by Wendel Sloan
"I would like to explore new programs to meet present needs of employers in the State." – Susan Tatum
"It is important that all matters that come before the Regents are considered in terms of their impact on students, faculty, staff, parents and the taxpayers." – Terry Othick
Susan Tatum of Clovis and Terry Othick of Albuquerque have been nominated for appointment to the Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents.
An alumna of ENMU, Tatum is a small business owner and former educator. She founded the Clovis Counseling Center in 1988, where she continues to practice as a professional clinical counselor and specializes in individual and family therapy.
Tatum was a psychology instructor, academic advisor, and financial aid director at ENMU prior to opening her practice. She is also a former special education teacher for Oklahoma City Public Schools and the Cerebral Palsy Center in Oklahoma City.
She a bachelor of science in special education from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, and a master of arts in psychology from ENMU.
An ENMU alumnus, Othick brings over 40 years of experience in the information technology field through a career in the private, public and education sectors. He recently retired as a consultant for an Albuquerque technology firm.
Prior to his consulting engagements, Othick was Chief Operations Officer for the Los Lunas School District and served on the Board of Directors for the New Mexico Golden Apple Foundation and the ENMU Alumni Association. He earned the ENMU Distinguished Service Award in 2013 for his success in raising scholarship funds for the University.
Othick has taught undergraduate and graduate technology courses at both ENMU and the University of New Mexico. He has also previously served the State of New Mexico as the Chief Information Officer for the Departments of Labor and Workforce Solutions. Before those appointments, Othick devoted over 25 years to the Public Service Company of New Mexico in many roles, including Chief Operations Officer.
Othick holds a bachelor of business administration and a master of business administration from ENMU.
Tatum said, “I am honored, excited and looking forward to being a part of a team with a common goal. It's also rather intimidating because of the responsibility it will entail.
“As I worked through my master's level classes at ENMU, I felt ‘at home.’ The University is small enough to know your professors on more than a student-teacher basis. I thought of them as my friends.
“I realize I have a steep learning curve as a new Regent, but I would like to keep tuition low without compromising the integrity of the University. I would like to explore new programs to meet present needs of employers in the State. Finally, I would like to collaborate with other universities to see how they may have successfully handled common issues and problems.
“I want all students and employees from all areas to feel they can contact me if they have questions or concerns.”
Othick said, “I was humbled and pleasantly surprised upon receiving a phone call notifying me I had been selected as a nominee for appointment as an ENMU Regent. I suspect there were several highly qualified individuals under consideration and therefore I felt it was an honor just to be one of the finalists.
“My own professional career was enabled by the quality education and personal support provided by the dedicated faculty at ENMU during my undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The education I received at ENMU allowed me to successfully compete with graduates from much larger universities. I am very grateful for how Eastern prepared me for the workplace and I look forward to opportunities to help ENMU provide that same experience to current and future students. The strength of the academic programs offered at Eastern is remarkable.
“ENMU and other state universities and colleges face some very difficult times given declining freshmen enrollment, potential reduction of New Mexico Lottery funds, the current decline in State oil and gas revenues and the pressure to keep tuition and operational expenses down. I look forward to working with the other Regents and President Gamble to work our way through these very difficult times while keeping the focus on student success.
“I feel it is important that all matters that come before the Regents are considered in terms of their impact on students, faculty, staff, parents and the taxpayers. I would like to see every effort made to insure ENMU can continue to attract and retain high-quality faculty and staff and that student tuition and fees are not barriers to those who wish to obtain a college degree at ENMU or one of our branch campuses.
“ENMU has a great story to tell potential students and I would love to see efforts expanded to attract more incoming freshmen and graduate students to maintain or grow our enrollment. Through my volunteer work with the Alumni Association, it became apparent ENMU has many friends and advocates in many communities and within the State Legislature. It is important we all continue to work on building and maintaining these relationships on behalf of Easter and our Foundation.
“The City of Portales was a great place to learn and live. I have many fond memories of Portales and getting to know the many wonderful residents of Roosevelt and Curry counties while attending and working at ENMU. Portales will always be special as this is where I met and married my wonderful wife, Sissy Whitworth, also an ENMU graduate and Portales native. ”