EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Ahead of a coming reorganization at New Mexico State University (NMSU), President John Floros made the announcement Friday afternoon that he will be officially stepping down.

According to Chancellor Arvizu, the position Dr. Floros held will not be replaced and Arvizu will assume both roles of Chancellor for the NMSU System, as well as President of the Las Cruces Campus.

Arvizu adds that regents are aware and support this move.

Friday afternoon, both Chancellor Arvizu and President Floros released statements about the change, as well as the accomplishments during his time at the university.

Below is Floros’ statement, followed by Arvizu’s.

After discussions with NMSU leadership, Chancellor Arvizu has decided to transition his administration to a new structure having one leader for both the university and the NMSU system. During the next few weeks, I will be helping the chancellor with this transition, before moving on to take a yearlong sabbatical.

Nearly four years ago, I accepted the NMSU regents’ invitation to serve as your president. Since then, I have worked closely with the regents, chancellor, leadership team, faculty, staff and students to make NMSU a better place for everyone.

Together, we have accomplished a lot:

  • We’ve put together an ambitious strategic plan – LEADS 2025 – with wide acceptance from every part of the university and the broader community. This plan has guided every one of our decisions and actions since 2018.
  • We’ve stabilized student enrollment – the best performance of any New Mexico university during the last few years – while also increasing student success, including retention and graduation rates and improving social mobility. Our students are more engaged with campus life, and they tell us that NMSU feels like home. All this progress helped us improve our national rankings. (Forbes ranked NMSU the best university in the state, while we also improved our rankings in the U.S. News and World Report and for social mobility.)
  • We’ve enhanced almost every aspect of our research enterprise, and as a result, we experienced increased research expenditures for the third consecutive year, higher graduate student and post-doc numbers, and significant progress toward R1 status.
  • We’ve strengthened outreach and Extension efforts to our industries, communities and citizens. Our outreach efforts reached into more homes, classrooms and businesses all over the state; our on-campus outreach efforts have been a magnet to people seeking intellectual, artistic and cultural outlets as well as opportunities to cheer on student-athletes.
  • We’ve now become a member of C-USA, an athletic conference that would allow NMSU to compete in all sports, including football, while receiving significantly increased financial benefits.
  • We’ve had some of the best years in fundraising, with near record annual donations and the highest ever university endowment.
  • We’ve intensified efforts to improve the working and learning environment for all students, faculty, and staff.

From our robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to improvements in compensation and benefits, to collaborative efforts for enhancing inclusion, equity and diversity, NMSU is a better university now than it was in 2018. 

Over the years, I have come to deeply appreciate how dedicated the faculty and staff of NMSU are in their drive to help students achieve their educational dreams and aspirations. It has been an honor to work with and serve you as your president since 2018. I wish you all the best as you begin a new chapter at NMSU.

Be Bold. Be Kind. Be Safe.

Go Aggies!


For his part, Chancellor Arvizu wrote an email and sent it to NMSU students and employees.

TO:  All NMSU Employees and Students   

FROM:  Dan E. Arvizu, NMSU System Chancellor

SUBJECT:  Our new transition

Earlier today, Dr. John Floros sent a note to campus announcing that he will be stepping down from his role as NMSU President. I thank Dr. Floros for all he has done to help advance our university mission during the past three and one-half years. He will continue to serve NMSU in an advisory capacity, as special assistant to the chancellor, through the next 30 days. He will then take a sabbatical.

Dr. Floros was hired in 2018 because he had a skillset that our university needed during a difficult time. The previous Board of Regents created the extra position of Las Cruces Campus President separate from the Chancellor position to help better address a number of urgent demands, which included declining enrollment and research expenditures, among others. The good news is, that investment has paid off, and we have accomplished our mission a year and a half ahead of schedule.

Our enrollment has stabilized and we are now in a better position than any other university in New Mexico. Additionally, our research operation has grown each of the last three years, with even more growth potential in the years to come. Other important milestones have been achieved as well, including: creation of our NMSU LEADS 2025 strategic plan; successfully leading the main campus approach during the COVID-19 pandemic; advancing our fundraising efforts; achieving conference stability for University Athletics; developing a strong growth strategy for NMSU Online; creating the Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity position for NMSU; and holding the groundbreaking for our new Ag Modernization projects.

Now, it’s time for our university to return to a more common leadership structure. The position Dr. Floros held will not be replaced. Instead, I will assume both roles of Chancellor for the NMSU System as well as President of the Las Cruces Campus. The Regents are aware and support this move.

Again, I want to thank Dr. Floros for everything he has done. He truly cares about our university, the success of our students and our land-grant mission. I appreciate everything he has done.

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