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ENMU-R forms search committee for new president

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The search committee for a new president for Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell is starting its efforts, with formal decisions about committee members and search procedures expected at an April 18 meeting of the university board.

Mireya Trujillo

ENMU-R Branch Community College Board member Mireya Trujillo has been named chair of the committee, which met earlier this week for some training.

Trujillo, also human resources director for the Roswell Independent School District, said the search committee is well-rounded and members have been chosen in part for their ability to serve until a person accepts the position, although the university board still must approve the members. The university and search committee are working toward having a new leader in place by Aug. 15.

“We made sure that we have representation both from ENMU and ENMU-R,” Trujillo said. “We have all the senate presidents on the committee so that all the departments are represented, and we have community and civic leaders. And we have made sure all the communities are represented because we do serve a large area, not just Roswell itself, but the surrounding communities.”

ENMU-R is looking for a new leader after Dr. John Madden announced his retirement in early March. Madden has spent almost 10 years at the helm of the Roswell campus. Immediately upon his announcement, Madden took a leave of absence through the end of June.

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Dr. Steven Gamble, president of the Eastern New Mexico University system for 16 years until his retirement in 2017, is serving as acting president of the Roswell operations until Madden’s replacement is hired.

The president position is expected to pay somewhere above $130,000 a year, said Dr. Jeff Elwell, current ENMU system president. Exact pay will depend on the selected person’s prior experience. Madden’s annual salary was about $145,000 after nine years in the post.

Trujillo said the committee has not yet advertised the position and will be discussing more about the search process, including whether to hire a search firm, during the board meeting.

“We did look at the current job description. We went over all the different qualifications and the job description in general,” she said. “We will have some recommendations to bring before the CCB board and then we will be doing the final approval so we can launch (recruitment efforts).”

The ENMU system has undergone some transition under the leadership of Elwell, who took over from Gamble as system head in July. Those changes have included giving three ENMU senior executives oversight of Roswell’s human resources, integrated technology and business affairs functions.

But Elwell said he does not anticipate altering the role of the ENMU-R president position into a campus director or campus chief executive officer post.

Once the search committee identifies candidates to interview, probably sometime in May or June, Elwell said he will become involved in the process, conducting interviews along with others and ultimately making the decision about whom to select.

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

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.