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NMSU announces five finalists in presidential search

Following a national search, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents has announced five finalists for the university’s next president.

In a special meeting Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, the board revealed the names of the finalists, who were selected from a nationwide pool of candidates with the assistance of search firm WittKieffer and an internal presidential search committee led by retired NMSU Senior Vice President Ben Woods.

The finalists are:

• Michael Galyean, Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor in the Department of Veterinary Sciences and former Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas Tech University

• Wayne Jones, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of New  Hampshire

• Austin Lane, Chancellor of Southern Illinois University

• John Volin, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of the University of Maine

• Richard Williams, Former President  of Utah Tech University

Regents Chair Ammu Devasthali said the next phase of the presidential search will include campus visits from each candidate beginning in late February, allowing opportunities for members of the NMSU community and the public to hear from the candidates directly about their vision for NMSU. The schedule for those visits and forums will be announced soon and will be available online at, along with more information about each finalist, links to webcasts of each public forum, and feedback forms to provide comments to the board.

“We look forward to getting to know each of the candidates and learning how they fit our vision for the next leader of the NMSU system,” Devasthali said. “I hope you’ll join us for those candidate forums – whether in person or online – and share your thoughts as we make this incredibly important decision.”

Devasthali also thanked members of the search committee, which comprised a diverse group of NMSU and community stakeholders, for their energy and commitment to the search process. Preparation for the search included a series of  listening sessions hosted around the state and development of a  leadership profile identifying priorities for the next leader’s skills and experience.

For additional information about the presidential search process, including updates about next steps, visit