President

Southeast New Mexico College - Carlsbad, NM

Presidential Profile

The Board of Trustees invites nominations and applications for the first President of Southeast New Mexico College (SENMC). In 2021 the New Mexico state legislature passed a bill allowing the Carlsbad campus of New Mexico State University to separate as an independent community college following overwhelmingly strong support from the community. SENMC will retain its current facilities, with the expectation to grow and expand the campus and the diversity of programs offered. When the separation occurred from the University, the College secured substantial funding to expand, and a local bond provides approximately $14 million a year in operating revenue.

The College

The first President of SENMC will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with the newly elected Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students, and the community to establish educational and administrative policies and practices that will best serve SENMC, its students, and the community.

Initially established in 1950 as the Carlsbad Instructional Center, SENMC has become a valued asset to the community in providing affordable academic opportunities, career, and technical education. SENMC serves nearly 1,200 students each semester throughout Eddy County and beyond. The President will serve an integral role in the expansion of the College’s academic and workforce programs in coordination with its accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). SENMC exists in the major oil and gas production and nuclear waste repository area of the Permian Basin and is focused on developing a state-of-the-art Energy program and facility. Additionally, in 2020 and 2021 we had the #1 ranked nursing program in New Mexico according to RegisteredNursing.org.

SENMC is committed to providing a diverse, inclusive, and accessible learning environment for all students. As a proud Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), the student population is over 50% Hispanic or Latino. In 2016 SENMC received over $4 million in federal funds to increase STEM program accessibility for Hispanic and lower-income students, in addition to advancing graduation rates among Hispanic or Latino students. In 2018 the College received another $2.7 million dollar grant from the Department of Education to fund an HSI initiative titled Adelante, a program designed to improve success and completion. The efforts demonstrate SENMC’s dedication to pursuing high completion and transfer rates through action and innovation.

Following passage from the state legislature, New Mexico residents will be able to attend public college tuition free as a commitment to bridge educational accessibility. SENMC will serve as a guiding example in this effort by implementing policies to increase student access and engagement. Currently, the College serves as a leader in the state on tuition costs, providing a tuition rate that is among the lowest in both New Mexico and throughout the region.

The Community

SENMC is located in Carlsbad, the seat of Eddy County, which has approximately 37,000 residents. The College maintains strong partnerships with key employers, including the petroleum, mining, and nuclear industries. Both the state and county are committed to the economic development of Carlsbad, as demonstrated by the support and draw of business, tourists, and residents. The city resides in the Chihuahua Desert and lies 260 miles southeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico and 170 miles east of El Paso, Texas.

Within 60 miles of Carlsbad there are two national parks, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park and the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. In addition to the Caverns, Carlsbad is in close proximity to Lincoln National Forest and also hosts the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park, Sitting Bull Falls, Brantley Lake State Park, and the Pecos River, which runs through the heart of the town and forms Lake Carlsbad.

The Position

SENMC is seeking its inaugural President to lead the College with strategic vision with thoughtful collaboration, to secure its reputation as a premier higher education institution within New Mexico.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Complete the transition from a from a branch college of NMSU to a fully independent community college; increase student enrollment, retention, and completion; grow degree and certificate offerings to meet student and workforce needs.
  • Elevate SENMC’s visibility to become the first-choice higher education institution throughout the region.
  • Build a strategic vision in collaboration with the Board of Trustees and College employees.
  • Develop policies and procedures that streamline business and education processes and align with campus needs, including the completion and full implementation of the ERP system.
  • Establish dual enrollment programs, articulation and transfer agreements, and other educational partnership opportunities.
  • Expand the nursing program, allied health, and industrial vocational programs
  • Align partnerships with regional businesses and respond to the changing needs of business and industry.
  • Advance facilities and instructional technology to better meet the needs of all students and employees.
  • Create opportunities to attract and retain committed and innovative faculty and staff.

Ideal Characteristics:

  • A mission-driven leader dedicated to open access education, serving all students.
  • A community-wide ambassador who will bridge relationships between the community and college with innovation and openness.
  • Excellent communicator who has the capacity to build and support relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders, including students and employees.
  • An advocate and champion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) who creates a learning environment built on accessibility and closing the equity gap.
  • Understands the unique needs of serving a rural population.
  • Accomplished financial manager with a strong record of aligning budgets with strategic goals and managing resources responsibly.
  • An entrepreneurial fundraiser who had experience working with foundations and philanthropic organizations.
  • An advocate who has experience working with a state legislature and government officials at local, state, and national levels.
  • Proficient knowledge and support in using current and emerging educational technology.
  • An educator who has experience working with K-12 districts and developing articulation agreements and early college programs.
  • A unifier who has experience working with a governing board.
  • A collaborative leader who builds consensus and seeks input from all constituents.
  • An approachable leader who fosters a deep sense of community and encourages all employees to continuously focus on the College’s mission and student success.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A highly experienced higher education administrator who has experience developing rigorous academic, workforce, and technical education programs.
  • Master’s Required. An earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution is highly preferred.
  • 5 – 10 years of progressive leadership experience in higher education.
  • Strong experience leading regional accreditation.
  • Proven track record of building community relationships.


Posted On: Monday, May 16, 2022



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