NMSU Graduate School without dean after new system rearrangement, provost runs school

LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu makes changes to administration as sole leader after President John Floros resigned on Friday.

As part of Arvizu’s organizational changes, Vice President of Research, Creativity and Strategic Initiatives, Luis Cifuentes, now heads the Office of Research, Creativity and Strategic Initiatives, replacing Cifuentes as dean of the Graduate School.

Cifuentes had previously served as vice president of research, but according to spokesperson Justin Bannister he is dealing with a few other areas, hence the change in title. Cifuentes only became Dean of the Graduate School when Floros and Arvizu were hired in 2018. Now, with another change of leadership, his title has changed again.

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Now the Graduate School has no dean. The remainder of the support staff will report directly to the Acting President and Vice President for Student Success, Renay Scott.

“The most recent realignment actually makes, I think, a little more sense for the university that the graduate school be supervised by the provost,” Bannister said. “The provost oversees all the different colleges, all the deans report to her.”

There are still discussions about whether to replace Cifuentes with another dean or not. The university is experiencing a realignment of administrative administrators, but Arvizu said on Monday that there would be not be a major hire in the near future.

“We have key people to fill the key functions,” Arvizu told the Sun-News. “I don’t need to hire anyone else, we have the people we need for the functions we have. And now the system is starting to stabilize a bit.”

For now, it will be under Scott’s leadership.

“I thank Dean Cifuentes for his services,” Scott said in a letter Wednesday. Additionally, the doctoral school’s accomplishments are a testament to its dedicated staff and the hard work of Retired Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies Luis Vazquez and Associate Dean Denise Esquibel, who helped direct doctoral school during this period.

“I look forward to working with the Graduate School, the President and members of the Graduate Council, as well as the management and members of the Graduate Student Council. “

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