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New Mexico State University
NMSU Faculty Senate


The Faculty Senate is the voice of the NMSU Faculty and plays a critical role in the shared governance of the institution. As established in NMSU Policy, the Faculty Senate has legislative jurisdiction over policies affecting the university’s academic mission. The Faculty Senate has 60 elected senators who represent Faculty from the Colleges on the main campus, the NMSU Library, the Agricultural Experiment Station, the Cooperative Extension Service, and College Faculty.

Senators are elected for three-year terms and may serve for two consecutive terms. The Senate is led by the Chair and Vice-Chair, who both serve on a variety of University committees and councils, which are also policy making bodies. The Chair and Vice-Chair are advised by the Senate Leadership Committee which is comprised of the senior senators from each electing group.

All senators participate in one of four standing committees. These are charged with reviewing, modifying, and recommending legislation for action by the full senate. The senate meets a minimum of once a month to fulfill its obligations in a timely manner.

Dennis Clason, Faculty Senate Chair


Dennis Clason earned his doctorate in Statistics under the direction of George Milliken at Kansas State University.  Prior to joining the NMSU faculty he was employed by the USDA’s Statistical Reporting Service and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.


He joined NMSU’s Department of Experimental Statistics faculty in 1987.  The Department was moved to the College of Business Administration and merged into what is now the Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business.


Dr. Clason’s research is primarily in the areas of general linear statistical models.  He is author or co-author of more than 35 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters mixed between statistical journals and subject matter journals.   He teaches statistical methods at the undergraduate levels, and probability and distribution theory, analysis of variance, regression and experimental design at the graduate level.

During his career, Dr. Clason has served on the Faculty Senate for two terms including three years as Senate Vice-Chair.  He has also served on the University Appeals Board and various College and Department committees.


Stuart Munson-McGee, Faculty Senate Vice Chair


Professor Stuart Munson-McGee joined the Food Science and Technology faculty in the Family and Consumer Science Department at NMSU in 2011. He was a member of the Chemical Engineering faculty at NMSU from January 1991 until taking his current position. Prior to joining NMSU, he held positions as an Assistant Director at the Center for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware, Newark, DE and as a research engineer at Owens Corning Fiberglas’s Technical Center in Granville, OH. He holds a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware (1982) and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA (1978).

Since joining NMSU, Dr. Munson-McGee has taught over 25 different classes at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has supervised several MS and PhD students and has over 20 peer-reviewed publications in materials science, materials processing, food engineering, and the environment. In service to the University, he has been Chair, Vice-chair, and Senator of the Faculty Senate and has served on several university-wide committees including the 2008 NMSU Presidential Search Committee; the NMSU Promotion and Tenure Policy Revision Taskforce; four years on the Graduate Council; Deans Advisory Council; University Budget Committee; Administrative Council; NMSU VP for Finance and Administration Search Committee; Student Memorial Committee; Naming Committee; and Academic Deans Council. In 2004 he was awarded the NMSU Donald C. Roush Award for Teaching Excellence.


The Ceremonial Mace

NMSU's ceremonial mace used during commencement ceremonies (photo by Darren Phillips)

The ceremonial mace, used widely by universities, is a descendant of the royal scepter and the medieval battle mace. The university is incorporated into the design.

The ornament atop the mace signifies a blooming cactus flower and the university’s blooming maturity.

The smooth, rounded walls of adobe architecture are reflected in the next section, while a disk carries the New Mexico State University logo on one side and a compatible Mimbres pottery design on the other. The many academic disciplines are noted in the bundled rods of the shaft. The meter-long piece is of sterling silver, while the center of the shaft holds a piece of wood from the university’s first building, McFie Hall (Old Main), which burned in 1910.

Literal and symbolic information about the academic mace signifies authority, and its use dates from the 14th century. New Mexico State University’s mace is carried at commencement and other formal occasions by the president of the Faculty Senate.


This page last updated on October 18, 2013