Home News Local News ENMU-R presidential search gets underway; Board approves hiring of search firm

ENMU-R presidential search gets underway; Board approves hiring of search firm

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Dr. Steve Gamble, acting president of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, talks during the 60th anniversary celebration Wednesday, when a meeting of the Branch Community College Board also occurred. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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One hundred nineteen days until target.

That’s how the chair of the presidential search committee for Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell summed up the work ahead for a group charged with selecting the finalists for the university’s next president, expected to be on board by Aug. 15.

Mireya Trujillo, secretary of the ENMU-R Branch Community College Board, chair of the search committee and human resources director with the Roswell Independent School District, talked about some of the initial steps in the search during a Wednesday afternoon board meeting.

Board members were introduced to search committee members and voted on two matters concerning the search, the posting of the job description and a motion to give the search committee authority to select a search firm.

Besides Trujillo, the 10-member committee includes Steve Henderson, a member of the ENMU-R Foundation; Juan Oropesa, Roswell city councilor and mayor pro-tem; Rissie Daubert, a community member representing the Valley area; and six faculty and staff members from ENMU-R and ENMU in Portales.

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“We didn’t have a student organization on campus,” Trujillo explained. She said that, instead, a Student Affairs administrator was placed on the committee.

“The first thing they have been charged with is going back and talking to the constituency group that they represent to make sure that we are in line as far as the qualities that we want in our next president and starting to develop the (interview) questions,” said Trujillo, who mentioned members have met once to receive some training and make recommendations for changes in the job position description.

She said the search has been broken into three 30-day phases, with some flexibility given to allow for some unexpected needs. The first phase will involve advertising the position and recruiting candidates. The second will entail interviews and selection of five finalists. The third phase will be the selection of the candidate by Dr. Jeff Elwell, president of the ENMU system, and the hiring of the person.

After some discussion about the legality and specifics of the move, the board voted to give the committee authority to spend no more than $20,000 to hire an executive search firm to assist with some aspects of the search, such as resume collection and screening and reference checks.

While the committee mentioned possibly using the Academic, Career and Executives Search (ACES) firm, the board’s approval did not specify which firm was to be selected, leaving that decision to the committee’s discretion. Bids from at least three firms must be obtained, board members were told.

Following some questions from the board, Dr. Steven Gamble, acting ENMU-R president and president emeritus of the ENMU system, said that university lawyers would review the motion and vote to ensure that the board is acting properly in its decisions regarding the search firm.

The university is looking for a new leader after Dr. John Madden chose to retire in early March. He took immediate leave, effective through June 30, upon his announcement. Madden had been president for almost 10 years.

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.