Wismer, Chiravalle lead UNM-LA Advisory Board

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By Carol A. Clark

In a unanimous vote Monday evening, the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Advisory Board elected Michael Wismer their new chairman and Marie Chiravalle secretary."It's a challenging time for the university because of declining enrollment," Wismer said. "But we have a good board and good leadership at the college, and I'm sure we'll work through it. I look forward to an exciting year."Chiravalle indicates that she plans to follow established protocol and also expressed optimism. "I'm happy to serve," she said adding, "I look forward to it and I hope to make a difference."Immediate past chair Nelson Hoffman and board member Ron Dolin attended Monday's meeting. Linda Daly was absent.Following the election of officers, the board heard tuition fee status from Campus Resource Director Lisa Clough.The board voted 4-0 to increase tuition $1.50 per credit hour to a total of $47 per credit hour. The board also increased the credit hour rate for non-resident students by $5, which brings the total to $135."Last year we decided to take this in incremental steps...so it's not a burden all at one time," Chiravalle said. "Last year we raised tuition by $1, so I think we should go for the middle ground and raise it by $1.50."Before settling on $1.50, the board contemplated raising tuition, $1, $1.50 or $2 per credit hour."I think it's more important to offer the courses students need than to have the cheapest tuition," Hoffman said.The board also voted 4-0 to raise faculty salaries by 2 percent.Executive Director Cedric Page receives a couple of calls each week, he said, in which people are interested in becoming instructors. Page also told the board that while enrollment is on a downward trend, the outreach and marketing efforts to area high schools that the college has accomplished should pay off in the fall.The college will receive $400,000 in capital improvement funding included in Senate Bill 471, which Gov. Bill Richardson signed last week, Page said. The money will be used to remodel and renovate classrooms.The maintenance shop project is well underway, Page said. The old trailer has been removed and placed on a back lot while its ownership is sorted out. The new maintenance facility is on track to be completed by the 

June 30 deadline, he said.Results of the audit completed in November will be posted on the college web page by week's end, Page said. "We're on track to improve internal processes listed in the audit," he said. Page also mentioned that in the institution's ongoing effort for continual improvement, he is working with the Small Business Development Center and Quality New Mexico towards a Baldrige Quality award in the next three years. UNM-LA's strategic plan is scheduled for completion by June, Page said.Every 10 years the college must apply for accreditation, Page said, adding that the required documents are 95 percent complete and will be sent to the main campus at the University of New Mexico in time for the April deadline.In wrapping up Monday's meeting, Page told the board there have been no new hires and no internal changes since they last met in January. Searches will begin soon, he said, to fill the positions of technical support tech 1, Sandoval County Small Business Development Center manager, program manager for Adult Basic Education and also Adult Basic Education program coordinator.The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., April 7 in Lecture Hall, Building 2. The meeting is open to the public.