Las Cruces – New Mexico State University Regent Laura Conniff was elected to serve as chair of the Board of Regents at a regular meeting of the board Monday, March 14.
Regent Isaac Pino was elected vice chair and new Regent Christopher Dulany secretary/treasurer. They will serve in these roles for one year.
All of the regents expressed thanks to Regent Pino for his leadership as chair during the past year.
"Thank you for a great year of service to this board. You have been a true leader and have served the university well," said Regent Javier Gonzales.
Pino expressed his thanks for the support he received this past year.
"Thank you for the opportunity. It has been a great experience and an honor to represent the board at university functions," Pino said.
Conniff, who has previously served the board as chair, is a broker and co-owner of Mathers Realty Inc. and co-owner of Leveldale Farms and Conniff F Cross Farm.
Pino serves the City of Santa Fe as director of both the Department of Public Works and the Community Services Department. Dulany, who is newly seated as the student regent on the board, is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in business with an emphasis in finance.
The five-member board also includes Gonzales, who has 15 years experience as a leader in a broad range of projects in the public and private arenas, and Regent Mike Cheney, also newly seated, who is the regional bank president in southern New Mexico for Wells Fargo Bank.
The Regents also presented the first Above & Beyond Award to Ralph Lucero Sr., supervisor of the plumbing shop in the Office of Facilities and Services.
The new Above & Beyond award recognizes full-time employees who go the extra distance in service to any and all aspects of the NMSU system. Individuals will be recognized for performance that goes "above and beyond" their regular responsibilities and for demonstrating a positive attitude that inspires others.
Lucero was honored for leading the efforts of the OFS plumbing shop in response to the many water pipes that froze and burst due to the cold weather and electrical power outages experienced in early February. Lucero supervises about 16 employees who are responsible for the plumbing in all instruction and general fund buildings, the potable water and wastewater systems, and the natural gas distribution piping on the Las Cruces campus. During the challenging winter weather, Lucero and his team logged 295 staff hours, which represents seven "man weeks" logged in just three days. Lucero coordinated the response and was responsible for the successful resolution of numerous plumbing repairs. The plumbing shop staff also jumped in to help with fire sprinkler system failures.
"Mr. Lucero is looked up to and respected as a leader by those who know and work with him," said Glen Haubold, assistant vice president of facilities, who nominated Lucero for the award.
In other business, the Regents approved the addition of the NMSU Heritage Preservation Plan to the university's Master Plan. The heritage plan identifies and discusses the historically significant buildings, structures, landscapes and objects located on the NMSU campus; and offers recommendations for maintenance and preservation of these properties in accordance with established preservation practices. The heritage plan is intended to supplement the Master Plan and work in concert with the overall goals of that plan.