New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu issued a challenge to the nation’s universities during the Great Minds in STEM summit in California earlier this month. That challenge: to find outside investment, including partnerships with corporations, philanthropy and government agencies, to improve education funding and methodology from kindergarten through college with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math.
“The pipeline for university STEM students is the nation’s K-12 education system,” Arvizu said. “Unfortunately, New Mexico ranks near the bottom of the list when it comes to our performance in K-12. If you add up our current resources, it’s just not enough to provide the education we must deliver for our children. We need outside investment, including partnerships with corporations, philanthropy and government agencies. This is something we will work on going forward.”
Arvizu said finding investments in the K-16 ecosystem was among his strategic priorities as chancellor. Other priorities include modernizing critical infrastructure, including energy, water, food and IT as well as creating healthy borders, addressing all aspects of socioeconomic and cultural issues as well as international trade and economic development, technology, investment and policy, especially at the U.S./Mexico border.
“You’ll notice these priorities are difficult issues, without easy answers,” he said. “While NMSU President John Floros and I are still soliciting feedback on these themes from our campus community, it will be our goal to position NMSU as a university noted for working on the grand challenges of our time.”
Arvizu noted this challenge was closely tied to NMSU’s land-grant Hispanic-Serving Institution mission to educate, conduct research and serve the people of New Mexico.
Approximately 250 senior-level corporate, government, military and higher education representatives took part in the Great Minds in STEM summit. Attendees selected this year’s honorees for the annual Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards. The summit also served as the host for the Computing Alliance for Hispanic Serving Institutions meeting. The academic hosts were the California Institute of Technology, the University of Southern California, University of California at Long Beach and NMSU.