LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico State University interviewed the final candidate for president Wednesday.
Dr. Daniel Howard is currently Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a professor of integrative biology at the University of Colorado Denver, but spent 20 years of his career at NMSU.
"There's nothing like leaving a place for 5 years to help you understand what you've lost," Howard said.
Before leaving NMSU in 2008, Howard had worked in the biology department holding various positions ranging from professor, to head of the department and interim associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences.
He said even though he spent the last 5 years in Denver, he is still familiar with the challenges the university faces.
"We actually understand the southern part of the state and understand New Mexico," Howard said.
If selected for the position, Howard said he plans on working on building relationships with state legislators and getting to know as many of them as possible.
He said as a dean, his job is similar to that of a president when it comes to fundraising and said he felt he had gained that experience in his current role at Denver.
Howard said he plans on reaching out to the community and meeting as many people as possible to help regain trust in the university.
He said he see an opportunity to increase enrollment by targeting out of state students.
"Our out-of-state tuition here (NMSU) is low enough that there are some places where it's very comparable to in-state tuition," Howard said.
Howard also plans on better marketing the university if selected for the position.
The Board of Regents said they hope to name a president by commencement ceremonies that are scheduled for May 11th.
Regents have scheduled a meeting May 10th.
They are also asking for feedback  on each of the candidates.