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NNMC Presidential Search 2022

Northern New Mexico College Presidential Search


Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) has served the rural communities of northern New Mexico for over a century. Since opening its doors in 1909 as the Spanish American Normal School in El Rito, NM, the College has provided open admissions and affordable access to quality academic programs that meet the educational, economic and cultural needs of the region. Northern New Mexico has a rich history and diverse cultures, and NNMC has strong ties to its Hispanic heritage and Native American people.

Now one of the state’s four regional comprehensive institutions, with its main campus in Española, NM, NNMC offers more than 50 bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs in arts & human sciences, film & digital media, biology and environmental science, business, education, engineering, liberal arts, radiation protection and nursing. NNMC’s bachelor’s programs are the most affordable in the Southwest.

In addition, the College has reintroduced technical trades programs in electrical technology and plumbing, in partnership with two local unions and five public school districts through its new co-located Branch Community College, the first of its kind in the state’s history. The College has built strong partnerships with Los Alamos National Laboratory and local K-12 schools. NNMC Regents are appointed by the Governor and institutional funding is provided by the New Mexico Legislature.

NNMC’s Española campus is located just 25 miles north of Santa Fe, NM, in a beautiful setting, with sweeping vistas of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains. The area is a central hub to extraordinary historical sites and world-class recreational locations for hiking, fishing, and skiing. The El Rito campus, 32 miles north of Española, has equally enchanting views of the northern New Mexico mountains.


Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) Board of Regents (Board) seeks a passionate and driven President, who is committed to providing quality education and community services to all. The President will be responsible for academic leadership, strategic planning, continuous improvement, and the administration of academic, personnel, fiscal and policies of the College.

Reporting to the Board and serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the College, the President will work with students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, business and industry leaders, legislators and policy makers, student government, union leadership, tribal nations, to work together for the good of the College. Operating in a diverse community, the President will engage, collaborate, and be accessible to all college constituents, internal and external. The President should possess qualities including ethical integrity, cultural sensitivity, mutual respect, transparency, excellent communication and interpersonal skills (multilingual in Spanish or Indigenous languages preferred), passion and commitment to higher education, and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Education. A terminal degree (Ed.D., Ph.D., MFA, J.D., M.D., etc.)
  • Experience. A minimum of 10 years of successful leadership in complex organizations, preferably a higher education setting, including at least 5 years in a senior leadership role.

The most successful candidate is:

  • A skilled communicator. Strong communicator with excellent interpersonal skills. Collaborative, and able to establish community partnerships.
  • A visionary Leader. Visionary, transformational, heart-centered leader and champion for public higher education.
  • An effective decision maker. Flexible and courageous in a dynamic environment. Able to manage crises. Embodies an entrepreneurial approach to problem solving.
  • A mentor. Able to mentor colleagues and students.
  • A fiscal steward. Experienced in financial management and resource development, including advocacy and working with external constituents.
  • Politically adept. Navigates the political landscape in diverse communities. Practices principles of continuous improvement.

Michael A. Martin, Co-chair, Presidential Search Committee
President, Board of Regents

Porter Swentzell, PhD, Co-chair, Presidential Search Committee
Secretary/Treasurer, Board of Regents

Welcome AGB Search

AGB Search has been chosen as our presidential search firm. Please see their proposal below.

Dr. Richard A. Wueste, J.D.
AGB Presidential Search Consultant

Richard A. Wueste, J.D., has conducted over 75 searches for AGB Search, including 21 presidential searches. In assisting searches for presidents, provosts, and deans, he has enjoyed consistent success in filling executive-level positions with people who fit the needs of a wide array of institutions.

Prior to joining AGB Search in 2012, Mr. Wueste spent more than 25 years in higher education, serving as President of Adams State University, a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) in rural Colorado; Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Heritage University, an HSI located on the Yakama Indian Reservation in rural Washington State; Assistant Vice President for Administrative Services and Treasurer of an auxiliary services corporation at Stony Brook University, a SUNY research university on Long Island, New York; and Administrator for University Services and Human Resources at the University of Wisconsin– Milwaukee, an urban research university.

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During his academic career, Mr. Wueste established the ethics program for the Harriman School of Business at Stony Brook University and developed and taught courses in ethics, law, and leadership. He is the co-author of the academic book Human Resource Development in Changing Organizations. His reputation as an entrepreneurial leader is based on his success in developing and integrating new enterprises, diversifying income streams, and assisting universities in navigating evolving challenges. His direct administrative experience includes service as an executive in strategic planning; human resources and organizational design; procurement; advancement; student services; enrollment management; government, public, and community relations; delivery of offsite education services; auxiliary services; financial services; and risk management.

Mr. Wueste led the team that created the Mount Adams Health Foundation to help provide for the healthcare needs of underserved communities in rural Washington State, serving as founding chair and president. He has been active on the boards of a number of other public service and professional organizations.

Working as a management consultant, Mr. Wueste was President and CEO of three integrated consulting corporations engaged in economic development. He is of Hispanic origin and is a first- generation college graduate.

  • President, Fresno Pacific University – In Process
  • President/Dean, California Western School of Law
  • President, California Institute of Integral Studies
  • President, University of Guam
  • President, National University
  • President, Bay State College
  • President, Cuyahoga Community College – In Process

Questions or input can be sent to:


Northern offers over 50 bachelor's, associate and certificate programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math); Nursing and Health Sciences; Liberal Arts and Humanities; Arts, Film & Media; Business Administration; Teacher Education and Technical Trades.
Northern New Mexico College is the most affordable 4-year college in the Southwestern US. Choose us for our value, our quality degree and continuing education programs in diverse areas of study, and our experienced faculty. We provide students with unique opportunities for academic, personal, and professional growth, small class sizes, personalized attention, and strong hands-on experiences from day one.
The Northern Foundation remains committed to stimulate leadership, promote equity, and grow resources and philanthropy in the Española Valley and surrounding rural areas. Over the past twenty years, we have granted $1.3 million to support over 1,250 NNMC students.