ENMU administrators mull tuition increase

PNT Staff Report

At the Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents meeting at the ENMU-Roswell campus Thursday afternoon, Regents:

• heard the administration is looking into tuition increases, departmental cuts in supplies and services, and leaving vacated positions unfilled to deal with possible cuts in legislative appropriations, said President Steven Gamble. The worst-case scenario he anticipates would mean cuts ranging from $2 million to $2.5 million for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

Gamble said he didn’t know how high tuition increases might be because it’s unknown what kind of tuition credit the Legislature might set. With a tuition credit, the Legislature takes a percentage of tuition revenues, so universities raise tuition more to balance the budget.

• passed revisions to the Clean Air Policy to allow smoking only in designated areas to comply with state law, Gamble said. The university is conducting a survey to determine the designated areas, and Gamble said people could also smoke in their cars.

Before, smoking was forbidden in buildings, but allowed in various other places, he said.

• passed an early retirement incentive plan for employees qualified for full New Mexico retirement 12 percent. Employees who meet this condition and retire by June 30, 2010, will receive a one-time payment equal to 12 percent of their current annual salary. The payout is capped at $8,400 — 12 percent of a $70,000 salary.

The plan’s goal is to help balance the budget.

Gamble said the university might not fill some positions opened by retirements or might replace the senior employees who retire with less-senior people who would be paid less. He said he would count the plan a success if seven or more people retired.

• approved an agreement with the state Cultural Affairs Department to lease vacant land near the Spencer Theater near Ruidoso for future use.