Mesalands Community College
Tucumcari, New Mexico
Mesalands Community College is a small, residential, rural Hispanic-Serving Institution designated by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and Standard Pathway-HLC accredited comprehensive community college. MCC, a Rural-Serving Institution, is also involved in several major national student success initiatives including League of Innovation, Complete College America, American Council on Education, Rural Community College Alliance, Educational Advising Board, American Community College Trustees, Mountain States Community College Association, New Mexico Independent Community Colleges, Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services and Project Success of the US Department of Education and ECMC. MCC serves Quay County and northeast New Mexico and is a National Junior College Athletic Association Division I institution, as well as the National Junior College Athletic Association eSports, and the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. MCC is the home of the New Mexico Center for Innovation for Renewable Energy, North American Wind Research and Training Center, and Mesalands College Dinosaur Museum and Natural Sciences Laboratory. The college serves a very high number of minority, under-prepared, and Native American students along with a disproportionate number of low-income, first-generation, and students with English as a second language. MCC is ranked 9th Best Community College in the US (CNBC) and 7th Most Affordable College (Wallethub).
About the President
The President shall act as the Chief Executive Officer of Mesalands Community College, with responsibility for initiating, guiding, and directing activities which are necessary to fulfill the mission of the College.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Interpret and enforce Board policy statements, recommending any changes necessary to maintain a sound operation of the College.
- Represent and speak for the Board of Trustees and the College at the community, state, and federal levels, lending influence to the development of local, state, and national educational policies.
- Recommend to the Board personnel actions which are responsible and fair and in the best interest of the College and the community.
- Develop and, upon approval of the Board, administer an annual budget. Initiate and maintain programs and services within the institution which fulfill the mission of the College to the greatest possible extent.
- Interpret the College to the community and the governing Board and, conversely, interpret the community to the governing Board and the College.
- Perform the above duties in a manner which strengthens the coordination and cooperation of all organizational components of the College.
- In an effort to promote and enhance the College, the Board of Trustees authorizes and directs the President to participate in regional and national activities, as well as host local guests and visitors for the benefit of the College.
- Actively participate in fundraising.
- The President is encouraged to participate in activities, both at the state and national levels that advocate for and influence legislation that benefit the College.
Select Significant Leadership Accomplishments (Since my appointment May 1, 2021):
- Redesign of college structure and function into a matrix organization which resulted in a 100% increase in Summer 2021 enrollment, a 388% increase in Fall 2021 enrollment, and a 266% increase of student success comparing Fall 2020 to Fall 2021.
- Developed a very data driven strategic enrollment pipeline integrated with the Chief of Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Accreditation as well as a new Creative Team (marketers, advertisers, webmasters, social medial specialists, graphic designers, copy writers and reporters)
- Supported athletics by joining the NJCAA and the NJCAAe and adding three new sports for Fall 2022.
- Created a Division of Student Support for Marginalized Students that tracks all students and introduces initiatives and interventions to support retention and student success
- Created the Center for Global Education and Multicultural Studies
- Added an Hispanic and Multicultural Gallery to showcase student and local resident art as well as local Navajo silversmithing
- Earned the College the designation of Excelencia in Education for above and beyond commitment to Hispanic student success and I received the designation as a President for Hispanic Student Success from Excelencia in Education.
- Expanded the college footprint to include serve to rural northeast New Mexico and greater service to the tribal nations of the regions indigenous peoples
- Developed the region’s first Center for Workforce Development
- Expanded broadband education into rural New Mexico
- Quadrupled the number of general education faculty
- Increased the ratio of doctoral-level faculty and staff to one of highest per capita in New Mexico
- Expanded the North American Wind Research and Training Center into the New Mexico Center for Innovation for Renewable Energy
- Developed the first Health Sciences Center
- Conducted a faculty and staff compensation and classification study that resulted in increased salaries for all employees on average of $15,000 per employee while bringing more than $600,000 in institutional savings without reductions-in-force or a flurry of retirements
- Represented Mesalands and the needs of HSI and RSI colleges twice before Congress resulting in members of Congress visiting MCC to learn more about renewable energy.
- Entered into an agreement with the US Forestry Service to house and domesticate wild mustangs from national forests to prevent over-population and starvation of the animals.
- Developed a modern budget and fiscal system for the College.
- Began a $1.2 million dollar renovation to expanded student services.
- Added leadership for Student Support for Marginalized Students and leadership for Hispanic Outreach to the Executive level leadership team.
- Implemented a college structural model that does not follow the traditional silos of colleges and universities but functions on a matrix which drives the strategic goals of student success, student access, and prudent use of resources across all aspects of the organization.
- Introduced a quad-model of course modality to provide more options for students to engage with a more flexible approach to the College and to increase retention and persistence.
- Created Competency-based Learning for both credit and noncredit courses.
- Created a bifurcated concurrent enrollment program to deliver education and training in high schools that create tracks for college-going students and career-technology-trades students with industry certifications as outcomes.
- Created a University Center on campus in collaboration with university partners to create a baccalaureate option for all graduates of Mesalands and further opportunities for both master’s and doctoral degrees.
- Created Mesalands’ first Honors College
- Created the region’s first business incubator which is currently housed by several new business, one of which the College provides noncredit training for their scores and scores of employees.
- Returned the CDL training program to Mesalands and secured exclusive training rights to most of eastern New Mexico and western Texas.
- Introduced Guided Pathways and the many subset aspects of best practices associated.
- Greatly expanded the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum and Natural Science Laboratory by acquiring a new, large Triassic vertebrate collection.
- Began the transition for the College to enter wave two of the Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services scheduled for Fall 2022
- Created the College’s first Food Pantry, Mother’s Room (to provide place for nursing mothers), mental health services, and a special veterans space in collaboration with the local VFW.
- Quadrupled the Emergency Student Fund and continue to provide all students with laptop computers (and hotspots if there in rural areas without broadband internet)
- Completed the College 10-year Master Plan
- Hosted state and national government leaders as well as the nation’s leaders of student success and improving Hispanic and Native American student success
- Partnering with local restaurants of historic Tucumcari, developed a meal program for residential students
- Acquired corporate sponsorships for Mesalands from Pepsi and Under Amour producing new revenue streams for the College
- Changed the name and the colors of the College to better reflect the evolving mission and physical facilities of the campus
- Added a new Small Business Development Center