NMSU welcomes new provost and chief academic officer


David Castañeda

Alan R. Shoho will officially begin his role as the new provost and chief academic officer of NMSU on April 17, 2023.

After searching for nearly eight months, New Mexico State University will have a new provost and chief academic officer. Alan R. Shoho was selected to fill the position and he will officially begin his role on April. 17.  

The search committee, led by Dean Rolando A. Flores Galarza, has been in search of a new provost since July 2022. The process is long in order to properly examine each candidate. The committee works with contacts around the world to find candidates who would be interested in the position and have the requirements.  

“Mostly, we are looking for someone that had experience at least at the dean level, an interest in working in New Mexico, and that they believe in the academic system, they believe in the interaction between faculty and administrators,” Flores Galarza said.  

Shoho stood out from other candidates because of his background with education, positive demeanor, and interest in working at NMSU, according to Flores Galarza. 

“We were very happy that he took the job and that he fits the mold,” Flores Galarza said. “He is an individual that is even keeled … and trying to learn a lot about the university,” he continued. 

Shoho has been working in education for most of his career, serving as a math teacher, professor, dean and vice provost for different institutions. 

Graduating from the University of Hawaii with a bachelors in electrical engineering, Shoho previously worked for Hughes Aircraft Company and Rockwell International, where he helped design missiles. He wanted to do something more meaningful and impactful, Shoho went back to school to get his teacher’s certification.   

Not being a successful student in college, Shoho was inspired by the teachers that really pushed him and wanted to provide that same support to other students that may feel hopeless. 

“I think I can identify with some students who aren’t as successful and you know, I hope in my new role, I will be able to help them be able to achieve their dreams and aspirations,” Shoho said. 

One of Shoho’s biggest challenges in his career has been feeling like an odd one out in the higher positions he has held. 

“You know, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a lot of people who look like me who are provosts, presidents, you know, there’s just not many,” Shoho explained. 

With these challenges, Shoho became interested in NMSU because of its diversity status, and hopes to continue to improve it in his time here. 

“I want to really see our faculty representation improve, to better reflect what our student demographics look like, and I’ve been successful in doing it at other institutions,” he said. 

Another vision he has with advancing inclusion and diversity is to make NMSU a Native American- Serving Non-Tribal institution. 

“One of the designations I do want, and I think I can, hopefully, with some hard work and support of others working with me I want [NMSU] to become the first land grant institution to become Native American serving,” he said.   

In order to become a Native American-Serving Non-Tribal institution, NMSU would have to have an enrollment of Native American undergraduates at 10% or more.  

Provost Alan R. Shoho explains his vision to make NMSU a Native American-Serving Non-Tribal institution. Shoho spoke with The Round Up on March 7, 2023. (David Castañeda)

Overall, Shoho would like to increase enrollment by 20,000, show as much support as he can by showing up, and create a better learning environment for students.  

“I want to grow this institution in my time, bring in more students to help them achieve a dream that maybe they hadn’t thought was possible,” he said.  

With recent hazing allegations, Shoho would like to create a safer environment for students where their only worry should be academics. 

“I can tell you, one of the non-negotiables for me is hazing,” he said. “I think it is important that we create an environment where, you know, people don’t worry about [hazing, bullying], that shouldn’t be their concern,” he continued.  

Something Shoho values in his career are his failures because he believes it is important for a process of growth and believes that with failure comes humbleness and the ability to learn from one’s mistakes.  

“As I venture out this first year, I hope to visit classrooms periodically and just watch, and take notes of how things are going, and talk to the deans and the department heads about how we can create a more dynamic learning environment,” he said.

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