At a regular meeting Oct. 21, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents authorized the institution to submit applications for two governmental licenses for the sale of alcohol at the Pan American Center and the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management.
NMSU Regents Mike Cheney, Javier Gonzales and Jordan Banegas voted to authorize the institution to submit the application for the Pan American Center, while Regent Kari Mitchell voted no. Cheney, Gonzales, Banegas and Mitchell voted yes to apply for the license for the HRTM program. Regent Isaac Pino abstained from both votes.
The Regents will discuss the use of the proceeds from alcohol sales at the Pan American Center and other NMSU venues during the budget process in an effort to increase funding support for the NMSU Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education (WAVE) Program and the Employee Assistance Program from revenue generated from alcohol sales.
The Pan American Center has been utilizing special dispenser permits to accommodate the sale of beer and wine at various events for many years, however, the number of full-license holders interested in applying for special dispenser permits is limited, said Scott Breckner, NMSU special events director.
Beer and wine have been served or sold in the Pan American Center at concerts, boxing matches, ballets, fundraisers and a variety of receptions and luncheons. If the university obtains a governmental license for the Pan American Center, it will consider expanding alcohol sales to other events, such as athletic events. Revenue to the institution from the sale of alcohol at the Pan American Center will increase if the university operates the sales through a governmental license. Another opportunity under consideration is the promotion of New Mexico wines and micro-brews at events.
NMSU Police Chief Stephen Lopez said the police department has been managing events with alcohol at the Pan American Center for more than a decade.
"We do increase staff when alcohol is served. We also station trained officers or security at each location dispensing alcohol," Lopez said. "It is much better when we can control the environment where alcohol is being sold and served."
The governmental license application for the School of HRTM would be for Gerald Thomas Hall where the 100 West Café and the Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine are located. The wine academy has an 880-bottle storage capacity devoted to wine education courses. The license application process also will allow the school to educate students going into food and beverage management about the merits of licensing and how it works in a private-sector environment.
The Regents also selected Jerry Landrum to receive an honorary doctorate at the December commencement ceremony. Landrum graduated from NMSU in 1961 with a degree in chemistry. He is a retired chemist who was recently honored for his participation in the collaborative work of scientists and researchers at the U.S. Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and the Flerov Institute in Dubna, Russia, that resulted in the discovery of six new heavy elements, including Flerovium and Livermorium, which have been added to the periodic table.
In other business, the Regents heard informational reports from Andy Burke, interim president of NMSU's Dona Ana Community College, and Bernadette Montoya, NMSU's vice president for student affairs.
Burke reported on activities planned for DACC's 40th anniversary, leadership transition committees, accreditation, a student enrollment profile and facilities planning. DACC will host a visit from the Higher Learning Commission in April 2014 for reaffirmation of the community college's accreditation.
Montoya gave an update on enrollment including giving the Regents a regional perspective on enrollment. NMSU enrollment was down 5.1 percent systemwide this fall. She indicated that there are multiple factors that impact enrollment; for example she said the number of high school graduates in New Mexico is the lowest it has been in four years.
The Regents also presented an Above & Beyond Award to Fred Lillibridge, associate vice president accreditation, compliance and planning for NMSU Dona Ana Community College. The Above & Beyond Award recognizes full-time employees who go the extra distance in service to any and all aspects of the NMSU system. Individuals are recognized for performance that goes "above and beyond" their regular responsibilities and for demonstrating a positive attitude that inspires others.
In a letter supporting the nomination, Bobbie Derlin said, "during the 20 years of our association, I have observed Fred to be actively engaged in ways that make the educational experiences of our students and the professional lives of our staff and faculty better. Fred's work has helped both NMSU-DACC and NMSU achieve recognition as a state and national leader supporting student achievement."