Section I

Introduction and Guiding Principles

Table of Contents

Download a PDF of the handbook.


Welcome to the Central New Mexico Community College (CNM or the College) Governing Board Handbook. This handbook connects our strategic direction with our day-to-day operations, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

The Governing Board is an elected group of individuals, constituting a lawful political subdivision, who represent the population of the CNM District. The Board is responsible for policies that govern all phases of the educational program within the College. The implementation of the policies through administrative procedures is delegated by the Board to the President as the Chief Executive Officer for the Governing Board. The Board relies upon the President and staff for the experience and training in education and administration of the College to provide the Board with general guidance in matters of instituting and revising policy.

Recommendations for Board policy changes are received by the Board in an orderly manner through the arrangements described in Board policies and implemented by current administrative procedures.

Policy statements are regularly adopted and disseminated by the Board with the intention of supporting the mission, vision, values, and goals of the College. The policies are intended for the use of College employees, students, and other citizens to provide a general operating climate for guiding decisions related to the attainment of desired educational objectives.

All policy statements and operational policies and procedures are available for public inspection in the office of the President of the College.

Adopted: 8/12/2014
Committee: Executive

Message From the President

With each passing year, the role of Central New Mexico Community College becomes even more profound for our students, community members, and state. As the New Mexico’s largest higher education institution in terms of undergraduate enrollment, CNM embraces our public responsibility to deliver the highest quality education and training programs that support the needs of our community members and economy.

Our students, community, and economy rely on CNM to be a community college model of excellence while remaining affordable, accessible, and equitable. With our 2020-2024 Strategic Plan guiding the way, we are confident that CNM will continue to live up to our stakeholders’ expectations while making significant contributions to a better quality of life in central New Mexico.

Since 2008, our Vision has been Changing Lives, Building Community. It’s our CNM community’s rallying call, and it remains the same for our 2020-2024 Strategic Plan. Our Mission that was established in 2016 – Be a Leader in Education and Training – also remains the same, as does our three over-arching Strategic Directions of Student Success, Community Success, and Organizational Excellence and Innovation. However, the strategies to achieve these Strategic Directions have been updated with clear objectives and key performance indicators to measure our progress. More information about our Strategic Plan can be found on

The pace of change across the globe, including the world of higher education, continues to gain speed. And it will only accelerate in the years ahead as technology increasingly transforms work, life, and education.

In partnership with the CNM Governing Board, we will also accelerate our evolution as a 21st century community college in order to stay on the leading edge of higher education. We will continue to “Be a Leader in Education and Training” and we will continue “Changing Lives, Building Community” in new ways as we help our students, community, economy, and state meet the challenges of tomorrow. And as we passionately pursue these goals, we will always remain firmly committed to our Core Values – Be Caring, Be Ethical, Be Inspiring, Be Courageous, Be Connected, and Be Exceptional.

Although we’re a long way from 1965, when this college welcomed its first students, our basic mission remains the same – providing our students with the most current and relevant education and training that connects them to good careers in key fields that support economic development in New Mexico.

I look forward to working with the CNM Governing Board and the CNM community to continue our legacy of “Changing Lives, Building Community.”


Tracy Hartzler, CNM President

Guiding Principles

CNM Vision Statement

Changing Lives, Building Community

CNM Mission Statement

Be a leader in education and training.

CNM Core Values

Be Caring, Be Ethical, Be Inspiring, Be Courageous, Be Connected, Be Exceptional.

Committee: Executive

Student Success


Students achieve their educational and career goals.


  • Deliver an exceptional student experience.
  • Lead in access, retention, and graduation among all student populations.
  • Use innovative approaches and develop agile, continuous learners.

Community Success


New Mexico and its people prosper.


  • Develop leaders and meet the education and workforce needs of New Mexico.
  • Build public- and private-sector partnerships that foster economic development opportunities.

CNM will develop strategies with a commitment to equity and communication in order to reach these objectives. 

Adopted: 11/8/2016
Revised: 9/20/19