NMSU Has Lost More Than 130 Professors in 13 Years: Part 7

Some professors leave NMSU because of overwork.

By Billy Huntsman

Managing Editor

This is the seventh installment in The Round Up/Oncore Magazine‘s 14-part series investigating professor turnover at NMSU.

Robert Durán

The Round Up/Oncore Magazine attempted to get into contact with all 10 professors who left NMSU between 2011 and 2014. Only Brown, Durán, Luna, and Rodríguez responded (in addition to Porras’ email).

Despite the time gap between when Eber’s study was published in 2008 and when the 10 professors abovementioned started leaving NMSU in 2011, there are striking similarities between Eber’s respondents’ comments and those of Brown, Durán, Luna, and Rodríguez.

Durán says his primary reason for leaving NMSU was a lack of institutional support.

“We (the Criminal Justice Department) went through a huge growth,” Durán says.

At the time of his being hired in 2006, he estimates there were 400 CJ majors at NMSU. The department was eager to grow, and eventually ballooned up to approximately 900 majors, NMSU’s most populated major, before Durán left in 2014.

“During that same time, we also were losing a lot of faculty and didn’t get replacement lines to cover the need in terms of handling the students and also managing committees,” Durán says.

At the time of his hiring, Durán says eight CJ faculty members, particularly full professors, were being given early retirement packages, “to cut down on costs,” Durán says. These were replaced by assistant professors, “who make about half of what the (full) professors did.”

“I’d never seen anything like that,” he says, in reference to the eight professors who left the department. “I know departments have changeover, but (to) that extreme (degree), no.”

Durán says his dissatisfaction with NMSU started in his third year. His teaching load during this time “became overwhelming.”

“My colleagues at other universities got more support for their research,” he says.

He says he noticed morale was low, both in his department and university-wide. He says “acknowledgement” of faculty efforts, to hear that the administration appreciated what faculty were doing for students, a thank you “would have gone a long way” in boosting morale.

Durán says currently in his Department of Sociology at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, there are 15 faculty members and about 350 majors.

“Morale’s better here, support way better,” he says.

Aggies win nail-biter in overtime

The NMSU Aggies went into overtime against Robert Morris Tuesday night before finally clinching the victory, 81-71.

By Albert Luna

Staff Writer

The New Mexico State Aggies took on the Robert Morris Colonials on Tuesday night in the Pan American Center.

This was the second edition in a one-day double header that was headlined by both the Aggie men and women’s basketball teams. The Lady Aggies defeated the Southern Utah Thunderbirds just prior to the men’s game, 74-60.

On the men’s side of things, the Aggies were coming into the contest with a 3-1 record after defeating Mississippi Valley State on Saturday night. The Colonials came into the game looking for their first win of the season. This matchup marked the faceoff of two NCAA tournament teams from one year ago as well.

The Aggies started off the game very sloppily, with three straight possessions resulting in three Aggie turnovers early. Tanveer Bhullar put the Aggies in the scoring column off a feed from Matt Taylor. However, turnovers would be the central theme early and often, as they had six in total just in the first five minutes of play.

A timeout with 15:29 remaining put the Aggies down 8-4. Despite the turnovers, the Colonials were unable to take advantage of the increase in possessions. One early bright spot for the Aggies was the return of Jonathon Wilkins. Wilkins was the second sub off the bench for NM State after it was announced earlier today he’d received a waiver to make him eligible to play after being misadvised for some course work earlier in the year.

Wilkins, to his credit, came in and worked his way back into the thick of things by scoring two quick buckets and giving the Aggies a boost offensively.

“It was great to have Jonathon out there with us today because he’s our teammate and we know how much he wanted to play,” says teammate Pascal Siakam. “He was really excited this morning at practice.”

However, for both teams, the majority of the game was an offensive struggle. The Aggies did have early success from three-point land, hitting a respectable 42.7 percent early while going 3-7. Robert Morris hit more from that distance but also took more, hitting about 30 percent for the first half of play. NMSU took a slight edge into the half, 32-31.

The second half started in stark contrast to its predecessor. The Aggies and Colonials both came out firing on offense. For the Aggies, that essentially meant Siakam. The Cameroon native was excellent to begin the game and showing once more why he is deserving of a preseason MVP honor.

At one point in the second half, Siakam accounted for half of NMSU’s total points (21) as the Aggies led, 42-39. Siakam went on to finish with a career-high 35 points along with 13 rebounds. The 6’9’’ junior got some much-needed help as the half developed with teammates Braxton Huggins, who quietly had a second team-leading scoring of 11 points with the help of three triples from him going down.

Huggins also added a nice dribble drive bucket to give the Aggies the lead with about six minutes remaining in the game and finished the game with 15 points.

“Braxton stepped up and hit shots,” says Coach Marvin Menzies. “He still needs to learn some things but he played well.”

A big blow to the Aggies’ campaign was Siakam getting himself into foul trouble late in game, but Menzies simply could not have him on the bench. The Colonials, to their credit, again found their way back in the game as the Aggies blew a five-point lead with under two minutes remaining. Despite holding a three-point lead, the Aggies allowed a late Robert Morris three-pointer with under 10 seconds to go to tie things up, subsequently sending the game into overtime.

In the overtime, the Aggies came out attacking, with Ian Baker and Pascal Siakam coming up big early in the extra period for the Aggies. A timeout with three minutes to play had NMSU up by five and the Aggies did not look back from there, eventually winning the contest with a final score of 81-71. NM State outscored their opponent in the overtime 14-4.

“I’m happy to always get a win but I just think that we should have played better, so I am going to take this with a bit of realism,” Menzies said.

Looking ahead, the 4-1 Aggies will take the show on the road for the first time this season as they travel up to Colorado to play Air Force.

“We definitely need to get our rest and make sure we’re ready to play,” says Huggins.

Tipoff for Saturday’s game is set for high noon.

Albert Luna may be reached at ALuna32@NMSU.edu

Make sure to follow the official Twitter account for NMSU Round Up Sports: @RoundUp_Sports

Fantasy Football: Week 11

By Julian Martinez

Staff Writer

Fantasy Football wk11
Photo from NFL Memez.

Quarterback: The all-time passing leader will ride the bench for the second straight week

Brock Osweiler in his first career start looked actually quite impressive. Against the Bears, Osweiler threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns. This performance was good enough to give him the starting nod over Manning against the Patriots heading into week 12. There is no telling whether Osweiler will retain the starting gig all the way to the end, but he should be Fantasy relevant, especially since Emmanuel Sanders is expected to return this week, which would give him a full complement of weapons heading into the primetime match-up.

The injury plague in the NFL continues as Ravens starter Joe Flacco suffered a season-ending injury against the Rams this past Sunday. Flacco fell victim to an ACL and MCL tear late in the fourth quarter. The early timetables have Flacco probably ready for week one next year. In his place, Baltimore will start Matt Schaub, who unfortunately doesn’t provide much upside for the wide receivers in Baltimore.

Running back: A couple pickups that can define your playoff push

One of the surprising late scratches this past Sunday was Marshawn Lynch with an abdomen injury and if you were one of the avid Twitter users who saw this and jumped on Thomas Rawls, then you probably won your match-up. The undrafted rookie ran for 209 yards on 30 carries and found the end zone twice against San Francisco. Rawls has looked impressive any time that Lynch has been out this season and there is some talk that Lynch may have played his last game as a Seahawk if this abdomen injury proves to be season ending. Rawls ownership is at 36 percent. Grab him because he’ll be an undoubted RB1 as long as Lynch is out.

The second pickup that can get you to the playoffs or even push you further is Baltimore running back Javorius “Buck” Allen.

To add to Baltimore’s woes, their starting running back Justin Forsett also had his season ended against the Rams with a broken arm. Allen will be the next man in line for carries for the stretch run. Allen ran 22 times for 67 yards and had 48 receiving yards on five receptions. The Flacco injury will force Baltimore to put stronger focus on their run game, which will give Allen serious RB1 consideration. His ownership sits at a meek 14 percent.

The last name I bring up probably won’t be as impactful as the previous two, but there is some value in Bilal Powell. Chris Ivory has not looked good the last few weeks, in fact he just looks worn down. Enter Powell who only needed nine touches to compile 89 yards against Houston this last week and looks explosive. If you are desperate, Powell can have serious FLEX consideration in 12-team leagues. Powell is only owned in four percent of leagues.

Wide Receivers: DeSean Jackson’s back, I like that!

Not a lot went right for the Redskins against Carolina but the reemergence of DeSean Jackson definitely was great to see. Jackson has really had to work his way back from a hamstring injury earlier this year and this looked like the first week that he was truly over it. The best example is when he beat the defense to score on a long 56-yard touchdown. Jackson at minimum is a WR2 with a WR1 ceiling, his availability in your league is at least worth investigating in case a frustrated owner dropped him earlier in the season.

Speaking of the Washington-Carolina game, another wide receiver showed some signs of turning the corner. Devin Funchess has struggled this year to really break out as he should have been the number one option for Cam Newton coming out of the draft and following the Kelvin Benjamin injury, but now his upside is starting to emerge. Two of his last three games, Funchess has surpassed 70 yards and he is starting to receive praise from his teammates for the type of catches he’s making. I’m not ready to name Funchess worthy of starting every week, but he definitely deserves to be picked up.

Tight End: Desperate time options

Last few weeks it’s been hard not to mention the possibility of Austin Seferian-Jenkins returning from injury or Vernon Davis potentially breaking out in Denver. For the sake of giving you something different, I will veer away from these two. Quick note though: Seferian-Jenkins should be back this week and Davis looked solid this past week.

I am going to point out San Francisco tight ends as an emerging Fantasy option. Since taking over for Colin Kaepernick a couple weeks ago, Blaine Gabbert has showed favoritism toward his tight ends in the passing game. The trick is waiting for one of them to break out. In his first start against Atlanta, Gabbert threw two touchdowns to Garrett Celek and against Seattle he found Vance McDonald in the end zone. I like McDonald a little more than Celek, but in a deeper league these might be names to highlight.

DST and Kicker: A Few Notes

A defense that should be good this week is Kansas City. In a four-game winning streak, the Kansas City defense has really stepped up, especially this past week against a rolling Chargers offense. I like them this week against a Buffalo team that might be without Tyrod Taylor. Definitely the best streaming option at the DST position this week.

Siakam, Chuha lead Aggies to blowout win

Aggies blew out the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils on Saturday night.

By Albert Luna

Staff Writer

20151121_204051
Aggies in action Saturday night.  Photo by Albert Luna.

The Aggies defeated the Mississippi Valley State University Delta Devils, 85-46, Saturday night in the Pan American Center.

The Aggies came into the contest fresh off their Wednesday night victory against Tennessee Tech. This game also served as the second game out of four for the Aggies in the Air Force Classic.

The Delta Devils came into the contest with a 0-2 mark after losing to Air Force in Colorado just two nights earlier.

The Aggies led wire to wire the entire game. The contest started off with Pascal Siakam cracking open the scoring with an alley-oop layup off a feed from Ian Baker. Baker then came down after a Mississippi Valley score and knocked down a three-pointer. The opening period was dominated by the overall passing of the team.

In particular, Braxton Huggins was terrific on the floor, leading the Aggies to a fast start with two straight triples from deep. Huggins attributed his strong first half play to the fact he has other threats around him on the floor.

“You have someone like Pascal who is drawing double teams and he just has to kick to me and I am open,” Huggins says.

Huggins ended the game with 12 points on 4-7 shooting. NMSU found itself up 22-13 at the 12:34 mark of the second half, after the first media timeout. The Aggies then went on a 13-2 run, which featured a couple of more threes for the Aggies to blow the game wide open at 35-15.

Although the Delta Devils found their groove ever so slightly, NMSU took advantage of some poor close-up shots by Mississippi Valley State and turned them into easy transition points, with guards Rashawn Browne and Huggins getting some easy points quickly.

The rest of the half followed a similar tone as the Aggies shot more than 50 percent of the entire half from three-point land in pursuit of a sizeable halftime lead (49-26).

Siakam nearly collected his third double-double of the season by earning 11 points and nine boards at the half. The Aggies headed into the half looking to put away the Delta Devils early to start the second half. The Aggies certainly did not fail to disappoint.

Siakam garnered his double-double within a minute of the second half of play. The Aggies also enjoyed another double-double from Eli Chuha, who, just a few games into his college career, looks very promising. Chuha, who finished with 15 points and 10 boards on the night, attributes his growth to the mentorship of Siakam.

“Pascal has just been my teacher in the post and he is great to learn off of,” Chuha says.

Valley put on a full-court press, which to their credit aided them with NMSU having two straight turnovers. However, NMSU just seemed better the entire game and that was only echoed more and more as the game went on.

Siakam’s night ended after just 26 minutes, with NMSU up 28 points at the time. Both teams emptied their benches with five minutes to go. The Aggies got some nice contributions from all around, with every player for the Aggies registering in the scoring book. NMSU ended the game 85-46 as they improved to 3-1 on the season. They also held the Delta Devils to 26 percent shooting from the floor.

“Our goal was to hold them under 50 tonight and we did that well, obviously,” says Head Coach Marvin Menzies.

Looking ahead, the Aggies will welcome Robert Morris on Tuesday night. RBU is a tournament team from a year ago and Menzies says his team is excited to play them.

“I think this will be a good learning experience for our young guys to get ready for the regular season,” the coach says.

The game will be the last in what was a five-game home stand to start the season.

Tipoff on Tuesday night is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Albert Luna may be reached at ALuna32@NMSU.edu

Make sure to follow NMSU Round Up sports on Twitter: @RoundUp_Sports

NMSU has lost more than 130 professors in 13 years: Part 6

We talked to four former NMSU professors to get their reasons for leaving the university. Here’s what they said.

By Billy Huntsman

Managing Editor

This is the sixth installment in The Round Up/Oncore Magazine‘s 14-part series investigating professor turnover at NMSU.

TRU/OM attempted to get into contact with all 10 professors listed above. Only Brown, Durán, Luna, and Rodríguez responded (in addition to Porras’ email).

Despite the time gap between when Eber’s study was published in 2008 and when the 10 professors abovementioned started leaving NMSU in 2011, there are striking similarities between Eber’s respondents’ comments and those of Brown, Durán, Luna, and Rodríguez.

Brown worked in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders within the College of Education. She worked at NMSU for 10 years, leaving in 2014, a year after being promoted to full professor. She says such a move after being promoted is unusual.

“I refuse to work at an institution, and specifically in a college or department, that has the leadership, or lack of leadership, that they did,” she says. “And I specifically told (Provost Dan Howard) that I was leaving because our current department head (Marlene Salas-Provance) was unacceptable.”

Brown says, between Summer 2013 until the end of the 2013-2014 school year, six faculty members, all women, left the SPED/CD Department alone, Brown included, two without replacement jobs, because of how “hostile” the work environment was.

“I refuse to work for someone as disrespectful as she is and (for) someone (such as former College of Education) Dean Morehead, who allowed it to happen,” Brown says.

Brown says she had intended to retire at NMSU, “regardless of the lack of competitive salary.” She says she loved the students, Las Cruces, and loved NMSU until Salas-Provance took over as department head in 2010. Morehead spoke with SPED/CD faculty to get their take on Salas-Provance being promoted to department head, and Brown says there was much objection, particularly from SPED faculty.

“I told (Morehead), ‘If she becomes chair, people will leave, she is a polarizing personality, and people will leave,’” Brown says. “And that is what has happened.”

She says Salas-Provance’s department headship “was downhill from day one.” Brown gave an example of behavior on Salas-Provance’s part she found objectionable.

“When we serve on search committees or promotion and tenure committees, the chair (department head) is supposed to be removed from the committee’s process because she or he has their own independent evaluation that they’re supposed to do,” Brown says. “But (Salas-Provance) manipulated those committees and the chairs of those committees who she put in charge of those committees so that she could do this, so that either the people that she wanted to have hired got hired or so that their letters for promotion and tenure reflected what she wanted them to reflect, so that whoever it was that was going up, it was made sure that they got promotion and tenure.”

Brown says she and other faculty members reported such practices, which “is against policy,” but Morehead “did nothing” because “they’re (Morehead and Salas-Provance) close friends.”

Brown says she had decided to start looking for a position at another university shortly before being promoted to full professor. After her promotion, she says, NMSU made no moves to try to retain her.

“I pretty much made it clear that it was a done deal, if (Salas-Provance) was going to continue to be chair of the that department and Morehead was going to continue to be dean of that college, there was no way I was staying,” she says.

Morehead was “forced out” later in the summer after Brown left.

“That’s a positive move for that college,” Brown says.

Though Salas-Provance continues to serve as SPED/CD department head.

“That’s not a good thing,” Brown says.

Brown says if Salas-Provance and Morehead had been removed from the department and college, she would have “absolutely” stayed at NMSU.

Brown says many students were “left in limbo” by the six faculty members leaving between 2013 and 2014. Doctoral students in the SPED/CD Department were especially hurt, Brown says.

“I know one of the faculty members who left and she had three or four doctoral students left to get done,” Brown says. “And she applied to be Graduate (School) faculty but off-campus, and Marlene denied it.”

Brown says she is unsure why this happened, but speculated this was done out of “spite.”

Further, the faculty who remained in the department received excessive amounts of students to advise.

“There’s no morale in that department,” Brown says.

Brown says students get the impression the department is not stable, so why would they want to major in SPED/CD?

Despite the faculty members addressing such concerns with Provost Dan Howard and Dean Morehead, Brown says she got the impression NMSU’s attitude toward losing professors is, “Well, we’ll just go get another one.”

“(After speaking with the provost) I didn’t feel any desire on his part to do anything,” Brown says.

Brown says one reason at least 136 professors might have left in 13 years was a perception of instability on the university’s part, specifically the fact that, in 10 years, NMSU has had three presidents.

“I won’t have anything good to say about that institution until it makes some serious changes,” Brown says. “It’s unfortunate that the last three and a half years that I was there was so unpleasant that it totally trumps the first six and a half years I had that was great.”

TRU/OM attempted to get into contact with Salas-Provance to get her response to Brown’s comments, but we received no reply.

NMSU completes comeback behind Siakam’s stellar night

Aggies came back after halftime, thanks in large part to 30 points scored by Siakam throughout the game.

By Albert Luna

Staff Writer

NMSU was down by three points at halftime to a solid Tennessee Tech team. The Aggies realized they needed to play smarter, and it worked. The Aggies played the first game in the Air Force Classic on Wednesday night against the Tennessee Tech Golden, downing the visiting team, 76-63.

New Mexico State opened up the scoring with an early possession bucket from Braxton Huggins. After two straight Tennessee Tech scores, Tanveer Bhullar got his layup to roll in and drew the contact, putting the Aggies even with the Golden Eagles.

Bhullar missed the free throw. The opening possession of play was sloppy for both teams, in what could probably be highlighted with a sequence that saw Bhullar gather three straight offensive rebounds, but unable to hit on three straight shots from up close.

“I told the guys to just relax and keep going inside because they will start to fall and to their credit, they did,” Coach Marvin Menzies says.

The first media timeout had the Golden Eagles up by a point, 8-7. The Aggies were able to muster some much-needed momentum in the second sequence of play, outscoring the Eagles 5-3, including a nice and-one by Eli Chuha.

The Aggies continued to struggle with their shots and possessions, including a zone that Tennessee Tech hit them within the half court. The Aggies had six early turnovers by just 12 minutes into the game. An under-8 media timeout saw the Eagles jump out to a 20-17 lead, with the Golden Eagles moving the ball exceptionally well.

The Golden Eagles caught fire later on in the half, hitting four straight three-pointers, putting them up 29-21.

“They had some guys shooting some three’s that were not in the scouting report and to their credit, they knocked down some difficult shots,” NMSU guard Ian Baker says.

A timely Baker-three of his own stopped the bleeding before a Pascal Siakam-score made things closer, but Tennessee Tech continued to come back. Another timeout had NMSU down by just three. After the timeout, the Aggies fell victim to Tennessee Tech’s repeated three-point shooting.

The Aggies headed into the half down three, 36-33, with Siakam collecting 15 points and six boards in the first half alone.

The second half opened up with a quick Aggies score. But the Golden Eagles were not going to go down easily. The only problem was NMSU did not plan on it either.

The Aggies used two big buckets from Siakam to take the lead, forcing a timeout by the Golden Eagles, putting NMSU up 41-38. Ian Baker got hot to start the second half, hitting two straight from down, forcing a timeout with NMSU up, 47-40.

The rest of the half had a similar tone to it, as the Aggies stayed in the game for the remainder of the sequence. The only difference was the Aggies hit most of their threes, in start contrast to the first half.

It was more of the same for Pascal Siakam, as he equaled his first half total for points (15) and tallied 30 for the game. The big man also collected 11 rebounds.

“I’m happy for Pascal because of the person he is,” Menzies says. “I’ve had guys score 30 points here before, but I’m not sure I’ve been happier for one like Pascal just because of how he is.”

Menzies was also quick to point out this kind of performance should be expected from Siakam since he had a clear size advantage. But Siakam simply attributed the win to team effort.

“We just wanted to play better really,” he says.

The Aggies now move to 2-1 on the season. They next play Mississippi Valley State on Saturday night, in the Pan American Center. Tipoff is set for seven p.m.

Albert Luna may be reached at ALuna32@NMSU.edu

Make sure to follow NMSU Round Up Sports on Twitter: @RoundUp_Sports

Aggies blow out rival UNM in home-opener

NMSU women’s basketball shut out Lobos, 78-59, Tuesday night. The Aggies have now won back-to-back games against their I-25 rivals.

By Albert Luna

Staff Writer

20151117_204415.jpg
The women Aggies in action against the Lobos Tuesday night.  Photo by Albert Luna.

NMSU women’s basketball Head Coach Mark Trakh could not remember the last time his team beat in-state rivals two games in a row. That was, until Tuesday night.

The New Mexico State women Aggies had their home-opener on Tuesday night as they took on the University of New Mexico Lobos, beating them 78-59. The Lobos were previously beaten on Sunday by the women Aggies’ male counterpart in Albuquerque. This is the first time the Aggies have defeated the Lobos in back-to back-games since the 1995-1996 season.

Both teams were 1-0 in the young season, with NMSU defeating North Dakota State, 79-69, in their season-opener in Fargo, on Friday night. The Lobos also played on Friday, defeating Houston Baptist, 65-57, in Albuquerque.

The Aggies came into this season with high expectations for their program, after making an appearance in the NCAA tournament earlier this calendar year. Perhaps the most encouraging news of it all is that the Aggies are returning all five of their main starts from that NCAA tournament team, easily making the Aggies a favorite to repeat as champions of the WAC, per preseason coaches and media votes.

It also never hurts to have Brianna Freeman, who was named the WAC player of the year this past campaign. Freeman was also named the Preseason MVP by the coaches and media. She had 12 points and eight rebounds on Friday night. A big change also in women’s college basketball this year is the initiation of 10-minute quarters instead of halves, a first for the sport.

The opening sequence of Tuesday night’s game yielded strong defense with the first two minutes, but the Aggies went to work from there. The Aggies switched up their defense early to put on a full court press, which clearly put the Lobos out of their comfort zone.

“That is our style, we plan to press all game, it was not just game planned for UNM, and it will be like that the entire season,” Trakh says.

Freeman picked up right where she left off last season and scored a nice jump hook off of the right block to open up the scoring. The Aggies later used turnovers, six in the first five minutes of play alone, to jump out to a quick 10-3 lead, forcing UNM to call time.

UNM began to wake up a bit and hit a pair of early threes to put them within striking distance. Fouls, however, were the theme of the entire game early and often, with both teams combining for 23 fouls in the first 20 minutes alone, averaging well more than one every minute.

Freeman did not benefit from this, as she picked up two quick fouls and was limited to only six minutes of game action. A big three by Abby Scott at the eight-minute mark in the quarter woke up the dormant crowd and put the Aggies back up, 16-11. However, the Lobos continued to find their groove offensively as UNM’s Cherise Beynon reached a game-high 10 points through the first 10 minutes of play. The quarter ended with Sasha Weber hitting a three from just inside the half court line, beating the buzzer and sending NMSU into the second quarter of play down 22-16.

Brooke Salas opened up the second quarter with a nice up and under move after securing an offensive rebound. Salas, a native of Placentia, California, also got the start in the game, reaffirming Trakh’s previous statements that she should have a chance to play big minutes.

“Brooke has a chance to be very good,” the coach says. “We’re very excited we got her. She’s going to be a heck of a player.”

She later had four more points in the opening segment of the quarter, putting her at six just in the quarter. Zaire Williams gave the Aggies some nice offense off the bench in the second period also, including an and-one off the left block and a three from the left corner.

After the Lobos opened up the third quarter with a few points to bring things to within double digits, the Aggies again hit New Mexico with their signature press, forcing the Lobos into more difficult shots than they would like.

However, the quarter proved to be a stark contrast to its predecessor, with both teams enjoying scoring. The Aggies escaped the third quarter, edging out UNM in scoring, 20-14, to go into the decisive quarter up 15, 57-42.

The fourth quarter opened up with a Freeman pull-up jumper from the free throw line. The Aggies, however, seemed to have done most of their damage in the first half, as UNM struggled to shoot over 40 percent the remainder of the game. NMSU had two straight daggers by Shanice Davis and Sasha Weber from behind the three-point line to put NMSU at its largest lead, 70-50, with two minutes remaining.

The Aggies caught fire late, hitting five straight threes to end the game, including two straight from Tamera Williams. The Aggies closed out the Lobos from there, the final: 78-59.

Trakh attributes his teams’ stellar play to start the season to the experience and confidence that they gained last year, particularly going toe-to-toe with an eventual Final Four team in Maryland.

“Only losing by 18 to them was big for us,” he says. “We’re a different team. We now have confidence and I think it is showing in big games like tonight.”

The Aggies will next be in action on Thursday night, when they take on Sacramento State, at seven p.m. in the Pan American Center.

Albert Luna may be reached at ALuna32@NMSU.edu

Make sure to follow the official Round Up Sports Twitter: @RoundUp_Sports

NMSU Has Lost More Than 130 Professors in 13 Years: Part 5

Among the reasons cited by former NMSU professors as to why they left the university include: racism, sexism, homophobia. Despite the fact NMSU professors’ salaries are below the national average, “dissatisfaction with salary was not a major factor in most respondents’ decisions to leave NMSU.”

By Billy Huntsman

Managing Editor

This is the fifth installment in The Round Up/Oncore Magazine‘s 14-part series investigating professor turnover at NMSU.

Why Eber’s respondents left

Christine Eber, professor emerita in the Department of Anthropology, published a study in 2008 titled “A Diamond in the Rough: Faculty Retention at New Mexico State University.” The study focused on why 34 professors left NMSU between 2005 and 2008.

The reasons Eber’s respondents left NMSU were “a mixed bag.”

Most, 18 in fact, left for tenure-track assistant professor positions at other universities. Two left for deanships, two for department headships. Interestingly, four left for non-academic positions, and another four left NMSU without another job arranged.

Twenty received substantial salary increases (anywhere from $15,000 to $55,000 increases), while three received decreases, though “dissatisfaction with salary was not a major factor in most respondents’ decisions to leave NMSU,” Eber writes.

Eber’s 34 interviews, some as many as two hours long, were conducted one-on-one, with Eber asking a series of open-ended questions, rather than having the respondent respond to a survey.

From the respondents’ comments, Eber created encapsulations of what respondents said was most problematic at NMSU

Among the issues Eber found were:

  • Lack of meaningful mentoring for new faculty from senior or experienced faculty (25 of Eber’s 34 respondents mentioned this in some way).

One respondent reports feeling as though new faculty are given the message, “We’ll see if he/she can make it” by experienced faculty.

  • Resignation about limited resources, acceptance of mediocrity and the status quo, not thinking highly enough of one’s colleagues and students, administrators feeling threatened by faculty members with new ideas and theoretical perspectives (19 respondents).

“‘At NMSU if you came up with a new idea there was much resistance,’” Eber quotes one respondent. “‘They always wanted to do it their way.’”

  • Faculty members feel a lack of appreciation from administrators (17 respondents).

“‘Administrators give the faculty the impression that they are replaceable,’” Eber quotes. “‘Fungible, as (Donald) Rumsfeld said about the troops in Iraq. NMSU has a callous, cavalier attitude about losing faculty.’”

In this section also, three separate respondents emphasize what “a difference” a thank you would have made.

“‘I got some very large grants that went to NMSU,’” Eber quotes one respondent. “‘I never got a note from anyone, no acknowledgement that this was an important contribution to NMSU. If a person had contributed as a donor, they would have received a thank-you card. A note from the VP or Provost – ‘This is wonderful’ – would have been nice. I got the impression that getting huge amounts of money is just expected of faculty at NMSU.’”

  • Faculty members become exhausted from heavy teaching loads (15 respondents).

“‘I could not do research with such a heavy teaching load,’” one respondent says. “‘I was expected to be superhuman.’”

In addition to heavy teaching loads, respondents also frequently complained of being unable to meet departmental and/or college research and service expectations.

“‘All faculty at NMSU do burdensome work, serve on many committees and lots of extracurricular work,’” says one respondent. “‘The learning curve to serve on committees is steep. The administration at NMSU keeps wanting to suck people dry.’”

  • Colleges and departments are poorly connected (13 respondents).

“Difficulty working across departments or units was a problem,” Eber paraphrases a respondent. “In the faculty member’s current position, working across units is considered an advantage because the university is trying to transform itself. There is greater willingness to try different things.”

  • Lack of a sense of community, exhibited in inadequate welcome, orientation and assistance for new faculty members to integrate into the NMSU and surrounding communities (12 respondents).

“‘At my new job I have been invited to and introduced at many events since my arrival,’” one respondent in Eber’s study says. “‘Faculty have helped me get to know the people I can work with. No such effort was made at NMSU.’”

Further, Eber pairs this problem with “a sense of people competing with one another for scarce resources, recognition, benefits.”

“‘E-mail messages describing the accomplishments of departments and faculty from the college had the effect of pitting departments against one another, evoking a sense of competition, rather than of celebration,’” Eber quotes one respondent. “‘There must be a better way to celebrate faculty accomplishments.’”

  • Administrators are out of touch with faculty members’ realities and don’t seem to care to know (12 respondents).

“For example, some staff members think that professors just ‘show up’ for their classes,” Eber again paraphrases a respondent.

Later, she paraphrases another respondent as saying faculty members are not respected by all levels of administration.

  • Administrators have superficial understanding of diversity. Racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia are persistent problems (11 respondents).

Two respondents report instances of misogyny in their respective colleges. Another opposed two male colleagues hiring a candidate the respondent felt was “sexist, rude, and inappropriate.”

Another respondent reported “strong racism” in his/her department, college, and the university at large. Colleagues of the respondent seemed to give him/her the message, “Remember, you’re not one of us.”

“‘It is possible to flourish at NMSU, but mostly only White men flourish,’” one respondent says.

Eber also makes note of several Anglo respondents who reported being accused of racism by Hispanic administrators whom the respondents had confronted about abusing their power.

Diversity issues are not confined to the realms of race/ethnicity, Eber reports.

“At least three junior faculty members in this study left NMSU because they were unable to resolve their problems with senior male faculty members who belong to an ‘old-boy network’ that protected them at the expense of the junior faculty members,” Eber writes.

  • Lack of transparency in decision-making (11 respondents).

Complaints in this area ranged from being unable to “get answers from administrators about resource distribution,” “a person could be denied tenure and the dean didn’t feel (he/she) had to say why,” and “efforts on search committees were empty because in the end administrators made the decision about whom to hire.”

  • NMSU does not offer help or services to the people of the state (8 respondents).

“After the devastating rain in New Mexico in 2006, the university did not do anything for the nutrition and food safety of the displaced migrants in the affected areas,” Eber paraphrases one respondent. “There were no course releases (for professors) for (volunteer) efforts to take the university to the people, because no one cared about this.”

Poor leadership, either at the dean and/or department head/chair level, was also frequently cited, by Eber-interviews.

Nine of Eber’s respondents say their department heads were “a negative force.” Other comments include “‘I got the impression that the dean didn’t care,’” “‘that the dean expected faculty to leave,’” and “‘the college and university doesn’t seem to care (that [professors] are leaving).’”

NBA: Week 3

By Albert Luna

Staff Writer

3 Things I like and Don’t Like

Week 3 of the NBA season is always fun. That is because the sample sizes for players and teams is no longer a couple of games, but basically one-eighth of the season. With these trends looking like they are here to stay, it makes it easier to know exactly which players, teams, and even coaches look in line to have successful campaigns. With that said, let’s take a look at some topics that are trending up and down, and also power rankings.

Like: Steph Curry Might Have the Best Season Ever

It sounds so simple and so absurd, but it might actually be right. Stephen Curry is playing out of his mind right now. The point guard leads the league in three-pointers made by almost 30, and that’s only 10 games in! The reigning MVP is poised to break his own record from last year (after breaking his own record from the year before). I think the whole debate of “who is the greatest shooter ever?” is over by now. However, it’s not just the three.  Curry has gone up in field goal percentage and rebounding this year too. His off nights are scoring in the high 20s, that’s how good he is. Curry is clearly untouchable right now in the NBA player hierarchy and barring any injuries, he looks poised for a run at a second straight MVP and possibly guiding the (11-0) still undefeated Warriors to a historic season in their own right also.

Don’t Like: The Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks were pegged by many to make a serious run in the Eastern Conference if they could get all the pieces to work together. That simply has not happened yet and it doesn’t seem to be on its way any time soon. Milwaukee, just two years removed from having the worst record in the NBA and drafting Jabari Parker as a result, has played a fairly easy schedule. However, they simply have dropped some games that they shouldn’t have. Greg Monroe is doing his part, it just seems that they need that other go-to player to solidify wins.  Maybe that is Parker and he just needs to get healthy. Nonetheless, the Bucks have been quite a letdown after all the hype given them by critics going into the season.

Like: The Eastern Conference

Ever since Michael Jordan retired from the Eastern Conference and the league, the East has easily been the weaker conference, with the teams that make the playoffs typically having losing records. Compared to the West, where 50 wins is the benchmark for a playoff seed, it has made the conference seem like the clear inferior. That tide may be starting to turn. The East, through the first 10 or so games of the season, fosters teams that have better records than their Western counterparts. There are 13 teams with at least five wins in the East compared to just nine in the West. It may be because many teams in the West are just going through early season struggles, but if this trend continues, it may be interesting to see how the power of the conferences begins to shift going forward. Crazy what a week can do, just last week I had them pegged as a “don’t like” and every bottom of the standings team reeled off wining streaks.  You have to love the NBA.

  • Golden State Warriors – Steph Curry is going to continue to be big for this team and the best player in the league. The only thing is, can it last and can he get more help during crunch time?
  • Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavs’ eight-game winning streak came to an end this week after a double overtime loss to the Bucks. Nonetheless, LeBron James has quieted any skeptics saying that his best days are behind him, still scoring the ball at will.
  • San Antonio Spurs – The Spurs will continue being the Spurs. They just reeled off four straight wins this week and LaMarcus Aldridge seems to be finding his groove on his new team.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder – Despite losing Kevin Durant for about one more week, Russell Westbrook has been a stats darling for Fantasy owners and fans alike. That may be due to him taking virtually every shot, however.
  • Atlanta Hawks –The Hawks jumped out to an 8-2 quick start but have faltered a bit of late and have dropped two straight. Although it is obviously concerning, they still have star Al Horford to right the ship.
  • Chicago Bulls – Derrick Rose just has not been the same and it is clear that it is Jimmy Butler’s team now. The Bulls have had just had about the same results with their new coach as they did with Tom Thibedeoe.
  • Miami Heat – The Heat have been battling some injuries but have still managed to post some nice shorthanded wins, including one at home over the Jazz in which they started their third-string guards.
  • Los Angeles Clippers – The Clippers dropped two straight nationally televised games to the Mavs and Suns this week by double digits. Not ideal, but they recovered Sunday with a win over the Pistons.
  • Toronto Raptors – The Raptors are still searching for consistency. They can beat a good team one day and lose to the Kings the next. Bench scoring is a big concern here still.
  • Dallas Mavericks – The Mavs beat the Clippers and Rockets both by double digits this week. Dirk Nowitzki is still putting up 30 point games at the age of 37. Dallas has won four of their last five games.

Be sure to check back next week, same time, for the latest installment of the NBA column.

Albert Luna may be reached at ALuna32@NMSU.edu

Make sure to follow the Round Up’s Official Twitter: @RoundUp_Sports

Baker, Siakam shine in loss to UNM

Lobos and Aggies on the court Sunday night in Pan Am.  Photo by Albert Luna.
Lobos and Aggies on the court Sunday night in Pan Am. Photo by Albert Luna.

By Albert Luna

Staff Writer

New Mexico State admittedly has a young team that needs experience playing in big games. Sunday should serve as a good wake-up call.

The Aggies faced off against their in-state rivals, the UNM Lobos, Sunday night in the Pan American Center, keeping things close, but slipping at the end in an eventual 83-74 defeat. The Aggies were fresh off their season-opening 91-69 victory over Houston Baptist on Friday night, a game that saw forward Pascal Siakam pick up right where he left off from last year in recording a 28-11 double-double, at one point outscoring the entire Huskies team in the second half alone.

The Lobos came into Las Cruces sporting a 1-0 undefeated record of their own after their season-opening victory, also on Friday night, in Albuquerque against Texas Southern, 86-57. This would also be the team’s last game before both take part in some early season tournaments, the Air Force Classic for the Aggies and the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge for the Lobos.

The opening half of play started with high anticipation on display, as Aggie fans made it known they were expecting a tough, physical game. The opening bucket by Braxton Huggins set the tone for an opening sequence of play that yielded four total Aggie baskets, including a quick bucket from Siakam.

NMSU struggled initially to close out on the three-point shooters, allowing two quick shots from the Lobos. A timeout on the floor had the scoreboard favoring the Aggies, 13-7, just four minutes into the game. NMSU got an early lift from Braxton Huggins, who jumped out with eight quick points in the first nine minutes of the contest, while also providing four rebounds.

Huggins sat down shortly in the half but returned to the floor to provide 10 points in all in the half.

“I thought that our guards played big for us tonight,” says Aggie Head Coach Marvin Menzies. “Braxton and Ian have really improved that three-point shot.”

New Mexico State did most of their early damage from the line as they could only garner a 29 percent shooting average from the floor. NMSU allowed the Lobos to get the line early and often, including giving up a pair of and-ones.

The game took a quick turn for the Aggies when the Lobos threw a 1-3-1 half-court defense at the Aggies, who responded with an essential halt in their scoring. The Aggies garnered two straight turnovers and some ill-advised shots in the process. However, like any zone, you must either shoot your way out of it or score inside. Ian Baker chose the former.

Baker hit three three-pointers, including one after absorbing the contact, to keep the Aggies competitive during a stretch in which UNM made their inevitable run.

“Coach didn’t really tell us a specific strategy on stopping the zone,” says Baker. “We just kind of went out and played the game.”

Baker ended the game with 19 points overall.

The Lobos gained momentum heading into the break, however, with guard Elijah Brown hitting an acrobatic shot as time expired. New Mexico State went into the break on the wrong side of 39-38.

The Lobos showed tenacity to open up the second half, scoring five quick points to put NMSU in a 44-38 hole in less than 30 seconds. Matt Taylor stopped the bleeding after Huggins was able to dive for a loose ball and assist the Taylor-layup. The Lobos called timeout, up 44-40, with 18:34 left in the game. However, the Lobos would open up their largest lead of the game shortly after that, 53-45, which was highlighted by the play of UNM’s Cullen Neal (one three and a floater) during the run.

The Aggies got to work from there, scoring some nice baskets from Siakam and Huggins, who had a nice reverse layup after pump faking a three. A scary moment ensued when UNM’s Devon Williams seemed to collapse after a defensive sequence. Both coaches came onto the court as the crowd was at a noise standstill. Williams was taken off the court by stretcher 15 minutes later.

However, as play resumed, the Aggies fell victim to yet another UNM run, this time doing it with a lineup that has played little as a collective unit. The Aggies were able to cut it down to a manageable seven points after a pair of Tanveer Bhullar free throws.

The more than 6,000 people in attendance got into the game after a rim-rattling Jalyn Pennie dunk that put NMSU within five. Siakam then scored a nice hook shot to bring the Aggies within three. That was as close as they got.

UNM scored an and-one on the next trip down to bring their star player, Elijah Brown, a Butler transfer, to 31 points on the night.

“I thought that Brown was just on fire tonight and we could not contain him,” Menzies says.

The head coach also says his lack of wing defense stability needs to be addressed going forward.

“We’re just so young that we need to really get down and defend the ball,” he says.

The Aggies were unable to even buy a bucket in the last minute of play, with shots by Baker, Siakam, and Huggins simply rimming out.

“I thought that we didn’t execute down the stretch as we would have liked to, but again that is on the coaching staff,” Menzies says.

The Lobos went on a 5-0 run to close the game, officially defeating the Aggies and remaining undefeated in the process.

“This wasn’t Aggie basketball,” Menzies says. “It’s hard for me to swallow and that is my responsibility.”

A press conference took place after the game.

“There’s always something about non-conference schedule,” Menzies says. “I don’t know what is, but I just wish we could have won for the fans. I love this city.”

Despite the loss, Menzies says he thinks his young team can build off their mistakes.

“We’re going to sit down and watch film and I think the guys will be able to see what they did wrong,” the coach says. “We have to get ready for Tennessee Tech.”

The Aggies will next be in action on Wednesday versus Tennessee Tech in the opening game of the Air Force Classic. Tipoff is set for seven p.m.

Albert Luna may be reached at Aluna32@NMSU.edu

Make sure to follow Round Up Sports’ Official Twitter for live game updates: @RoundUp_Sports