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ENMU regents select its first woman chancellor

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Patrice Caldwell, the new ENMU chancellor (Submitted Photo)

The Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents selected Patrice Caldwell as the chancellor of the ENMU system, which includes campuses in Portales, Roswell and Ruidoso, at their virtual meeting on Sept. 25.

Caldwell, who became interim chancellor of the ENMU system in April, has been part of ENMU’s family for four decades, serving as a faculty member, department chair, dean, executive director and vice president. She has held leadership positions at the university for more than 30 years.

She becomes ENMU’s 11th president and the first woman president since the university’s opening in 1934. Caldwell was preceded as chancellor by Jeff Elwell, who served from July 2017 to April 2020.

“I am gratified at the confidence placed in me by the Board of Regents,” Caldwell said. “I am also grateful for the support of our students, faculty, staff and community. We have challenges ahead, but if we work together there is nothing we cannot accomplish. I am excited to begin this new chapter in my life at ENMU.”

Board of Regents President Terry Othick said, “I am exceptionally pleased the Board of Regents unanimously voted for Patrice Caldwell. She has the academic and administrative experience we were looking for to lead our university during these trying times. I think her understanding of the importance of ENMU to the Portales and Clovis community, and how the Portales and Clovis communities are important to ENMU is very valuable. Patrice is an honest, sincere and compassionate person, and I look forward to her leading ENMU into the future.”

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Caldwell’s contract was extended through June 2022.