Regents OK branch status for Ruidoso

Tony Parra

The Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents approved a resolution supporting branch campus status for the Ruidoso Instructional Center on Monday during the Board of Regents meeting.
For Ruidoso to become a branch campus, the New Mexico Commission for Higher Education and the Legislature must approve the request.
Eastern officials hope the branch status will be approved after the 2005 Legislative session.
Eastern President Dr. Steven Gamble and Ruidoso Instructional Center Director James Miller spoke via phone conference to the ENMU Board of Regents and updated them on the status of the proposal.
The importance of gaining branch status are: enable the branch authorization to issue general obligation bonds for the purpose of financing capital projects; create new courses, degrees and programs; receive full state funding from the New Mexico legislature; become eligible for federal higher-education funding and elect a college district board charged with shared governance of the new Ruidoso branch campus.
“I expect to have the rough draft completed in a day or so,” Miller said. “We are accumulating materials for a more detailed draft which will have enrollment and a strategic plan.”
Gamble and Miller expect to present the rough draft at the March 31 Board of Regents meeting at the Ruidoso Convention Center. Miller said he will spend the week presenting the proposal to city, county and education officials in Carrizozo, Capitan, Ruidoso and Lincoln County to try to gain community support. Miller said he must have documented community support in the proposal process.
“He (Miller) has not encountered any opposition,” Gamble said. “The community is extremely supportive.”
The Ruidoso Instructional Center started in 1991, according to an editorial in support of the proposal which ran last week in the Ruidoso News, and initially used classrooms at Ruidoso High School.
“I can’t find anyone who would not support it,” Executive Director of The Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce Brad Treptow said. “Everyone is in favor of it. The chamber is doing it’s part in trying to get members of the community to support them (Ruidoso Instructional Center officials) at their hearings.”
Treptow said Miller went before The Ruidoso Valley Chamber Board of Directors in a meeting on Feb. 25 and they approved the resolution of support for branch campus status.
Gamble said they are following the steps the Taos branch of the University of New Mexico took to gain branch status last year.