PRESS RELEASE - March 19, 2004
Office of The Governor
Capitol Bldg., 4th Floor
Santa Fe, NM 87503

Pahl Shipley
(505) 476-2202

Governor Bill Richardson Appoints Task Force to Evaluate and Improve Higher Education in New Mexico

Santa Fe - Governor Bill Richardson today announced the formation of the Governor's Task Force on Higher Education, a diverse group of 30 New Mexicans who will tackle a tough agenda to help improve higher education in New Mexico.

“My charge to this task force is direct and daunting,” said Governor Richardson. “The task force will help me ensure New Mexico’s college and university students are receiving the best possible education, and help me ensure the one point five billion dollars New Mexico spends annually on higher education is being spent efficiently and effectively.”

The goal of the task force is to extend the Governor’s education reform initiatives to higher education - New Mexico’s colleges and universities - and create a seamless, comprehensive education system, with a strategy for students from K through 16, and ultimately early childhood through graduate school.

Former Governor Toney Anaya will Chair The Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education, which includes educators, representatives from the business community, students, and other concerned, committed New Mexicans.

· Task force members will evaluate and expand on the recommendations of the Governor’s Progress Agenda (GPA),
· They will develop major strategies to increase efficiency and accountability,
· They will evaluate the role of the Commission on Higher Education, and recommend any necessary changes,
· The task force will examine the roles of two-year, and four year institutions, and determine the effects of their rapid expansion into communities across the state, and
· Members will look at tuition rates, financial aid opportunities, and evaluate the higher education funding formula.
· At Governor Richardson’s direction, the Commission on Higher Education has already begun an in-depth look at ways to build on the success of the Lottery Scholarship Program. The task force will evaluate the CHE findings, and look for ways to expand Lottery Scholarship opportunities for New Mexicans, including low-income students.

“This is a bold, broad agenda,” Governor Richardson added. “But it is absolutely necessary if we are to create a system of education, and higher education that is able to make sure graduating high school students are prepared for college, make sure that every student has the opportunity to attend college, and make sure that every college student has the best possible opportunity to graduate.”

The Task Force will report their findings and recommendations to the Governor by December 1.

Governor’s Task Force in Higher Education

Governor Toney Anaya - Chairman
Beverlee McClure - Vice Chair
Gerald Peters - Vice Chair
Veronica Garcia
Jackie Riggs
Terri Cole
Kathy Allen
Carolyn Monroe
Don Chalmers
Elmer Salazar
Bill Garcia
Tony Trujillo
Chuck Montano
Letitia Chambers
Susan McGuire
Miriam Meyer
John Loehr
Richard Peck
Franz Renz
Bob Moulton
Lawrence Lattman
Kathy Beardon
Matthew Padilla
Della Warrior
Joe Abeyta
Joe Sando
Andrea Cook
Michael Saavedra
Anne Uhring
Van Romero