Dr. Steven Gamble, president of Eastern New Mexico University, has announced that Dr. Clayton Alred, president of Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso since Dec. 2, 2009, is retiring.
"I am sorry to see Dr. Alred depart," Dr. Gamble said. "ENMU-Ruidoso is a stronger institution as a result of his 7-plus years of leadership. His successor will find that he or she has inherited a first-class community college.
"All of us in the ENMU system will miss Clayton Alred."
Dr. Alred said, "Conventional wisdom instructs us to leave a position while you still love it. I have loved serving the Ruidoso campus and that affection will continue."
Dr. Alred said family obligations were among the primary factors in his decision.
"Four decades of service as an educator represents a career that anyone could point to with pride," Dr. Alred said.
"My almost eight years at Ruidoso is the best job I've ever held, and I hope the institution has benefited half as much as I have."
Dr. Alred says the ENMU-Ruidoso staff is "an incredible group of employees. I attribute the success of this campus to those I've worked with during my term as president."
His experience in Ruidoso has given him a strong appreciation for the ENMU system, Dr. Alred says, which includes the parent campus in Portales and campuses in Roswell and Ruidoso. He noted the economical way the ENMU system hosts its branch community colleges which serve large geographical areas.
"I have to extend my appreciation to Dr. Gamble for his leadership during the time I've been here," Dr. Alred said.
Dr. Alred's future plans include "a life of leisure with a lot of traveling." He and wife, Catherine, will continue to reside in Ruidoso following retirement.
Dr. Dan Patterson, member of the ENMU Board of Regents, had high praise for Dr. Alred.
"Clayton Alred has done an excellent job at ENMU-Ruidoso. He has always been looking forward to see how the campus can help the community.
"It's a unique situation in Ruidoso and he was flexible enough to work with the community and provide what they needed. We can be proud of what he has done, and so can he.
"I think Dr. Alred is leaving the campus in excellent shape for his successor. We've been concerned about enrollment, but they are looking at new programs to address that—including in wildlife management and reaching out with programs on the Mescalero Reservation.
"I was privileged to be around when Jim Miller started that learning center in Ruidoso with one room full of computers. From that to what we have now is astronomical growth. I hope the people in that area realize what a super institution they have down there." Lynn Williard, president of the ENMU-Ruidoso College Board for six years and president of the ENMU-Ruidoso Foundation, said, "As state funding and enrollment was decreasing, Dr. Alred stepped up and did everything he could to contribute to our enrollment by doubling our efforts in recruiting and pushing for state funding through capital outlay.
"He has been an asset to the community and college. We will miss him dearly for the contributions he has made to both."
Dr. Gamble said that Dr. Alred will remain as president until a successor is named.