LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The New Mexico State University Board of Regents announced their five finalists  for the next president of the university Tuesday afternoon.
After an early morning closed executive session the regents named Dr. David Ashley, Guy Bailey, Dr. Daniel Howard, Dr. Elsa Murano and NMSU Dean of the College of Business Dr. Garrey Carruthers as the top five candidates from a pool of 57 applicants.
"We've only had a preliminary opportunity to review the qualifications and they look like outstanding qualifications and candidates for us at this time," said Regent Chair Mike Cheney.
Cheney said each finalist has a unique skill set and they have to determine who is the best match for the university.
Cheney added they are focused on education, research and public outreach and want a president that will help the university excel in those areas.
Students said they would like to see stability at the position.
"If you get somebody who is actually willing to sit down and take the job for a long period of time he can figure out what he's going to do, set long term goals and actually get those goals accomplished," said Brady Hanson, a secondary education student.
Some students felt promoting from within is the best solution and Dr. Carruthers is a logical choice.
"He's been dean of business for quite a while now and when it comes to commitment he's always been there," said accounting student Oliverio Perez.
Carruthers has served as dean of the College of Business and vice president of economic development since 2003.
He was also governor of New Mexico in the late 1980's.
Carruthers said his experience in government can help when it comes to funding from the state for the university.
"I don't have to make those connections as a president," Carruthers said. "I have to take advantage of those connections that I've developed over the years."
Carruthers said he was glad to be named a finalist after meeting with the search committee.
He said he feels comfortable with the criterion required to be president and said it would be an easy transition to take over the duties of president.
Carruthers added he enjoys working at the university and feels he would be a good fit.
"This is my environment," Carruthers said. "I particularly enjoy the students so I think i'm good for another few years if they want to select me."
The board of regents will work on familiarizing themselves with each candidate through interviews scheduled for April 22nd through May 2nd.
They will also allow the public to meet the five finalists before making a decision.
The regents hope to name a president by May 10th.
The finalists are:
• David B. Ashley , Ph.D., Professor of Engineering and former President, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
• Guy Bailey , Ph.D., Professor of English and former President, University of Alabama and Texas Tech University
• Garrey Carruthers , Ph.D., Vice President for Economic Development and Dean, College of Business, New Mexico State University
• Daniel J. Howard , Ph.D., Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Integrative Biology, University of Colorado Denver
• Elsa A. Murano , Ph.D., Interim Director of the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, Professor and President Emerita, Texas A&M University