Meet UNM-LA Advisory Board Candidate Troy Hughes

By TROY HUGHES, Candidate
UNM-LA Advisory Board Position 3

Our college, the University of New Mexico at Los Alamos (UNMLA), is a vital part of our community that deserves more attention. I submitted my name as a candidate for the UNMLA Advisory Board so that I can be one that makes a difference and brings UMNLA the attention it deserves. 

My association with community colleges started many years ago when I led an effort to create a cooperative agreement between two community colleges that allowed a fire science degree program to be taught in my hometown. My first degree was an associate’s degree in fire science in the program I helped to start. I later went on to earn a BA in Public Administration and a MA in Management with a Leadership Emphasis.

I served on an advisory board for Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Neb., and served as Board Chair for College Park in Grand Island, Neb. I currently serve on the Emergency Medical Education Advisory Committee for Santa Fe Community College. I am very appreciative of the educational opportunities I have been given and feel a need to give back to education as much or more than education has given to me. 

My connection with UNMLA started in 2011 when I was a part of a successful effort to establish a fire science degree program. I later served as treasurer for the Los Alamos Citizens for Higher Education (LACHE) committee. My experience on this committee has motivated me to apply for the UNMLA Advisory Board. I was very impressed with the energy and effort put forth by the members of the LACHE committee. I believe this energy needs to be harnessed outside of any mil-levy effort and be commonplace in telling the great stories of UMNLA success. 

My many visits to Durango, Colo., were a major factor in my decision to make Los Alamos my home. I fell in love with the Southwest and sought a job in this wonderful part of our country. Durango is a small town, but has a very vibrant shopping and dining atmosphere. These service based businesses thrive due to a healthy student workforce that is generated by Fort Lewis College.

A common issue among small business owners in Los Alamos is the struggle to attract and retain employees. Los Alamos could better support a service based business workforce if we significantly expand our student enrollment. We will need to expand student housing and expand our scope of offered programs if we want to attract more students. Those who lead this effort to expand student enrollment will determine its success or failure. 

 The UMNLA Board is truly an advisory board. The primary task of the board is to convince the UMN Board of Regents to make good decisions for UNMLA. The effectiveness of the negotiating, convincing, and pleading will be highly dependent how the regents perceive the UMNLA representative.

I am hopeful that my educational history, experience on other community college advisory boards, extensive experience in negotiating labor contracts,  and successful negotiation of cooperative agreements with the Department of Energy will guide me in serving on the UNMLA Advisory Board and gaining greater support from the UNM Board of Regents. I ask for your vote. 

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