NMSU announces five finalists for presidential search

Feb. 2—The New Mexico State University Board of Trustees on Friday announced five finalists in the institution’s search for a new president, including top university officials from Utah, Texas , New Hampshire, Illinois and Maine.

NMSU’s presidential search — a board chair Ammu Devasthali called “one of the most important processes undertaken by our institution” — will continue with campus visits by each candidate and opportunities for contribution from the Aggie community.

The chosen candidate will replace former NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu, who announced more than a year ago that he would not seek to extend his contract, which expired in June. Former NMSU President Jay Gogue has served as interim chancellor since April.

“We look forward to getting to know each of the candidates and how they fit our vision for the next leader of the NMSU system,” Devastali said during Friday’s meeting.

The candidates for New Mexico state president are:

* Michael Galyean, professor in the Department of Veterinary Sciences at Texas Tech University.

* Wayne Jones Jr., dean and vice president for academic affairs at the University of New Hampshire.

* Austin Lane, chancellor of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

* John Volin, executive vice president for academic affairs and dean of the University of Maine.

* Richard Williams, former president of Utah Tech University.

Two of the candidates are Aggies themselves: Galyean earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from NMSU — and returned as a professor from 1977 to 1996 — while Williams earned his doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the university, according to their curriculum vitae.

Several of the applicants have backgrounds in science, which fits with New Mexico State’s history as an agricultural college.

Volin spent a decade as head of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Connecticut, conducting research on invasive species and their habitat…

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