NMSU photo by Josh Bachman
In its regular meeting Thursday, the Board of Regents of the New Mexico State University system approved a systemwide operating budget of roughly $620 million for the coming fiscal year, a 5.7 percent increase over the current year.
They also acknowledged the expectation that the budget will be revised later this summer, following a likely special session of the New Mexico Legislature, which may reduce planned appropriations from the state.
The budget, which includes $551 million for the Las Cruces campus, was approved unanimously by the board in an online meeting conducted over Zoom due to public health orders from the New Mexico Department of Health.
More than 36 percent of the approved budget, or about $225 million, is provided by state appropriations that were approved in March. A combination of factors, including the price of oil and the economic slowdown associated with COVID-19, have dramatically reduced the state’s revenue projections, and a special session of the state Legislature is expected in June.
Andrew Burke, senior vice president for administration and finance, told the board that those approved appropriations, including $5.3 million provided for a planned 4 percent compensation increase for faculty and staff, are likely to be reduced by the state. As a result, a salary adjustment planned for July 1 is on hold until more information is available following the session.
NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu said the university system is currently outlining principles, based on the NMSU LEADS 2025 strategic plan, that will guide the decision-making process once more information becomes available.
“Our leadership team is carefully monitoring the landscape of higher education nationwide right now, but these kinds of decisions really have to be made at the local level,” Arvizu said after the meeting. “We intend to make sure that we’re as open and transparent as possible about the entire process. We’re facing a lot of uncertainty, but we’ve got a clear mission that helps focus our attention on our top priorities as an institution.”
An agenda, supporting documents, and video archive of the entire Board of Regents meeting are available here. The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2020 in Las Cruces
Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU
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