Thursday, August 19, 2010

Various Publications Give New Mexico Tech High Marks

By John Larson

SOCORRO - As the fall semester for New Mexico Tech gets underway Forbes, U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review are ranking the Socorro university as among the best in the nation.
In its latest issue, U.S. News and World Report ranks New Mexico Tech number two in its list of best colleges in the West, just behind California Polytech, and 17th best college nationwide.
From the students’ point of view Tech comes out at number 334 in Forbes Magazine, which was the result of a study on student satisfaction.
According to the Forbes article, “whether they're in the top 10 or near the end of the list, all 610 schools in this ranking count among the best in the country. We review just 10 percent of the 6,600 accredited postsecondary institutions in the U.S., so appearing on our list at all is an indication that a school meets a high standard.
“While other college rankings are based in large part on school reputation as evaluated by college administrators, we focus on factors that directly concern incoming students,” the report by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity said.
Tech was also included in Princeton Review’s list of the 2011 best 373 colleges.
“That publication has always looked favorably on us,” New Mexico Tech President Dan Lopez said.
Lopez told the Mountain Mail that “enrollment numbers look positive, with 100 new students coming in.”
According to Cathi Van Fleet in the Academic Affairs office the number of undergraduates actually registered was 1,163. The number of graduate students registered was 293. “Of course, Friday is our big registration day. We expect those numbers to go up quite a bit,” Van Fleet said.
Lopez is expecting the upcoming academic year to present a few challenges, mostly related to fiscal realities.
Construction of a new building for the geology department may be delayed.
“We’ll have $12.4 million from a general bond issue, but that will be up to the voters to approve that GO bond,” he said.
A high student population this semester has presented a different kind of problem.
“With the increased enrollment there was an issue of having enough housing,” Lopez said. “We had to take inventory of what we had in terms of dorm space. We will have to double up students in some cases, such as dorm monitors. We have a whole series of things to accommodate them.
“One of our back up plans is that we contacted some hotels for temporary housing,” he said.
One issue that would affect faculty and staff is a possible rise in what gets taken out of paychecks for insurance.
“Insurance rates have gone up. We have a pretty substantial reserve but that cannot be relied on in the long run,” Lopez said. “We’ve changed the plan to a PPO, which is not as generous but not as expensive either.”
He said a decision on an employee’s contribution will not be made until the first of next year.
Convocation, the official opening of the fall semester, is Monday, Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. at Macey Center.
First day of classes is Tuesday, Aug. 24.

No comments:

Post a Comment