The New Mexico State University Board of Regents heard plans today from the university’s administration to cut $12.1 million from the budget for the 2017 fiscal year. The cuts were made after careful consideration following recent cuts to the university’s budget due to declining state funding and declining enrollment.
The cuts include:
• Eliminating 89 vacant positions (27 faculty and 62 staff) as well as 37 filled positions (3 faculty and 34 staff). NMSU’s Human Resource Services team is making every effort to place employees who will be affected by a position elimination into another job.
• Eliminating the on-campus Employee Health Center, effective Aug. 1. The university will continue to operate the Student Health Center. Discussions are underway with a third-party to provide employee services at a nearby clinic. Employment opportunities with the new provider have been offered to affected employees. It is also possible that services for employees may be returned in the future through the third-party provider.
• Discontinuing sponsorship of the equestrian team, effective with the 2016-2017 season. Importantly, the athletics department will fully honor the scholarships of its current equestrian student-athletes for the remainder of their eligibility.
• Beginning the process to eliminate the Engineering Surveying Program. This will be presented at Faculty Senate later this fall.
• Moving NMSU’s Center for Latin American and Border Studies to International and Border Programs, which has a different funding source.
“We have a great university and we’re not alone in this situation,” said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. “The national trend in college enrollment is down. The population of New Mexico is also down, along with state revenue from oil and gas. Other universities are in similar situations to where we find ourselves.”
Today’s meeting follows numerous open forums, memos and other communications meant to keep the university community up-to-date with the budget situation. Carruthers has also met extensively with stakeholders for the past few months to keep them informed.
Carruthers said the university would focus on a number of initiatives, beyond the budget cuts announced, to improve NMSU’s financial situation. Those include the Transforming NMSU into a 21st Century University project, various enrollment initiatives that focus on recruitment and retention and other revenue-generating efforts.
Author: Justin Bannister – NMSU