I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Meet NMSU’s next interim president — Manuel Pacheco
The New Mexico State University Board of Regents are expected to name Manuel T. Pacheco, a former university president in Arizona, Missouri and elsewhere, as NMSU’s interim president at a special meeting on Tuesday, sources familiar with the search process confirmed.
Pacheco is a former president of the University of Arizona and the University of Missouri System, and served as interim president at his alma matter, New Mexico Highlands University, for a time earlier this decade after the school’s Manny Aragon era ended.
The NMSU regents meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday on the main campus in Las Cruces. Click here for the meeting’s agenda.
Pacheco isn’t interested in and won’t be allowed to apply for the permanent president job at NMSU, the sources said. That’s a key point because of the situation he’s stepping into as he replaces Waded Cruzado in the interim job.
Cruzado was named interim president last summer after Michael Martin left to be chancellor at Louisiana State University’s main campus in Baton Rouge. Ultimately, the regents scrapped their search for a permanent president last November after spending more than $100,000.
Some said the search was hampered because campus support for Cruzado created an appearance of a done deal and discouraged potential outside candidates from applying. That included a brunch held in Cruzado’s honor that was hosted by Regent Laura Conniff. Invitations called Cruzado the “first female president of NMSU.”
The replacing of Cruzado with Pacheco in the interim job coincides with the restarting of the search for a permanent president. Regents say moving Cruzado out of the interim job is an attempt to ensure a strong field of applicants and give all, including Cruzado if she wants to apply, an equal shot at the permanent job.
Pacheco, who is 67 and currently lives in Arizona, is on the board of directors for PNM Resources. In addition to serving as president at the land-grant colleges in Arizona and Missouri, he is a former president of the University of Houston and Laredo State University.
He earned his bachelor’s from Highlands in 1962. He has a master’s from University of Montpellier and a doctorate in foreign language education from Ohio State University.
The University of Missouri System gives out an annual leadership award that’s named for Pacheco.