU-Roswell. ENMU-Roswell Vice President of Business Affairs Eric Johnston-Ortiz said the project needed regent approval before going to the state Capital Projects Committee for expected approval in June. Gamble said 2008 General Obligation bonds would pay for the center.

• Approved the Portales campus spring graduation list. Eighty-two graduate students and 277 undergraduates had finished their degrees, Vice President of Student Affairs Judith Haislett said. She expected at least 300 graduates to participate in the commencement ceremony.

• Awarded posthumous associate degrees to late ENMU-Ruidoso students James Sheets and Sarah DiPaolo. ENMU-Ruidoso President Clayton Alred said both had received their GED and gone on to take credit courses. DiPaola took classes even while undergoing cancer treatment and in a wheelchair, he said.

• Approved revisions to the faculty handbook for ENMU-Roswell.

— Compiled by PNT senior writer Argen Duncan