Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tech: Marketing Report ‘Dynamite’

Mountain Mail reports

Being recognized as one of the most prestigious science and engineering schools in the nation may not be enough for New Mexico Tech to grow.
The Board of Regents at its Friday, May 14, meeting were presented an extensive report on Tech marketing, recruitment and retention by Melissa Jaramillo Fleming, Vice President of Student and University Relations.
The report was prepared by the university consulting agency Stamats, out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
She said the company’s report was eight months in the making and included frank discussions about Tech’s short-comings in visual identity, Internet presence, recruiting and alumni relations. The report suggested re-examining entrance requirements (for instance, requiring calculus) and putting Tech’s most engaging and most effective instructors in the freshman level courses.
Regent Richard Carpenter said, “This report is dynamite.” He commended Jaramillo Fleming for having the foresight and bravery to solicit criticisms and encouraged her and the university to act on the Stamats recommendations.
The complete report will be posted on the Tech website.
New Mexico Tech received a fair amount of publicity in April when Vice President Van Romero suggested ‘M’ Mountain be changed to ‘T’ Mountain.
Romero told the Regents he wanted to call attention to the symbol because 2010 represents the 100th anniversary of the ‘M’. He has since abandoned the idea of changing the letter and has mounted a new public campaign to support the ‘M.’
“It’s been a rewarding process,” Romero said. “I’ve heard from people all over the country who feel an emotional attachment to the ‘M’.”
A two-time graduate of Tech, Romero returned to Socorro in the early 1990s to find that the annual “Paint the ‘M’” had been abandoned. Romero resurrected the event and has been organizing the run ever since.
Throughout the controversy, students, alumni and community members commented about their emotional connection to the ‘M.’ Many graduates commented about how the difficulty of the Paint the ‘M’ event mirrors the rigors of the Tech curriculum.
Romero hopes to raise $10,000 via $100 donations to fund a work project in late summer or fall. Each donor will get a limited edition T-shirt that has the Tech logo with a ‘T’ in place of the ‘M’ and says “The ‘T’ That Didn’t Fly” on the back. Those interested in donating can call Lavern Robinson at 835-5616.
Volunteers working on a summer project would mainly help create a safe footpath from the parking area at the top of the mountain to the ‘M’, which is about 500 yards away over rough terrain.
Currently, Tech hosts only two annual events at the ‘M.’ Romero said the university would need to improve access if it were to host more open events, like alumni receptions or community outings. With the general support, he officially launched a fund-raising campaign to improve the road and the footpath atop the mountain.
Enjoyable Task
The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents did their most enjoyable task Friday, May 14 – approving the list of graduates for 2010 Commencement.
Board president Ann Murphy Daily said the ceremonial act is a highlight of the year for all the board members.
Also at the meeting, Peter Scholle, the director of the Bureau of Geology, presented the Regents with advance copies of the Bureau’s latest and greatest book.
Scholle said the book, “The Geology of Northern New Mexico’s Parks, Monuments and Public Lands,” is the Bureau’s magnum opus. Five years in the making, the book opens the world of geology to the lay person.
The contributing writers are Bureau scientists and professional geologists. The collaborative effort was spearheaded by Bureau editor Greer Price. The 350-page book features color photos, drawings, maps, sketches and cross-section drawings on every page.
The book is available for $24.95 at the Bureau office or on the Bureau’s website.

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