New Mexico Highlands University selects new president

LAS VEGAS, N.M. — The New Mexico Highlands University Board of Regents has selected Dr. Neil Woolf as the 19th president of the institution.

Woolf will serve a conditional five-year term with an annual salary of $290,000. His term will begin once Dr. Sam Minner completes his contract, which is no later than July 1.

The board unanimously selected Woolf after receiving input from the NMHU and Las Vegas communities and a preceding national search.

Woolf has over 22 years of administrative experience in higher education. He currently serves as the executive vice president for Southern Oregon University, a university he has been at since 2019.

Before, he served in executive enrollment roles at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Eastern Washington University.

“I am grateful and honored to be able to serve as the president of New Mexico Highlands University,” Dr. Woolf said. “My wife and I were both overwhelmed by the kindness we experienced in Las Vegas and the level of commitment the community members have. It’s exactly what we were looking for. A place to call home that has a strong level of commitment to student success.”

“Throughout the interview process, Dr. Woolf demonstrated his strong understanding and support for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). His previous work with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities included helping establish the first HSI in Nevada,” said William E. “Bill” García, Chairman of the NMHU Board of Regents. “The regents were impressed by his experience in recruitment and enrollment and his extensive academic and financial experience.” 

The board selected Woolf from a field over 80 candidates. Candidates visited campus for interviews and the community shared feedback with the regents.

According to NMHU, hundreds of stakeholders responded to a feedback survey conducted on campus and in the community at the outset of the search.