Candidates continue to visit ENMU-Ruidoso

By Todd Fuqua

Robert Munoz, left, talks with Coda Omness during a reception for the public to meet with Munoz, a candidate for the president at ENMU-Ruidoso. (Photo by Todd Fuqua)

RUIDOSO – The second of five ENMU-Ruidoso presidential candidates got a chance to visit with community members at the Mechem campus, Dec. 1.

Dr. Robert Munoz is currently Vice President of Community and Industry Education at Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus in Fort Worth, Texas.

He’s more than just from a campus one state over, he’s also very familiar with Ruidoso.

“I was born and raised in El Paso, and have been coming to Ruidoso since I was a kid,” Munoz said. “I was also here for Thanksgiving and we planned to come here for Spring Break.”

Munoz earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at UTEP, later earning his Master’s in counseling from Sul Ross University, plus a doctorate in Education Administration from Eastern New Mexico University.

As soon as Munoz told his wife about the job opening at ENMU-Ruidoso, his wife was was pretty clear about her thoughts.

“For my wife and I, this is like coming home, and we’d been keeping our eye on this position for some time,” Munoz said. “The minute my wife saw the opening, she told me I was applying.”

Munoz has experience at small community colleges, but he said the experience at ENMU-Ruidoso is very different from that in Fort Worth.

“It’s difficult to compare, because we took a corporate office and did a multi-million dollar renovation,” Munoz said of the Tarrant County campus. “That’s something public money couldn’t pay for. The difference is the closeness between the faculty and staff here.

“It is small, but it takes me back to my roots when I was a dean at Odessa and managing rural campuses in Pecos and Andrews and 13 counties,” Munoz said. “I was always working in smaller communities where we had a great impact, so the community here is very similar.”

There are three other candidates yet to be vetted by the search committee, the next one being Dr. Dennis Carstens from Washington state, Pierre Laroche of ENMU-Ruidoso and Dr. John Shannon at Indiana Tech. Carstens will meet with the public Dec. 4 at 5 p.m., while Laroche’s time is Dec. 5 and Shannon will arrive Dec. 7.

Once all the candidates have been interviewed, the search committee will make its recommendation to Dr. Jeff Elwell, president at ENMU-Portales, who has the final decision.

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