Regents renew president’s contract

By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer

Eastern New Mexico University Regents rehired President Steven Gamble’s and heard a report outlining the potential for a drop in enrollment this fall at a Saturday meeting in Portales.

The board of regents approved a one-year renewal of Gamble’s contract with a raise of 5.8 percent bringing his annual salary from $170,500 to $180,000.

“I’m gratified to have my contract approved,” Gamble said. “I’m glad they seem to have confidence in me and I will work as hard as I can to make Eastern a good school.”

In his report, Gamble announced a state-wide trend of dropping enrollment rates. A trend he attributes to a changing economy and according to Gamble, it’s a trend ENMU is not immune to.

“Statewide, it’s because very simply, we’re producing fewer high school graduates now than we did five years ago.”

Gamble outlined several proactive measures the university is taking to try to increase the number of students enrolled at Eastern.

“We’re trying to offer more online so somebody can work full-time and still have access to higher education courses,” Gamble said. “We are also attempting to recruit more international students.”

Another key element in attempting to raise enrollment at ENMU is the addition of several new degree programs that will be available to students at the various campuses this fall. Among the new programs are: aviation sciences, emergency medical services, hospitality management, forensic science and environmental science.

In other business:

• Former members of the board of directors of the ENMU Foundation Frances Richardson and Tommy Joe Smith were recognized for their service.

• Disposal of surplus equipment and property was approved.

• The board passed the five-year capital projects plan at all three campuses with no changes.

• An amendment to the faculty handbook was approved to eliminate the double review process that non tenure-track faculty members undergo.