New Mexico State University will soon launch a task force to evaluate the potential of repositioning several academic units currently housed in three separate colleges at the university’s Las Cruces campus into a single, new, larger college.
NMSU officials share that the move would increase support for interdisciplinary research and graduate education while also reducing administrative costs for the university. The units under consideration are the College of Arts and Sciences, Social Sciences division; the College of Education; and the College Health and Social Services.
“This would formally bring together many of the NMSU faculty whose work is focused on promoting improved outcomes in health, education, social services, social mobility, criminal justice, and socio-economic opportunity,” said NMSU Provost Carol Parker.
The realignment would also position NMSU to better support evolving learning outcomes through current and emerging academic programs in areas of high demand for regional workforce development.
“I further believe this initiative could position NMSU to seek extramural funding in support of the creation of a new research center dedicated to eliminating the downstream effects of inadequate or counterproductive public policy, systemic bias and racism, which adversely affect outcomes in health, education, social mobility, criminal justice and economic opportunity,” she said.
The deans of NMSU’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Health and Social Services will lead a task force to gather input through a series of listening sessions and surveys. Under NMSU policy, the ultimate decision of whether to proceed in this direction would be made by the Board of Regents.
“In in my opinion, there is a real sense of urgency related to the need to genuinely consider restructuring,” Parker said. “The faculty at NMSU are capable of enormous personal growth and capacity for change in short periods of time, as was demonstrated by our recent rallying to face the educational crisis caused by the ongoing pandemic. I know we are similarly capable of rallying to do the necessary work of some academic restructuring to meet the concurrent fiscal crisis in higher education. It is through initiatives such as this that NMSU will come through the current pandemic and fiscal crises stronger, rather than weaker, and well positioned for future growth.”
An overview of the concept can be found via this link.
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