ENMU receives $960,000 in tech money

ALBUQUERQUE – Eastern New Mexico University at Portales has been awarded almost $960,000 secured by U.S. Senator Pete Domenici to allow the school to make technological upgrades to it’s computer, telecommunications and multi-media classrooms.

The $957,967 grant derives from an earmark secured by Domenici, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, during the FY2008 appropriations process. Of this funding, ENMU will use $694,942 to upgrade its telecommunications system, $248,850 for computer technology upgrades, and $14,175 to convert a classroom into a “multi-media smart classroom.”

“These funds will work to allow Eastern to access the equipment it needs to keep pace with technological advances. ENMU is a key institution in eastern New Mexico and many residents in the region rely on it for the education and training they need to compete in today’s economy. My work on this funding request was propelled with this understanding,” Domenici said. “I’m pleased the U.S. Department of Education has released these funds so they can be put to good use.”

Domenici initially secured the ENMU funding through the DoED’s “Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education” as part of the FY2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill. It eventually became law as part of an omnibus appropriations bill last December.

Domenici sought the funding to allow ENMU to equip multimedia classrooms, upgrade computer labs with 240 new computers and 140 new monitors, replacement of out-of-date file servers, telecommunications enhancements, and equipment for a foreign language laboratory.

ENMU is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) with a high population of first-generation college attendees. The majority of its students are drawn from some of the lowest-income counties in the state, and 80 percent of ENMU students receive some level of financial assistance.

The grant has been issued to cover a three-year period through June 30, 2011.