Appendix – RPM 1.00-A – Excerpts from New Mexico Constitution and Laws Relating to NMSU and NMDA

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: RPM Title 1 | Institutional Governance

Policy Administrator:

Last Updated: 06/02/2017



Revision History:

[Note: there are many other state, as well as federal, laws and regulations that apply or otherwise relate to the specific are as governed by New Mexico State University and by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture; this is only a partial listing, relative to the general grant of authority to the Board of Regents.]


N. M. Constitution, Article XII, Section 3. Control of Constitutional Educational Institutions; Use of State Land Proceeds and Other Educational Funds.

This section provides that the universities provided for in the constitution shall forever remain under the exclusive control of the state, and that proceeds from the sale of lands or from any other funds appropriated, levied or collected for educational purposes, shall not be used for the support of any sectarian, denominational or private school, college or university.


N.M. Constitution Article XII, Section 11. State Educational Institutions.

This section identifies the state’s many and various educational institutions, including New Mexico State University, and clarifies that property and funds held in trust for them, or hereafter to be granted or conveyed to them, shall be paid to them.


N.M. Constitution, Article XII, Section 13. Board of Regents for Educational Institutions.

This section provides that with the exception of UNM’s seven member board of regents, the legislature controls and manages the state’s educational institutions through five member boards of regents. Four members shall be qualified electors of the state of New Mexico and one shall be a member of the student body, and no more than three shall be members of the same political party. The governor nominates, and with the consent of the senate, appoints each member. Non-student members serve six years and student members serve two years. The student body nominee is selected from a list submitted by the NMSU system Chancellor, after consideration of the recommendation of the student body president.

Members of the board shall not be removed except for incompetence, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office, after notice of hearing and an opportunity to be heard having first been given such member. The supreme court of the state of New Mexico is hereby given exclusive original jurisdiction over proceedings to remove members of the board under such rules as it may promulgate, and its decision in connection with such matters shall be final.


N.M. Constitution Article XV, Section 1. Department of Agriculture.

This section establishes the Department of Agriculture and provides that it shall be under the control of the Board of Regents of NMSU. It further states that the legislature shall provide the department with lands and funds necessary for experimental farming and demonstrating.


NMSA 1978 § 21-8-1, Objects, Admission, Rules and Regulations.

This section provides that NMSU shall be open to the children of all the residents of this state, and such other persons as the Board of Regents may determine, under such terms, rules and regulations as may be prescribed by said Board of Regents; shall be nonsectarian in character and devoted to practical instruction in agriculture, mechanic arts, natural sciences connected therewith, as well as a thorough course of instruction in all branches of learning bearing upon agriculture, and other industrial pursuits.


NMSA 1978, §21-8-2, Construction of other names for college used in statutes.

This section clarifies that references to “agricultural college of New Mexico,” “agricultural and mechanical college,” “college of agriculture and mechanic arts,” “agricultural college,” or “state college,” or “New Mexico agricultural college,” or any other similar designation shall be construed to refer to New Mexico State University.


NMSA 1978, § 21-8-3. Curriculum; management vested in board of regents; number and qualifications; corporate style and powers; quorum.

This section sets forth certain courses of instruction for NMSU and authorizes the Board of Regents to prescribe others. Charges the Board of Regents with the fiscal care and management of all aspects of NMSU, and grants the authority to the Board to cause all things to be done necessary to carry out the provisions of law. Board can sue and be sued. Provides that qualifications to serve as member of the NMSU Board of Regents are the same as to serve as member of the UNM Board of Regents. The board shall take action as a body corporate. A majority of the board’s members constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.


NMSA 1978, §21-8-4, Officers

The officers of NMSU shall be the same, be elected in the same manner, at the same time, perform like duties, and possess the same qualifications, as is provided for the officers of the University of New Mexico:


NMSA 1978, § 21-7-5

This section for UNM, applicable to NMSU through the above cited statute, provides that election of officers occurs on the second Monday in March each year; Officers to be elected include a president and a secretary and treasurer. The person elected secretary and treasurer shall execute a sufficient bond to the state of New Mexico, to be approved by the governor and filed with the secretary of state, prior to taking office. Officers elected hold their offices until their successors are duly elected and qualified.


NMSA 1978, § 21-7-6

This section for UNM, applicable to NMSU through the above cited statute, provides that the president of the Board of Regents, also referred to as the chair, presides at all meetings and signs all instruments required to be executed by the board. The board president appoints committees of the board. When the president is absent, the board appoints a president pro tem. The secretary/treasurer attests all instruments required to be signed by the board president and keeps an accurate record or all proceedings.


NMSA 1978, § 21-8-5. Powers and Duties of Board of Regents

The Board of Regents has broad authority to control all monies belonging to NMSU and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and to make all rules and regulations necessary for the government and management of same.


NMSA 1978, § 21-8-6. Rules; Calling Meetings of Board of Regents

It is the power and duty of the Board of Regents to adopt rules to govern the university. The regents prescribe the manner in which meetings are called.


NMSA 1978, § 21-8-7. Course of Instruction; Books; Diplomas and Degrees; Removal of Officers

The faculty of the several departments are entrusted with the immediate government of their respective departments, with the Board of Regents regulating the course of instruction, and prescribing, under the advice of the faculty, the teaching materials to be used, and conferring the degrees and diplomas. The regents have the authority to remove any NMSU officer when in their judgment, the best interests of the university requires it.


NMSA 1978, § 21-8-8. Agricultural and Horticultural Laws; Administration and Enforcement Vested in Board of Regents; Inspectors and Agents

NMSU Board of Regents supervises, administers and enforces all laws relating to agriculture, agricultural projects, horticulture, feeds and feed stuffs, insect pests, plant diseases and such subjects pertaining to agriculture and horticulture as the legislature shall hereafter provide, and shall have power to delegate inspectors and agents to assist in the enforcement of such laws.


NMSA 1978, § 21-8-9. Agricultural Experiment Station; Direction; Federal Benefits

Confirms the authority of the Board of Regents to supervise and to receive funding for the agricultural experiment station in accordance with the terms of Section 1 of an act of congress approved March 2, 1887 [7 USCS § 361 a ], which confirmed provisions of an earlier act approved July 2, 1862 and amendments thereto.


NMSA 1978, § 21-8-10. Contracts for Acceptance and Administration of Funds

This is one of many statutes granting certain authority for the conduct of business to the Board of Regents, as the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, to contract with the United States, the state of New Mexico; or their agencies, corporations, foundations and private persons to receive, accept and administer funds or other assets upon such terms and conditions and for such purposes, as it shall find appropriate.

Many additional statutes granting specific types of authority over various agricultural subject matters may be found in the New Mexico Statutes Annotated, primarily, but not exclusively, in Chapter 76.


NMSA 1978, § 76-1-1, Creation of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture under the Control of the Board of Regents of New Mexico State University

This section establishes the creation of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture under the control of the Board of Regents of New Mexico State University.


NMSA 1978, §76-1-2, Powers and Authority of Board of Regents

This section grants the following powers and authority to the Board of Regents of New Mexico State University, relative to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture:

A. Administer and enforce all laws of this state over which the board of regents or its agents have been granted jurisdiction and authority;

B. Adopt rules of procedure for the adoption of regulations;

C. Adopt, and file in accordance with the State Rules Act [14-4-1 NMSA 1978], regulations as may be necessary to carry out its duties;

D. Administer or enforce, through the department of agriculture, all regulations adopted by the board of regents;

E. Cooperate and enter into contracts or agreements with local, state and federal government agencies or with any other person to assist the carrying out of the duties of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture;

F. Employ and fix the salaries of employees of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture;

G. Institute legal proceedings in any court of this state, of any other state or of the United States;

H. Certify to the appropriate district attorney or to the attorney general of New Mexico any violation of the provisions of law or any rules and regulations administered and enforced by it, when necessary to carry out its duties;

I. Accept and administer on behalf of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture such grants, subsidies, donations, allotments or bequests as may be offered to the state, by the federal government or any department thereof or by any public or private foundation or individuals;

J. Accept and administer funds or other assets for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture;

K. Make and perform or direct the performance of such inspections and analyses as are necessary to carry out its duties;

L. Issue or direct the issuance of such licenses, permits and other documents as are necessary to carry out its duties;

M. Authorize the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to establish and publish a schedule of fees and collect those fees to recover the cost of services performed at the request of a person or firm. Fees imposed shall be just and equitable and shall not exceed the department’s cost for performing the service; and

N. Do all other things necessary as permitted by statute to carry out its duties.


NMSA 1978, § 76-1-3, Director of NMDA; Salary; Duties

This section provides that in order to execute its functions relative to the NMDA, the Board of Regents shall appoint and fix the salary of a full-time director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. The director shall administer, execute and implement the directives and policy decisions of the Board of Regents and its agents, and shall serve as a representative of agriculture on the Governor’s Executive Cabinet, as provided in the Executive Reorganization Act [9-1-1 to 9-1-10 NMSA 1978]. The director shall serve at the pleasure of the Board of Regents.