LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Former Republican Gov. Garrey Carruthers was selected Monday as the new president of New Mexico St[auth] ate University.
The NMSU Board of Regents voted 3-2 for Carruthers to lead the state’s second-largest four-year university.
Carruthers has been dean of NMSU’s College of Business since 2003. He was governor from 1987 to 1990.
Carruthers holds a doctorate degree in economics from Iowa State University. He received master’s and bachelor’s degrees from NMSU, and served as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Interior Department from 1981 to 1984.
Two regents supported Daniel Howard, who left NMSU in 2008 to become dean of the college of liberal arts and sciences at the University of College at Denver. Howard was a biology professor at NMSU and joined the faculty in 1988.
Other finalists were former Texas Tech University president Guy Bailey; former University of Nevada, Las Vegas, President David Ashley; and former Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano.
Barbara Couture resigned as NMSU president last fall without explanation after fewer than three years in the job. Former University of Missouri system president Manuel Pacheco has been serving as interim president.
NMSU’s main campus has an enrollment of more than 17,000 students and a yearly budget of more than $600 million. The university also has branch campuses in Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Grants and at Dona Ana Community College.
Regents chairman Mike Cheney voted for Carruthers, praising his broad experience in government and at the university as a faculty member, a financial donor and a former student.
“He represents as many stakeholders as I think we could expect one person to represent,” said Cheney. “I think that he’s a very positive individual who can help lead us into the next few years.”
Bailey is an English professor at the University of Alabama and served as its president for about two months, resigning last October because his wife was ill and he needed to help care for her. Bailey was president of Texas Tech for four years before leaving for the post in Alabama.
Ashley is an engineering professor at UNLV, and served as its president in 2006-2009. The Nevada Board of Regents demoted Ashley to the faculty after critics called him ineffective.
Murano was president of Texas A&M in 2008-2009. She was the first Hispanic and first woman to serve as the school’s president but left the post after a clash with the university system’s chancellor over a highly critical evaluation of her performance. Murano currently is interim director of an international agriculture institute at Texas A&M.
Murano was among the finalists for the presidency at the University of New Mexico when Bob Frank was selected for the job last year. UNM is the largest four-year university in New Mexico.