Michael Martin selected as NMSU president

The Board of Regents of New Mexico State University today (Monday, March 22, 2004) selected Michael V. Martin, vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the University of Florida, as the next president of NMSU.

"Dr. Martin is a vital, energetic individual with the vision to lead NMSU to greatness," said Regent Laura Conniff, who chaired the presidential search committee. "Mike and his wife Jan have led a life that exemplifies a commitment to diversity. His outstanding fund-raising ability and belief in the land-grant mission are two of his numerous qualifications."

The vote by the five-member board was unanimous. Martin is expected to assume the position by July 1.

"I was trying to think to the last time I was this nervous," Martin said as he was introduced following the vote. "Probably it was the day I got married ... and this I suspect is very much like that, a marriage."

Martin, 57, has been a vice president at the University of Florida since 1998. He said he has enjoyed his five and a half years there and would not leave "if I didn't think this was an exciting, challenging, interesting and ultimately extremely rewarding place to finish one's career, and that's what I intend to do – finish my career here."

Martin stressed his commitment to service. "I believe in the land-grant mission, I believe in public higher education, I believe in diversity as part of excellence," he said.

Regents praised William V. Flores for the job he has done as both interim president and provost since last July, when then-President Jay Gogue was selected as president and chancellor at the University of Houston.

"Interim President Flores has done a terrific job," said Regent James Manatt. "It's my hope that you will see fit to stay with us."

Flores, who was one of five finalists for the presidency, congratulated Martin after the meeting. "I wish him the best," he said. "This is a great institution. I have enjoyed serving as interim president. I think we have accomplished great things this past year and I look forward to even more things as we go forward."

Board of Regents President Bob Gallagher said the board expects to offer Martin a five-year contract. "I think that is the first step in assuring longevity and continuity in the office of president," he said.

At a reception following the board meeting, Martin said he and his wife "genuinely look forward to really becoming part of the Aggie family and this community and citizens of this state."

He added: "I'm humbled, I'm excited, I must tell you I'm a little scared, but all that energy will help propel this institution and all who care about it to exactly where we want to be."

Before becoming vice president at the University of Florida, Martin was the vice president for agricultural policy and the dean of the college of agricultural, food and environmental sciences at the University of Minnesota.

He received his bachelor's degree in business and economics and his master's in economics at Mankato State College in Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. in applied economics in 1977 from the University of Minnesota.

His areas of academic specialization are marketing, prices, international trade and public policy.

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