Las Cruces, NM (KTSM) — New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu stepped down on Friday, April 7, several months before the end of his contract.
Back in December, the NMSU Board of Regents decided that Arvizu’s contract would not be renewed. However, his contract wasn’t up until June 30, 2023.
“They announced that he was not going to be renewed but that he would at least be continuing through his term and if he’s resigning now, when it’s not far away, it’s already April. It’s two months out. It strikes me as weird, especially with everything else that has happened this year at the university,” said Jacob Ritzke, a sophomore majoring in aerospace and mechanical engineering.
The news of Arvizu stepping down comes after months of bad headlines for NMSU.
Back in May 2022, Dan Arvizu’s wife, Sheyrl, was arrested for battery after officers were called to the Arvizus’ home. Sheyrl Arvizu had suspicions that her husband was having an affair, which he denied. The charges were later dismissed.
Then in November of 2022, New Mexico State men’s basketball player Mike Peake was involved in a deadly shooting at the University of New Mexico.
With about two weeks left in the regular season, the men’s basketball season was officially canceled on Feb. 12 and head coach Greg Heiar was subsequently fired after hazing allegations came out.
During Friday’s Board of Regents meeting, Arvizu spoke but did not mention any of the recent controversies but said his stepping down was a mutual decision.
“For the past five years, my only motivation has been to do what I believe is in the best interest of the university, and transitioning now will allow the university to devote its time and effort and all the things that are needed over the next several months for a successful search,” Arvizu said.
Arvizu was hired in 2018, taking the place of former NMSU Chancellor and President Garrey Carruthers.
Carruthers held the titles of both chancellor and president for the university. Arvizu was hired only as the chancellor in 2018 while John Floros was hired as university president.
Floros stepped down from his position in January 2022, and Arvizu became the sole head of the university.
“I’m not a traditional university administrator; I made that clear in my comments. I didn’t grow up in the academia. My expertise is really actually in energy resource and material and process sciences, civil work development and deployment, and in 2018 I was honored to be selected as chancellor for this great university system,” Arvizu said during Friday’s Board of Regents meeting.
The NMSU Board of Regents named Jay Gogue, who served as NMSU president from 2000 to 2003, as the interim chancellor.
“I have great respect for NMSU. It’s a special place, as all of you know. I certainly value the traditions, the values, the culture, the history,” Gogue said.
The Board of Regents selected an executive search frim WittKieffer to assist in the search for a permanent chancellor.