President's Report - December 2009

Dec 01, 2009

Rio Rancho Campus Plans Earn Award

The Rio Rancho campus is already turning heads, and it’s not even finished. At the annual conference of the New Mexico chapter of the American Planning Association (NMAPA) in November, the master plan for the CNM Rio Rancho Campus earned the association’s award for “Innovation in Planning.” The award-winning plan for the new campus, scheduled to open with its first building in fall 2010, includes a variety of sustainability features such as rain water harvesting and alternative energy usage. A wind turbine will be installed near the entrance of the site, as both a symbol of CNM’s commitment to the sustainability movement and as an energy source to the campus. CNM will incorporate wind energy from PNM as well. The campus is also designed for ease of use and to blend in well with the architectural style of the Rio Rancho City Center area. The first building of the CNM Rio Rancho Campus is being designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. The building will be highly energy efficient with beautiful open spaces and unique features such as porches on all buildings that will create a friendly and welcoming educational environment. Adjacent to the University of New Mexico Rio Rancho campus site and the Rio Rancho City Center, the new CNM campus will contribute to the overall quality of the Rio Rancho metro area through careful attention to quality of building materials, placement of buildings and attention to unobstructed views of the Sandia Mountains.

Department Chair Model Gives Faculty More Voice

The Academic Affairs division recently instituted a new department chair model that is giving the faculty more influence in decision-making as it relates to curriculum and instructional issues, marking a historic shift in Academic Affairs. Up until now, primarily staff members served as program chairs and were responsible for the development and management of curriculum and instructional issues.“The new department chair model is the beginning of a transformational change that will empower the faculty, departments and chairs,” said Alan Pope, recently elected chair of the English department and a faculty member in the School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences. “Working with the deans and the administration, the faculty will take on a more meaningful role in planning and decision-making.” In early November, Academic Affairs conducted an election for 23 department chairs.

CNM Celebrates Student Success at Fall Graduation Ceremony

The college will host the 2009 Fall Term Graduation Ceremony on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. at Tingley Coliseum. Admission to the event is free. This will be the second fall term graduation ceremony at CNM. Up until last year, fall term graduates had to wait until spring to participate in CNM’s graduation ceremony, which caused many to pass on the once-in-a-lifetime experience. In an effort to allow more students to celebrate their success and participate in an unforgettable cap-and-gown ceremony, CNM has provided students with the opportunity to participate in graduation ceremonies in either the fall or the spring. Approximately 320 graduates are expected to participate in the fall commencement.

Serve Community, Learn Valuable Tax Tips by Volunteering for TAX HELP

CNM’s TAX HELP New Mexico program is seeking volunteers as it gears up for its 34th year of providing free tax preparation services to New Mexico households earning $50,000 or less and to those who are 65 and older. Last year, the program served 30,000 clients, saving $3.1 million in tax preparation fees and generating $22 million in tax refunds. Volunteers, who can gain valuable tax knowledge that will last a lifetime, need to complete a free training session at the TAX HELP New Mexico office located on Main Campus and pass an IRS certification. Three options for the free training are available: December 8-10 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; January 5-26 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays; January 8-23 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays. For more info, call (505) 224-4080.

CNM Shows Support for Military Veteran Students

In a continuing effort to support the success of U.S. military veterans at CNM, the college hosted its first Veterans’ Support Services Fair on Nov. 10 on Main Campus. A team of Student Services employees dedicated to serving the needs of veteran students hosted the event, which was aimed at helping veteran students learn about all of the educational benefits and support services that are available to them. In addition to a variety of CNM representatives, the event was attended by many veterans support groups in the community and CNM’s Student Veterans Club of America. CNM currently serves 661 veteran students, more than any other postsecondary institution in the state. The challenges for these students are unique. President of the CNM Student Veterans Club, Jose Lozada, says that many Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran students suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as other disorders from serving in war that can make attending school a difficult challenge. CNM has held forums to inform faculty about the challenges PTSD and TBI might pose for veteran students in the classroom. Lozada said that veteran students appreciate the support of the college. “The school is backing us 100 percent,” he said.

CNM Instructor Receives Outstanding Accounting Educator Award

Accounting instructor Daniel Keays recently won the Outstanding Accounting Educator Award for 2009 from the New Mexico Society for Certified Public Accountants. The award provides recognition to members of the society who are full-time college educators and serve as exemplary instructors while maintaining active involvement in the accounting profession.

Solar Energy Courses Heating Up at CNM

In response to the community’s need for more sustainable energy alternatives, CNM is offering new courses to train energy workers in the skills they will need to help provide the desired energy products and services. The School of Applied Technologies has been teaching a Photovoltaic (Solar Electric) Installation course since fall 2008; this term it is accompanied by a Solar Thermal Panel course. The new curriculum covers the theory and practice of solar heating for residential water and air systems, including installation, setup, control and maintenance. The course is classified as part of the Plumbing program, but it involves much more than just pipes, wrenches and solder. Students need a thorough grounding in electrical work to deal with pumps and control systems, and will even do some sheet metal work to construct a heat exchanger for an experimental air heating setup.


Wishing You and Yours a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!
Kathie W. Winograd