New president selected at Mesalands in Tucumcari


TUCUMCARI — A four-month search for a new president has ended as Mesalands Community College selected John D. Groesbeck to lead the institution.

He began work on Monday. His salary has not been released.

“This is a great opportunity and it’s an honor to be here,” Groesbeck said in a news release. “I really enjoy this part of New Mexico. This region is one of the most spectacular, beautiful places within the state.”

The Board of Trustees offered Groesbeck the contract to be the next president of Mesalands following an executive session during the special June 27 meeting at Mesalands.

“All five members of the Board of Trustees, felt Dr. Groesbeck was the best candidate for this college,” said James Streetman, the board's chairman. “During his visit to campus, him and his wife (Janette) fell in love with Tucumcari and they could see the potential for growth for the college and for the community.”

Groesbeck succeeds Thomas Newsom, who gave his resignation on Feb. 20 and participated in his final Board of Trustees meeting in April.

The board's selection of Groesbeck caps a national search with the assistance of the Initial Presidential Screening Committee, said Kimberly Hanna, public relations director.

Hanna said the committee was composed of college staff and faculty, board members, and community representatives, who were charged with presenting candidates to the board for consideration. She said two finalists were then selected by the Board of Trustees to participate in extensive campus-wide interviews with faculty, staff, students, and the community.

Groesbeck said he wants to first understand the needs of the college. He said he then plans on assessing what kind of new initiatives and programs to bring to Mesalands.

“I really look forward to working with administration, faculty and staff in building on campus enrollment,” Groesbeck said in the news release. “I also want to make sure we are doing the fundamentals very well. Both in terms of the quality of student support systems and accessibility, but also in the kinds of programs we are offering.”

Groesbeck said Mesalands needs to make sure it has the right programs to attract and retain students on campus in order to stimulate higher levels of learning and on campus enrollment. He said another priority is to focus on the college’s reaccreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. He also wants to continue the success of the college.

“We are missioners of hope. Mesalands Community College has been very successful in helping students succeed,” he said in the release. “I want to continue the good things that have been happening here and improve where we can. That will be good for everyone in this region.”

Groesbeck is from North Ogden, Utah, holds a Ph.D. in economics from Utah State University, a master’s degree in economics and Management from Utah State University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science/international relations from Boise State University.

According to Hanna:

Groesbeck has over 20 years of experience in academics. He worked for both two-year colleges and universities that had a blended role of awarding associate’s through master’s degrees in New Mexico, Missouri, and Utah. During that same time, Groesbeck worked as a faculty member, earning the rank of tenured professor. He was also a director, department chair, and for 11 years was the dean for the College of Business and Technology at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.


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