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NMSU considers contracting auxiliary services portfolio

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A transfer of $40 million in New Mexico State University revenue to private sector development is under consideration, according to a document posted to the university’s procurement website.

The document, called a “Referral for Information,” seeks market data for potentially outsourcing all of the university’s auxiliary services beginning in 2020, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported on Thursday.

The auxiliary services include main campus maintenance and custodial services, housing, dining services and meal plans, parking, conference services, the university golf course and its businesses and more.

The university is not currently looking for bids or committing to contracting all the services, but presents a timeline for proceeding with procurement and negotiating the contract, the document says

The university is looking into whether at least one contractor might “develop, operate, maintain, and improve its portfolio of physical and operational assets beginning on July 1, 2020.”

All third-party operating agreements currently in force for the NMSU’s auxiliary services terminate on June 30, 2020.

NMSU’s administration declined interview requests for this story, stating through spokesman Justin Banister that the university “had nothing to add” to the public document.

In total, the document states that the Auxiliary Services portfolio generates $40 million in annual revenue. Opening that revenue to the private sector is presented as a priority goal for the concept, to stimulate economic growth and “catalyze the local job market and economy.”

The golf course alone generated more than $2 million in revenue during the 2018 fiscal year, while parking generated $1.5 million and Corbett Center fees and services brought in $1.3 million, according to NMSU data.

In a different request, the university sought proposals from vendors to provide student recruitment and enrollment services, including marketing.

The request also seeks vendors to manage an online system for student applications to NMSU, and to consult with the university on a financial aid and scholarship strategy aimed at retention without harming revenue.

This comes as Chancellor Dan Arvizu and President John Floros look to reverse declining enrollment and retention of students.

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com

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