Sunday, December 26, 2010

Richardson Didn't Do It; WNMU Plans Graduate Program Expansion

I was going to post this item yesterday, but it seemed inappropriate to be crabby on Christmas Day.
The week is rife (“Rife” is journalist jargon meaning abundant or abounding.) with year-end and Richardson administration retrospectives. On Christmas Eve, The New Mexican posted an Associated Press interview with Gov. Richardson.
Two comments indicate the depth of delusion as the administration ends.
1. “Richardson contends the deficit isn't his fault and that New Mexico is in much better shape than other states.”
2. Quoting the Governor, "’I think we left the state in good shape. It's upbeat, positive, with more confidence and more possibilities for the future,’ he said.”
Then there is Western New Mexico University in Silver City, also in line for the delusion award. In a recent column I wrote about Western’s seeming proliferation of graduate degree programs in obscure topics. Amazingly, more will appear if the WNMU regents have their way.
A December 16 WNMU news release says, “At its December meeting, the Western New Mexico University Board of Regents approved a five-year academic plan for new degree programs.
“On the list includes six certificate programs, five associate degrees, two baccalaureate
degrees and 11 master degrees that will be proposed over the next five years.
“A doctorate degree (Ed.D.) in Leadership for Rural and Diverse Populations is scheduled for a 2011-2012 proposal. If approved, it would be the first doctorate degree offered at WNMU.”
Western’s total enrollment for the fall of 2009 was about 3,300, less than a large high school. The figure comes from Western’s online fact sheet. Note that the enrollment figures are more than a year old. The main campus had 2,600 students in the fall of 2009 with additional campuses in Deming, Gallup, Truth or Consequences and all of 31 students at the Lordsburg “campus.”
On the face of it, Western seems to offer an excellent example of the nonsensical proliferation among New Mexico’s universities. The University of New Mexico also has a campus in Gallup. The intuitive reaction is that UNM can run the Gallup location far more efficiently Western. For one thing, it’s much easier to get to Gallup from UNM’s main campus in Albuquerque, which is 140 miles from Gallup via I-40. Silver City is over 200 miles from Gallup with much of the route through the mountains.

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