Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Mexico Tech Enrollment Up For 2010 Fall Semester

By Thom Guengerich, New Mexikco Tech

New Mexico Tech is seeing an increase in student enrollment for the 2010 fall semester.
At the regular meeting of the Tech Board of Regents Nov. 17, it was announced that applications, accepted applications and paid applications are all at record-setting levels for November.
According to a press release, of the 708 applicants as of last week, 51 students have already paid their application fee. That figure is more than double the 20 paid applicants on the same date last year.
Admission Office Director Mike Koeppel said university recruiters attend college fairs across the West, and in online college fairs, in addition to recruiting within the state.
President Dan Lopez said the university has a pending agreement with Yangtze University in China that would see 30 new students in Socorro. Tech officials made a recruiting trip to India a couple years ago, and already has a significant number of graduate students from India, Lopez said.
In other business:
• Lopez said the state legislature cut the “instruction and general” budget by four percent and cut the special projects budget by 6.5 percent. He said the university-initiated budget cuts made at the beginning of the fiscal year should be sufficient to accommodate the state cuts mandated during the October special session. Lopez also said he’s struggling to get legislative staffers to understand that many of Tech’s “special projects” are truly part of the academic arm, like the Petroleum Recovery Research Center, the Bureau of Geology and the Geophysical Research Center. “They teach just as much as they do research,” Lopez said. “It’s crazy for the state not to recognize that some special projects are closely linked to the research and teaching mission.”
• Lopez said the state Legislative Finance Committee has preliminarily recommended $15 million for a new Bureau of Geology building, while the executive branch recommended $17 million for the same project. “I’m going to get Peter Scholle a building one way or another,” Lopez said about the Bureau director, sitting across the table. “I think we’ll be able to build that building.”
• Vice President of Finance Lonnie Marquez, who also serves as chairman of the Emergency Response Team, reported that the campus clinic has not seen a dramatic increase in swine flu cases in November. During the previous week, about 20 students reported flu-like symptoms, with several of them isolated their dorms.
• John Meason, director of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center reported that the division is in the black. Meason also reported that EMRTC is finalizing a contract with a private company to conduct testing of unmanned aerial systems at the Playas Research and Training Center. Already, the company has brought in two new customers, Meason said. “We are working with them to develop contracts for which we will earn fees to support their research area,” he said. “Things are looking good in respect to Playas.” The research center in Hidalgo County still needs a larger airstrip and Meason said he has enlisted the assistance of the New Mexico Congressional delegation to engage neighboring landowners in negotiations. Playas would need more than 4,000 acres to expand the runway.

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