LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The first presidential finalist for New Mexico State University was introduced to the public Monday afternoon.
Dr. Garrey Carruthers spent the day shaking hands and answering questions about why he should be the next president of the university.
"I can bring a long and broad history of experiences," Carruthers said during the scheduled media interviews.
Carruthers is the only internal finalist in the search for the next president of the university.
When Dr. Barbara Couture and NMSU parted ways last year, Carruthers offered to serve as interim.
"The people talking to me particularly in the community said they really would prefer if you would try and do it on a permanent basis," Carruthers said of why he chose to seek the position.
Carruthers boasts a long resume that includes work as a businessman, politician and most recently as dean of the College of Business.
The dean of 10 years plans to take a similar approach to running a business if selected to lead the university.
He said a big improvement can be in making the university more efficient when it comes to making decisions.
"You need to trust people, you need to have respect and trust them," Carruthers said. "You don't need to think the president is the only one in the world that has a good idea."
After media interviews Carruthers participated in a forum followed by meeting with community stakeholders.
"It will help us understand as regents what the community is thinking and we will get the input from them," said Board of Regents Chair Mike Cheney.
Cheney said the interviews and public meetings will help measure a candidates intangibles and the ability to convey what the university stands for.
The former governor of New Mexico in the late 1980s spoke with faculty and staff about his goals for the university.
Local and state lawmakers were also present.
"You learn if you're going to be successful in this state you need to get a long with both side of the aisle," Carruthers said.
Senator Mary Kay Papen who was in attendance said having some familiarity in New Mexico politics is crucial when it comes to asking the legislature for funding.
"I think he's eminently qualified," Papen said. "I think he fills all those shoes, that being said I haven't heard the other candidates yet either."