TO: NMSU Faculty and Staff -
Welcome, everyone, to an exciting fall semester at NMSU. Over the past few days, we have begun to outline our top-level priorities for the university, and how those priorities relate to a number of grand challenges NMSU will address. We are fortunate that as a collective community of innovators, NMSU faculty, staff and students we are tremendously talented. We are bold in our thinking and in our work. I am confident this university is well-positioned to tackle the challenges ahead, and to shape the future.
Our top-level priorities are to improve student success, elevate research and creativity and to amplify our outreach and economic development. All of us, working together, must ensure we have the highest quality instruction and degree programs. Our students must complete their academic studies on time and become highly qualified leaders ready for the work of tomorrow. We must align our research with the most pressing challenges of our region and the world. We are a catalyst for change and we will partner with businesses, agencies and communities to further economic development.
With these priorities in mind, we will address:
- Fortifying K-16 Education – As a state, we have a K-12 system that needs a lot of help and that’s something where I believe a university has a role to play. It’s not just about waiting for high schools to provide us students to enter our university system. It’s incumbent upon us (as we are already starting to do in our early college high schools) to provide that training to help students come better prepared to enter college. This also includes reaching into the middle schools and working with our programs that train teachers. We must take ownership of this.
- Creating healthy borders – We benefit from our geographic location and we have opportunities to create economic development across the border. We can shape the discussion on how international trade should occur and how we can spur economic growth across the region. It won’t be just changing the tone of the conversation with regard to the border, it will be us demonstrating and showing the way.
- Modernizing our critical infrastructure with regard to water, food, energy, IT and agriculture – We have a collection of partners, with PSL, the national labs, White Sands Missile Range and Spaceport America. We can build on our strengths as a university and focus on what will drive additional revenues and make our students more relevant in the workplace over the coming decades.
Going forward, when it comes to our efforts at NMSU, you will begin to see and hear the phrase “Be Bold. Shape the Future.” This is indicative of what is to come – we are bold, we are fearless. We will search for new innovation in the classroom, in the lab and outside of NMSU. We will deliver solutions for the future, creating change. I look forward to accomplishing this with each of you.
Have a great weekend.