ENMU Board of Regents names new officers

By Mickey Winfield: Freedom New Mexico

The Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents named new officers at its regular meeting Friday morning.

Outgoing board President Jay Gurley officially handed the gavel to his successor, Alva Carter.

Gurley spoke about the productive relationship he has had with the university and specifically with ENMU president Steven Gamble.

“I’m honored to have served,” Gurley said. “I think there’s been a lot accomplished — not because of my actions, but because of Dr. Gamble’s leadership.”

Gurley said he was proud of the many improvements on campus in the last several years.

“(We’ve) probably had more building going on than has occurred in the last 20 years on campus,” Gurley said. “It was good to be a part of that and have the opportunity to make some improvements of projects as well as policies that advance the institution.”

Gurley also said he was proud of the recent enrollment numbers at ENMU and said he believes Carter will use his many years in the Portales area to benefit the ENMU Board of Regents.

“Regent Carter is a life-long resident of eastern New Mexico,” Gurley said. “He’s lived in Portales for the last 40-plus years. He has a very keen interest in not only the university but also the community. As a result of that, I think he’ll do an excellent job. He’ll give the institution his continued support. He’s done it financially, he’s done it with his free time. We think he’ll be an excellent addition.”

“It’s a great honor, but it’s going to be very difficult to follow Dr. Gurley’s expertise,” Carter said. “With the help of the board of regents, I hope I will be an asset to the community.”

Carter also made it clear what direction he believes the university is headed in the next several years.

“Our president wants to offer an education to our students at a very low cost but very high quality,” Carter said. “If you look at the other colleges, I think we rank near the top.”

Former board secretary-treasurer Pauline Ponce was elected to take Carter’s former position of board vice president and student regent Charles Britton will serve as the board’s new secretary-treasurer.