RUIDOSO – The search was on for a new president at Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso, as current president Dr. Clayton Allred has stated he will step down as soon as a successor is named.
“I’ve been at ENMU for eight years, the best job I’ve ever had,” Allred said. “I’ve had 41 years in education, and I think that’s enough.”
Five candidates visited the campus during the week of Nov. 27-Dec. 7, although really only four candidates “visited.” One was Pierre Laroche, currently serving as Vice President of Student Learning at ENMU-Ruidoso. Laroche earned bachelor’s degrees in English and Philosophy and his master’s degree in English from New Mexico State University. He is working on his Ph.D. Rhetoric and Professional Communication from New Mexico State University.
The first to visit from out of town was Dr. Bradford Williams, the vice president for student services at Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communication, marketing and a master’s degree in human resource administration from East Central University, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Oklahoma State University, followed closely by Dr. Robert Munoz.
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.”
Another candidate for the job was Dr. John Shannon, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Indiana Tech. Dr. Shannon earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at State University of New York at Plattsburgh, master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a Ph.D. in Foreign and Second Language Education The Ohio State University.
Finally, there was Dr. Dennis Carstens, serving as Strategy & Special Projects Associate for Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Dr. Carstens earned bachelor’s degree in German and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Oklahoma State University and Ph.D in Higher Education Admin: Community College Leadership Program from The University of Texas at Austin.
Retired veterinarian Lynn Willard headed the search committee, which interviewed and evaluated each candidate in depth before giving the final recommendation to Dr. Jeff Elwell, ENMU-Portales President, who has the final say.