Posted by Michael Swickard on Monday, May 6, 2013
© 2013 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. A few weeks ago my column looked at what some said was already a decision by the New Mexico State University Regents to hire Garrey Carruthers as the next President of New Mexico State University. The Regents by law had to go through the open hiring process and so they did with five finalists. But I suspect they were already leaning toward Carruthers. I wrote:
“The Regents … must select someone who reflects and will defend NMSU’s tradition and missions. Unless the Regents want to change that mission in the future, the next president needs to know his or her way around the Ag Barns.”
It became official when the Regents announced this week that Dean of the NMSU College of Business Garrey Carruthers is the next NMSU President. I applaud the decision for three reasons: first, he will hit the ground running and not take a year to get up to speed. Secondly, he understands NMSU’s mission and traditions. Finally, he is well liked and respected on the campus and around the state.
Other than one president in the 1950s who was only in Las Cruces a couple of years I have known all the NMSU presidents back to Hugh Milton who was selected before World War II. Most have been extraordinary.
Several, however, were not good and the chaos they caused was regrettable. Having the wrong person in charge as was shown with the last president caused lots of turmoil and intrigue. The last president did not like the smell of the Ag Barns. It is regrettable she was selected in the first place.
Carruthers does know his way around the Ag Barns and especially understands the Land-Grant mission. In the coming years those parts of the university that make NMSU unique will receive the priority they deserve. Further, Higher Education is changing and it takes a visionary to navigate the changes, holding on to what is important and taking advantage of the new opportunities. Read column