Support for an independent community college in Carlsbad, N.M., is growing, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported. The Carlsbad Municipal School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution in support of converting New Mexico State University’s Carlsbad campus to an independent institution.
A task force convened by Carlsbad mayor Dale Janway studied the potential conversion last year and later recommended the move in a report to the New Mexico Higher Education Department. Local officials argue that an independent college would allow the community to tailor the curriculum to meet small business and local industry needs.
At the beginning of the month, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents took up the issue and tasked an independent consulting firm with conducting an assessment of the transition.
New Mexico State University leaders have so far said they want Carlsbad to remain a part of the NMSU system. They believe the desire for an independent Carlsbad university stems from community members worried that they weren’t involved in plans announced in August to consolidate community colleges, including the one in Carlsbad.
“Our position has always been that we want what’s best for the students in New Mexico, in particular Carlsbad, however we feel that the best education that those students could have would be through the NMSU system,” Kenneth Van Winkle, executive director of NMSU branch campuses, told the Current-Argus. “I think Carlsbad should stay in our system.”