With the impending departure of two members of his executive team, New Mexico Highlands University President Jim Fries informed regents earlier this month that he hopes to have two new vice presidents on board by January.
Highlands Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Gilbert Rivera has been trying to retire from Highlands for some time. Sharon Caballero, the university’s executive director for advancement and head of the NMHU Foundation announced earlier this year that she would be retiring in December.
The university has previously tried to fill both its provost and vice president for advancement positions in the past, but it has not had much success.
Fries told regents at an Oct. 19 board meeting that the search for provost is well under way.
“The hope is to have someone here by Jan. 1,” he said.
Dean of Students Fidel Trujillo, who is heading that search committee said the university has a good pool of applicants.
The university has also been advertising for a vice president for advancement, and Fries said he is hopeful that position can also be filled by Jan. 1.
Fries told regents that once a vice president for advancement is hired, he wants to move the University Relations Department under that umbrella.
Fries also announced that he has appointed Max Baca interim vice president for finance and administration.
“He’s already on top of it,” the president told regents.
Baca is the university’s Information Technology Services director and has also been serving as a special assistant to Fries, overseeing a number of key projects such as the completion of the new Student Union Building.
Lawrence Trujillo, who had been overseeing the university’s finances, has left the university.