The pattern at NMSU continues (part II)

Commentary by Jim Spence - In yesterday's column we explored all the ways in which NMSU has fallen into a pattern of feebly attempting to acquire good leadership instead of developing it. The results have been disappointing and the president's office has turned into a revolving door. What could change the mindset at NMSU and provide a positive catalyst for the future?
There are many positive steps NMSU could take to lift its status as an institution of higher learning. Though the damage done by poor management at the athletic department is now going to be exceedingly difficult to repair, it can still be done.
On the academic side of the equation we know the southwest needs a Veterinarian School and a Dental School. With strong leadership and a can-do attitude, NMSU could easily create a long range plan to begin building both schools. These steps could provide the foundation for a much better student recruiting and a stronger alumni system.
What lies ahead for NMSU once Barbara Couture is officially history? Until there is a profound paradigm shift, expect more of the same. Institutions tend to repeat previous processes. Look for the regents to announce another exhaustive “national search” for a new president. This sort of language will make the process seem bigger than life. Of course the likely outcome is the selection of yet another skilled political operative with very little vision outside of personal ambition. Once entrenched, alumni can expect the next president to ask for huge tuition hikes on students, report more massive multi-million dollar losses in the athletic department, and initiate no movement towards creating advanced schools for dentists and vets.
Jim Collins, a nationally recognized researcher wrote the book, “Good to Great.” It is a study on what separates outstanding organizations from the pack. NMSU has been a prototype for the pack. Hiring CEOs from the outside rather than developing them from within is a telltale sign of mediocrity. In seventeen hundred years of combined life spans, Collins found only four individual incidents when going outside for a CEO—produced extraordinary results. He says homegrown management is integral in visionary organizations by a factor of over six times.
If you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always gotten. As an institution, the preceding phrase defines the modus operandi at NMSU.


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