NNMC Presidential Finalists Meet With Community

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Final four candidates for the presidency at Northern take questions from the audience at a public forum MOnday. All photos in this story by the Valley Daily Post

NNMC Presidential Finalists Meet With Community

Staff Report

Monday evening  Northern New Mexico College held a public forum to present the four finalists for the position of President at NNMC. For two hours the four finalists presented their personal vision for the college and took questions from the audience. 

The four remaining candidates each took about 10 minutes to introduce themselves to the audience of nearly 150 community members gathered at the forum event. Dr. Richard Bailey, Jr. was first to address the audience and emphasized his family’s commitment to live in northern New Mexico.

“In my career I have lived in forty countries and several locations in the U.S., and northern New Mexico is the place my wife and I intend to settle,” said Dr. Bailey, while explaining that he has several family ties to the region, including that his wife was born and raised here.

Dr. Katherine Berryhill was next to address the audience and spoke of her dream to be a professor at the College of Education at Northern, a dream she achieved upon becoming Dean of the College of Education in 2007 shortly after finishing her doctoral studies.

Passionate about reviving the El Rito campus, Dr. Berryhill told the audience, “The best days of El Rito campus lie in the future.”

Next to speak was Dr. Andres Salazar, formerly a professor and administrator at Northern’s College of Engineering and most recently a Research Professor at the University of New Mexico main campus. Dr. Salazar was born in San Juan Pueblo and remembers fondly the teachers in Española who helped him. “I want to give back to Española,” said Dr. Salazar.

Current Interim President at Northern Domingo Sánchez also addressed the audience as a candidate for the president position. “It’s all an issue of finances,” he told the audience while explaining his plans to strengthen continuing education and revive the El Rito campus.

The candidates spent Tuesday and Wednesday in final interviews with the NNMC Board of Regents and conducting final assessments. A decision is expected by early May.