New Mexico Governor signs independent Carlsbad college bill

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 212, also known as “Remaking NMSU Carlsbad branch campus into an independent College,” on April 7.

HB 212 creates the Southeast New Mexico College effective July 1, 2021. It was passed in the New Mexico House and New Mexico Senate during the 2021 regular legislative session, along with its companion bill Senate Bill 236. 

“I could not be more pleased with the outcome,” said New Mexico Rep. Cathrynn Brown who sponsored HB 212.

“While we will always honor New Mexico State University as an excellent institution of higher education and we are thankful for our many years of alliance with the NMSU system, the coming change will be markedly beneficial. The reorganizing of the Carlsbad branch into an independent community college will allow for a more focused attention to local needs. Students will benefit from expanded course offerings. Faculty and staff will be eligible for more competitive salaries and will receive professional development support. Local employers will have more of a say in how the college undertakes to meet current and future workforce needs.

News:Senate passes SB 236 to create an independent college from NMSU Carlsbad

Rep. Cathrynn Brown before the New Mexico House Education Committee Feb. 24 as it heard House bill 212 which would allow for the separation of the NMSU Carlsbad branch from the NMSU system in order to become an independent college.

” In a nutshell, having governance closer to home will increase responsiveness to community needs and put ‘community’ back into the operation of the community college.” 

Both the Senate and House bills call for the transfer of “all functions, personnel, appropriations, money, records, equipment, supplies, grants, real and other property” to an elected five-member Board of Trustees. The legislation excludes the Carlsbad environmental monitoring and research center which shared the Carlsbad campus from transfer.