It actually is a dilemma. The closer someone is to a college, the more likely they are to attend, but it also adds to the expenses when more sites are added. New Mexico is not dense enough in population to support great access.
Too many and too many branches. But for many of the communities in which they're located it's a big deal as it means more people on the government tit.
And yet you want to keep NMSU Football and Coach Martin at all costs... I'm all for letting Western, Highlands, Tech, and all the branches go. Community Colleges can be paid for by property taxes like they are in Arizona and other states. I was in Silver City on business this past week. What a waste. 90 miles from Aggie Nation...this is where these students need to be going. If you only state fund three universities like Arizona does, then there will be better funding for the Lottery Scholarship, better budgets for UNM, NMSU, and Eastern, have NMSU go back to basics as the true Engineering and Agriculture School, and overall budgets can be managed better. Currently, the higher ed is spread to thin and the quality is going down at the true main campuses on all levels due the budget constraints. Just my thoughts.