The next NMSU President may know how to milk a cow

© 2013 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. These are interesting times at New Mexico State University as the NMSU Regents are set to select the next president. Smart money says they already have a choice but must go through the entire selection process for legal reasons. So there will be five people selected from which they select one.
     Is there anything wrong with some Regents in their heart of hearts knowing right now who they want for president? They have to put on a show and there is a slight chance someone could come in and wow them such that they would reconsider who they already want.
     But knowing already who they want is a good sign to me because the last NMSU President was a puzzle in that I could not understand what those Regents had in mind in their selection.
     What is most important in my mind is the question of institutional identity and that is at the forefront of any decision. The Regents get hundreds of people interested in guiding NMSU in the coming years so they 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 their way around the Ag Barns. In the pool of candidates for president there will be several possible identities for the institution.
     If a person with a background in Hotel Management is selected president, it would surprise me, and it would mean a sea-change for the institution compared to if they selected someone who knows how to milk a cow. I stay in hotels and drink milk so I have interest of both. And do not get me wrong, the NMSU President does not have to milk cows; I just want someone who knows how. Read column