New Mexico Tech president resigns citing health issues

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May 1—New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology President Stephen G. Wells tendered his resignation to the university's board of regents Friday, citing health issues as the reason for his departure.

The regents appointed Daniel H. López, a well-known member of the university's Socorro community who served as New Mexico Tech's president and chief lobbyist from 1993 to 2016, as interim president. López will remain interim president through the end of 2023 or until a permanent replacement has been appointed, board President Jerry A. Armijo said in a statement.

Wells' contracts show his term as president of New Mexico Tech began in July 2016 and, following an extension in 2020, was set to run through 2026. In the statement, Armijo thanked Wells and his wife, Beth Wells, for their nearly seven years of service to the university and wished them well in the future.

The regents plan to convene a search committee including faculty, staff, students, community members and other stakeholders to search nationwide for New Mexico Tech's next permanent president.

Armijo reiterated the university's commitment to serving New Mexicans as a scientific research institution while the search for a new president gets underway.

"To the university's talented and proficient students, highly acclaimed faculty, dedicated staff, loyal alumni, caring community members, and committed partners, New Mexico Tech pledges to keep a firm focus on its mission to be a pre-eminent community of scholars dedicated to research, education, and innovation," he said.