New Mexico Tech has announced five finalists selected by the 2023 presidential search committee who will be arriving to campus on Nov.26 through Dec.11 for a schedule of events which provides an opportunity for the community to meet and give feedback on the candidates.
In a Nov. 22 press release the Board of Regents named Dr. Mahyar Amouzegar, Dr. Robert Wilhelm, Dr. John Barthell, Dr. Tomás Diaz de la Rubia and Dr. Mohamed Abousalem as their candidates.

Tomás Diaz de la Rubia

Mahyar Amouzegar

Mohamed Abousalem

Robert Wilhelm

John Barthell

According to Jerry Armijo, president of the Board of Regents, serving as co-chair of the search committee, the committee has thirty days after the publication of the public notice to make a decision, under state law.
“It’s been a grueling process, we have been at it for six weeks, particularly the last two weeks have been intensive and time consuming, but we are excited; number one with the quality of pool of applicants we received and particularly excited with the five finalists.” Armijo said.
He said that all candidates come from larger schools out of state and bring a lot of experience to the table.
“All of our applicants were enthusiastic about this job and have worked really hard to become a finalist, so there is passion for this school outside of New Mexico; that was nice to see.” Armijo said.
Each candidate will have one and a half days for tours of the city and campus, open session presentations, Q&A sessions, meet and greets, lunch with students and dinner at the Bodega Burger Co.
Armijo said that the board wants to encourage everyone to participate and give feedback on their website. After meeting the candidates there is an opportunity for staff, students, faculty and community members to answer survey questions on their website.
This is third presidential hire in thirty years for New Mexico Tech.
“Tech selects a president very rarely, it’s a very important process not only for the Tech community but the Socorro community; the board would like everyone’s input.” Armijo said.
He said that earlier in the process when they put out a survey to the community asking what qualities they wanted in a president, the response rate was unusually high, and it was helpful because they were able to use that feedback to develop questions for the candidates.
“We are thankful for the community involvement, thus far,” Armijo said. “We are all in this together.”
According to their timeline, NM Tech started their recruitment and application evaluation in June 2023, did preliminary screenings in September, their first round of interviews in October and semi-finalist interviews from Nov.5 through Nov.15. After the campus events, the finalist interviews are scheduled for Nov.6 to Dec.11 with the finalist selection to be announced at the Special Board of Regents Meeting in December.

Candidates’ presentations are scheduled as follows:
Nov. 27, Macey Center, Dr. Mahyar Amouzegar
Dec. 1, Macey Center, Dr. Robert Wilhelm
Dec. 4, Macey Center, Dr. John Barthell
Dec. 6, Workman Building 101, Dr. Tomás Diaz de la Rubia
Dec. 11, Macey Center, Dr. Mohamed Abousalem

For a detailed schedule and access to the survey please visit: