Last week was another important time for Southeast New Mexico College, which is finalizing its transition away from New Mexico State University and will be a fully independent college within the next few months. The State’s Secretary of Higher Education, Stephanie Rodriguez, spent three days at the college with other members of the Higher Education Department. They met with community members, future board members and employees of the college. They also had a chance to take a Christmas on the Pecos boat tour.
The amount of effort to switch from the New Mexico State University system into being an independent college has been incredible. There are items related to the financial transition, information technology, security, and, of course, faculty and staff transition. Employees at the college have been working extremely hard on these processes, and community members such as John Heaton and Craig Stephens have as well. Members of our new college board will take their oaths of office on Jan. 4. We’ve heard from multiple people who have complimented the excellent SENMC Board: Dr. Ned Elkins, Sheriff Mark Cage, Bill Murrill, Tiffany Frintz and Sarah Bowman. The board has a diversity of knowledge that will serve our community well.
We’ve received strong support from industry partners and members of the community in developing the future of Southeast New Mexico College. There are hopes to develop technical programs in partnership with the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, potash mines and oil and gas industry that will train qualified workers. We want to build on some of the great things happening at the college, including the nursing program and the Early College High School.
Thank you to Secretary Rodriguez and members of the HED staff for visiting Carlsbad last week. We’re very excited about the future of this college. Also recently, the Higher Learning Commission approved the Southeast New Mexico College’s Change of Control. This organization is in charge of accrediting. This approval recognized SENMC as an independent institution. This is the first time, in more than 30 years, that a college in New Mexico has gone independent.
Speaking of Christmas on the Pecos, it was a very busy weekend for the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. Activities included the winter wine fest, the festival’s VIP party and a live outdoor performance by Holly Tucker. Congratulations to everyone at the Chamber for all of the extra hard work to make this winter celebration memorable.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway