New Mexico State University (NMSU) announced that Chancellor Dan Arvizu will be leaving his post when his contract expires in June, and that former NMSU President Jay Gogue will be taking over as interim chancellor effective immediately. The decision to part ways with Arvizu comes after a tumultuous tenure marked by controversy and financial struggles.
Arvizu, who had previously served as director emeritus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and senior adviser to the social-change organization Energy Foundation, was originally hired in 2018 with the promise of boosting NMSU’s research and development efforts. However, his tenure was plagued by criticism from faculty members and students, who accused him of being out of touch with the needs of the university and making decisions without proper consultation.
In March 2023, a report by the New Mexico state auditor revealed that NMSU had mishandled over $10 million in funds, including over $8 million in federal grant money, under Arvizu’s leadership. The report cited “poor oversight” and “lack of proper internal controls” as contributing factors to the mismanagement.
In response to the report, NMSU’s Board of Regents authorized campus administration to begin the search for a new leader, and Gogue was named interim chancellor. Gogue had previously served as NMSU’s president from 2000 to 2003, and had helped lead the university through a period of financial stability and growth.
In a statement, Gogue stated his commitment to rebuilding trust and transparency at NMSU, and to working collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students to address the university’s challenges. He also emphasized the importance of continuing to make progress on research and development initiatives, while also ensuring that NMSU remains accessible and affordable to all students.
The search for a permanent chancellor is expected to begin in the coming months, and will be conducted with input from faculty, staff, students, and community leaders. In the meantime, Gogue’s experience and leadership will be crucial in stabilizing NMSU’s finances and restoring the confidence of the university’s stakeholders.