College graduate's profile

Agency Mission

To provide financial, academic, and policy oversight and support to the New Mexico public higher education institutions and our formal community partners for the purpose of promoting efficiency, accountability, and student success.


Agency Goals

To foster and guide a system of higher education that best meets the needs of people in our state.  We do so by providing financing to, oversight of, and support for all of the state’s public universities, colleges, and state-sponsored adult education programs; regulating the state’s private, for-profit institutions of higher education, and by offering programs in which both public and private institutions may participate.

IAIA Studio Arts Seniors 2018

History & Organization

In 2005, NMHED was established as a cabinet agency in the executive branch as “a single, unified department to administer laws and exercise functions formerly administered and exercised by the commission on higher education.” The Cabinet Secretary of Higher Education is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The Cabinet Secretary is the administrative head of the department and serves as the State Higher Education Executive Officer (SHEEO) and is responsible to the Governor for operating the department and administering and enforcing the laws with which the secretary or the department is charged.

The agency includes the following divisions: Adult Education, GEAR UP, Private and Proprietary Schools, Indian Education division, Institutional Finance, Financial Aid, Data, and Public Schools Liaison.