Home News Local News ENMU-R seeks 2019 state funding for four programs

ENMU-R seeks 2019 state funding for four programs

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Dr. Shawn Powell, left, in his second day as the new president of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, says he already has identified a few priorities for the academic year. He and Dr. Jeff Elwell, ENMU chancellor, are seen at the ENMU-R Branch Community College Board meeting Wednesday afternoon on the university campus. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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New president makes his first Community College Board meeting on second day of job

Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell plans to ask the state for $607,123 in research and public service project funding, including money to expand its nursing program and to pay for a director of instruction for the aviation flight program.

The plans were discussed at the Wednesday meeting of the ENMU-R Branch Community College meeting, the first one that the university’s new president, Dr. Shawn Powell, attended. Powell, formerly the vice president of academic affairs of Casper College in Casper, Wyoming, was named president in late July and began his new position Tuesday.

Dr. Jeff Elwell, chancellor of ENMU, expressed his “full confidence” in Powell, adding that Powell had received good reviews by almost everyone involved in the selection process.

Powell told the group, “After all the press releases that were put out, I was reminded of one of the last lines of (Gen. George) Patton about all the glory being fleeting, so we will see how that works out when decisions are made. But everyone has been very welcoming and that has been great.”

He also explained that he has some priorities for the coming months, including holding listening sessions on campus to receive ideas and comments about the strategic plan, preparing for the university’s next accreditation site visit and continuing efforts to increase student enrollment.

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Dr. Ken Maguire, vice president for academic affairs, discussed the plans to request state appropriations for research and public service projects, or RPSP funding.

He said the university will ask the Higher Education Commission to approve four funding proposals; $272,900 for expansion of the nursing program; $118,577 to fund a full-time deputy director and independent living specialist for the Special Services Program; $140,580 to pay for the salary and benefits for a director of instruction for the pilot training program; and $75,066 to fund a faculty position for the university’s aviation maintenance technology program.

Maguire said presentations will be made to the Higher Education Commission in October, which is expected to issue a list of funding recommendations soon after. The final decision, though, will be made by the New Mexico State Legislature, which meets again starting in January.

Maguire told the board that two of the programs, the nursing and flight training programs, represent fields in high demand by employers and considered important to the area’s economic development.

The nursing program expansion plan involves doubling the number of students admitted each year to 100, officially adopting the state-standardized curriculum and doing more to build the “bridge” to the bachelor’s degree program at Eastern New Mexico University for students interested in continuing their educations. The funds would pay for faculty and instructional materials. He said the state has allocated about $7 million to support nursing education.

The request for the aviation flight program is a new one, Maguire said, but one the university thinks has merit for funding.

“We’ve told you there is a huge need of pilots, right? Well, that need of pilots, according to the people we are talking to, is increasing each month,” he said. “We thought this was a really good proposal, to say, because of its statewide impact, its economic impact — we are the only Part 141 operation in the state of New Mexico.”

A Part 141 flight training program meet more rigorous standards set by the Federal Aviation Administration for people earning their pilot’s license.

The Community College Board approved submitting the funding requests, but the proposals still must be approved by the Board of Regents, scheduled to meet Friday morning in Portales.

Other actions taken involved giving preliminary approval, pending regents’ votes, for minor program changes, the summer 2018 graduation list, and two faculty emeriti designations for retired Instructor of Sociology Rick Scifres and retired Medical Assisting Instructor and current adjunct faculty member Nancy Moorhead.

The board also selected new board officers. Mireya Trujillo, formerly the board secretary, was chosen as the board president after Eloise Blake submitted her resignation from that role, citing health reasons. Blake will remain a board member. Trujillo is the human resources director for the Roswell Independent School District. Patricia Parsons, a former Dexter Consolidated Schools superintendent and now an educational diagnostician with the Roswell school district, was chosen as board secretary.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.