Higher Education Department awards over $3 million for research and education investments

Stephanie Montoya

Endowment funds will support teacher training, early childhood education, research, and more

The New Mexico Higher Education Department announced that it will invest over $3 million from the state’s Higher Education Endowment Fund for initiatives focused on education, economic development, and other priorities aimed at moving the state forward.  

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham approved the funds earlier this year, which are directed at growing the capacity of state colleges and universities to prepare students for careers in high-need areas and conduct research in priority areas including technology, health, education, and agriculture.  

“New Mexico’s public colleges and universities are innovation hubs and are vital for meeting workforce needs and driving economic development in every region,” Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez said. “Thanks to Gov. Lujan Grisham and our higher education partners, we are making long-term investments in the programs and professionals that New Mexico needs to maintain meaningful progress in education, workforce development, science, technology, and more.”  

The New Mexico Higher Education Department, Economic Development Department, and Department of Finance and Administration reviewed proposals from New Mexico public colleges and universities and awarded those anticipated to have the highest impact. This year’s awards prioritized teacher preparation, early childhood education, healthcare, and the sciences, in addition to student wellbeing, and faculty retention.  

The School of Education at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas will receive $150,000 to support the creation of an institute for culturally- and linguistically-responsive learning. The institute plans to provide training for current and aspiring teachers to better serve students from Indigenous, bilingual, and multicultural backgrounds in K-12 education.  

"The support offered by the New Mexico Higher Education Department and the New Mexico Highlands University Foundation to establish the Institute for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Learning and Teaching (ICLRLT) is filling a critical need in the state to develop culturally and linguistically responsive frameworks as part of their school plans. The ICLRLT will build curriculum with communities to make sure the cultures of all children and youth in New Mexico are honored. Professional development offered through the ICLRLT will also address increased learning gaps experienced during COVID-19," said New Mexico Highlands University School of Education Dean Dr. Mary Earick.  

In addition to supporting the governor’s priority initiatives, awards from the Higher Education Endowment Fund can be used to establish endowed faculty chairs, lecturers, researchers, and graduate assistant positions and to provide competitive wages to recruit and retain faculty.  

Awarded colleges and universities invest the amount awarded to generate interest revenues year after year that sustain these positions and projects. Endowment funds leverage short-term funding to generate long-term revenue that supports recruitment and retention of highly qualified faculty. Colleges and universities must also provide 50 percent of matching funds from non-state sources in order to receive state endowment funds. The New Mexico Higher Education Department conducts oversight of endowment funds to ensure they are expended for allowable activities.  

The following New Mexico public college and university campuses and projects have been selected to receive Higher Education Endowment funds:  

  • $150,000 to New Mexico Highlands University’s School of Education for an Institute for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Learning and Teaching to provide professional development aligned with the Tribal School Framework.  
  • $25,000 to New Mexico State University for the Esperanza/Covarrubias Endowed Helping Hands Scholarship for students in the College of Health, Education and Social Transformation (HEST) and who are working toward degrees in special education.
  • $250,000 to New Mexico State University for the Papen-Aprendamos Professorship to train professionals for careers in speech language pathology and autism spectrum disorder in schools.  
  • $200,000 to San Juan College for the Food Hub and Food Pantry operation to connect students to fresh and healthy food from local farms.  
  • $150,000 to Western New Mexico University to support faculty specializing in early childhood education and family counseling.  
  • $175,000 to Santa Fe Community College for an endowed faculty chair in the Early Childhood Center of Excellence.
  • $500,000 to New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) for the Maurice R. Greenberg Endowed Professorship for American Indian faculty in Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Environmental Science, Civil & Environmental Engineering, or Physics.
  • $100,000 to New Mexico Tech for the Kaiser MST Teacher Endowment to provide scholarships to diverse participants in the Master of Science for Teachers Program.  
  • $446,500 to New Mexico Tech for the Senator Pete V. Domenici Endowed Faculty Professorship in Science and Technology for National Security
  • $625,000 to the University of New Mexico – Taos Campus for Early Childhood Education Development Initiatives.  
  • $300,000 to the University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center to create an endowed professorship at the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center to expand the center’s capability to diagnose and treat women with ovarian cancer.  
  • $150,000 to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center to create the Terry and Alyce J. Richardson Endowed Professorship in Nursing.
  • $45,000 to the University of New Mexico for the Evelyn M. Neil Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Special Education to fund research in special education teacher training practices.  
  • $150,000 to the University of New Mexico for an Economic Development Fellowship at the Anderson School of Business.  
  • $50,000 to the University of New Mexico for the Duffy and Jean Ann Swan Endowed Lectureship in Special Education.
  • Total State Match: $3,181,500