CCC pres to head up education task force

By Michelle Seeber

Dr. Beverlee McClure, president of Clovis Community College, has been named vice chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education, Pahl Shipley, a spokesman for Gov. Bill Richardson, said Friday.
A news conference announcing the formation of the task force was held Friday afternoon at the Capitol in Santa Fe with members of the task force, Richardson and former Gov. Toney Anaya, Shipley said.
McClure could not be reached Friday for comment.
The task force is made up of a diverse group of 30 New Mexicans who will tackle an agenda to help improve higher education in New Mexico, according to a news release from Richardson’s office.
During the news conference, Richardson said, “The task force will help me ensure New Mexico’s college and university students are receiving the best possible education.”
Richardson also said it would help him ensure “the $1.5 billion New Mexico spends annually on higher education is being spent efficiently and effectively.”
The task force’s goal is to extend the governor’s education reform initiatives to higher education and create a comprehensive education system with a strategy for students from kindergarten through 16 years old and eventually early childhood through graduate school.
Shipley said former Gov. Anaya will be chairman of the task force, which includes educators, representatives from the business community, students and others.
Included in task force’s mission are:
• Evaluation and expansion on the recommendations of the Governor’s Progress Agenda.
• Development of major strategies to increase efficiency and accountability.
• Evaluation of the role of the Commission on Higher Education and recommendation of any changes.
• Examination of the roles of two-year and four-year institutions and determination of the effects of their rapid expansion into communities across the state.
• Study of tuition rates, financial aid opportunities and evaluation of the higher education funding formula.
At Richardson’s direction, the Commission on Higher Education already has begun an in-depth look at ways to build on the success of the Lottery Scholarship Program, Shipley said.
“The task force will evaluate the CHE findings and look for ways to expand Lottery Scholarship opportunities for New Mexicans, including low-income students,” Shipley said.
The task force will report its findings to Richardson by Dec. 1, Shipley said.