NMSU welcomes new administrators

Four new administrators joined NMSU in summer and fall 2019. In July, Carol Parker started as provost, Jim Chavez ’81 started as Physical Science Laboratory director, and Roy Collins III started as the new general counsel and chief legal affairs officer, while in September, Ruth A. Johnston started as the strategic chief financial officer. 

Parker was formerly senior adviser for academic affairs and provost at the University of Texas at El Paso. Parker started her academic career as a first-generation community college student and went on to complete her baccalaureate education while working full time. She strongly believes in the power of higher education to provide a vehicle for social mobility. 

Parker has more than two decades of experience as a higher education administrator. She worked at the University of New Mexico from 2013-2017 as senior vice provost for academic affairs. Previous to that, she was an associate dean and director at the UNM School of Law. 

A former vice president at Sandia National Laboratories, Chavez manages PSL’s strategic direction, establishing national defense and security policies and the staffing and compensation practices necessary to effectively compete for and deliver products and services in the areas of research and technology. 

Chavez previously served as a director at Keystone International, providing global security consulting services for national laboratories, government agencies and groups. He also was responsible for building national security programs for Keystone. 

Collins was previously associate general counsel and interim general counsel at the University of Hartford. Collins, a native of Galveston, Texas, worked at Hartford since 2010. He previously served as associate general counsel at Idaho State University and assistant general counsel at Texas Southern University. He also served as commercial counsel for Chrysler Corporation and had his own private law practice. 

As strategic chief financial officer, Johnston helps set system-wide strategy, define financial objectives of individual entities within the university and drive operational efficiency while creating a climate of accountability. Johnston also provides innovative and strategic guidance to optimize NMSU’s existing, underutilized and untapped assets including real estate holdings.

Johnston joined NMSU after recently serving as vice chancellor for the University of Washington Bothell Planning and Administration. She served as first vice president on the Western Association of College and University Business Officers board of directors, and also has served on the Network of Change and Continuous Improvement board. 

Adriana M. Chávez ’19

Carol Parker

Jim Chavez

Roy Collins III

Ruth A. Johnston