In an historic gathering in Las Cruces on September 9, the Board of Regents of New Mexico State University hosted the Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico to talk business and pledge cooperation.

Symbolic of the collaborative spirit referred to often in the meeting, both boards unanimously approved the Cooperative Pharmacy program, which seeks to alleviate the shortage of pharmacists in southern New Mexico currently at twice the national average. The collaborative six-year program will feature joint recruitment of students from the largely rural south who would attend NMSU for two years, UNM for the next three years and then finish their last year of work at NMSU, doing pharmacy rotations in Las Cruces.

The proposed $516,250 budget for Cooperative Pharmacy would fund ten students and includes $150,000 in scholarships. Both boards pledged to put the program on their lists of legislative priorities and work together to seek the funding from the 2007 legislature.

Regents also endorsed development of a plan to work cooperatively on other joint programs of interest during the upcoming legislative session. UNM Regents President Jamie Koch predicted that NMSU's programs, such as its hotel/restaurant/hospitality management, will soon be taught on the UNM campus.

During a wide-ranging discussion of curriculum opportunities and funding needs, the boards heard that the business school deans from the two universities are discussing the exchange of graduate students and are developing, along with New Mexico Tech, a Ph.D. program in the management of technology.

The boards endorsed creation of a task force of representatives from UNM, NMSU and Central New Mexico Community College to develop the academic framework for UNM's proposed full-service campus in Rio Rancho. UNM acting president David Harris told regents of plans for a design workshop this fall which will begin work on a master plan for the Rio Rancho campus. Being in the projected future center of Rio Rancho, Harris said the UNM campus will be an anchor site, so the commitment is to plan a campus where everyone will be happy to work and visit.


Contact: Lauren Cruse, 272-3322