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NMMI votes for tuition increases

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Maj. Gen. Jerry Grizzle, New Mexico Military Institute president and superintendent, has been approved to receive a four-year, $200,000 a year contract. He is shown reviewing troops during a Homecoming and Alumni Week parade in October. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Tuition and fee increases and a new four-year contract for New Mexico Military Institute President and Superintendent Maj. Gen. Jerry Grizzle have passed the review of regents.

The NMMI Board of Regents met Thursday afternoon on the Institute campus to consider several actions, including determining attendance costs for the 2018-2019 academic year and Grizzle’s contract.

Regents approved Grizzle’s contract without comment about the specifics involved.

He will earn $200,000 a year, according to the contract. The amount has stayed the same since 2013 and makes him one of the highest-paid public employees in Roswell.

Grizzle, who joined NMMI in 2009, also is eligible for a $15,000 bonus each year if he commits to remaining an additional year.

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He also receives on-campus housing, funding for travel and entertainment from the NMMI Foundation and payment for retirement benefits.

The contract extends Grizzle’s appointment for up to another four years, with additional years of renewal possible after that. According to Col. David West, chief of staff, the four-year term will take NMMI through its next accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission in 2021.

The five regents also unanimously approved the tuition and fees increases recommended by NMMI administrators.

While the next academic year is eight months away, tuition and fees were brought before regents now, Grizzle told the board, because recruitment is already underway by NMMI staff as well as military academy preparatory programs that often refer people to the Institute.

North American students will see increases in the 4.1 to 45 percent range, said Col. Judy Scharmer, chief financial officer, while international students will pay 13.9 percent more.

She also told regents that increases were based on analyses of costs and determined after input from various NMMI unit leaders.

The increases translate to $512 more a year for “New Mexico True” students, or state residents, to bring the annual costs to $12,880. For that category of students, tuition remains the same at $400 a year, with the increases being for fees such as laundry, said Scharmer.

A $589 increase will occur for students eligible for in-state tuition waivers, typically dependents of U.S. military personnel, contracted SROTC cadets, academy prep students and some athletes, to bring annual costs to $14,264.

A $896 jump for North American students adds up to an annual cost of $20,746, and a $3,167 increase for international students brings their total costs to $26,020.

The costs for a year of attendance include housing, meals, uniforms and a laptop.

“We still have a lot of pricing power. We are still very competitive with the other private schools,” said Scharmer, referring to data that indicates that NMMI’s costs are below those of most private day academies in New Mexico and several other U.S. military junior colleges.

Scharmer and other NMMI staff said that the increases for international students reflect those students’ different expectations regarding their high school and college experiences. For example, they expect to travel to New York City or other major U.S. cities during school breaks, and the increased tuition and fees will be used for such purposes as well as to support other NMMI services for international students and its international program.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.