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ENMU-R employees get 2 percent salary increase

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More than 200 employees of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell will receive a pay increase next month, the second boost approved within the past six months.

A two percent across-the-board pay increase for 210 full-time employees was approved unanimously by three regents of Eastern New Mexico University at a Saturday afternoon meeting in Portales.

With spring 2018 semester over, the Board of Regents met to consider several items affecting all three ENMU campuses, Roswell, Ruidoso and Portales.

The only item requiring a vote that affected the Roswell campus was the 2 percent pay boost.

Dr. Steven Gamble, interim president of ENMU-R, said that the new increase will go to about 210 full-time employees beginning July 1 and will total about $280,000 to $290,000.

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Most of the money will come to ENMU-R as the result of a state legislature appropriation earlier this year. The other money comes from ENMU-R’s own resources.

“The state gave us enough money for 1.4 percent, in spite of what you’ve read elsewhere,” Gamble said, “and we came up with 0.6 percent to make it an even 2 percent.”

That makes the total boost for full-time employees 5 percent during the past six months.

In November, the Community College Board members and regents voted for a 3 percent increase for about 225 full-time and regular employees, not including adjunct faculty or student employees. In making that decision, university leadership said it was the first raise in years and was justified by increased enrollments and a strong financial position.

Gamble said he thought that employees deserved the state-approved increase, given that the state has not increased funding for state employee pay for about six years.

“I hope people see it, and see all state employees the same, that it probably was about time to help our people financially after years of drought, I guess you could say,” said Gamble. “I hope they see it that way.”

ENMU Chancellor Dr. Jeff Elwell added that no tuition increases for the upcoming academic year will occur at the Roswell and Ruidoso campuses, and that an increase of 4.9 percent has been approved for Portales, what he described as the lowest increase in years.

Elwell himself got a pay raise at Saturday’s meeting, a 6.5 percent, or $15,000 increase, to bring his annual compensation to $245,000. His three-year contract, which is reviewed each year, was renewed until June 30, 2021.

“I am very appreciative of it,” he said. “I think I’ve had a pretty good year, but you don’t achieve all that without the people who work with and for you having good years as well.”

Elwell said he also updated regents about the ENMU-R presidential search, which is ongoing following the announcement of Dr. John Madden’s resignation in early March.

Elwell said that about 24 candidates are in the pool and that the five finalists should be selected by July 4 and on campus for interviews by the third week of July. The new president is expected to be named sometime between July 25 and Aug. 4.

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.