Ms. Trish Ruiz
Ms. Trish Ruiz

Portales, New Mexico – March 16, 2021 – A former New Mexico public education commissioner from Hobbs, a retired vice president for Student Services at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), and a current vocal performance major at Eastern New Mexico University have been named to the ENMU Board of Regents.

phillip bustos
Mr. Phillip Bustos

Ms. Trish Ruiz of Hobbs, Mr. Phillip Bustos of Albuquerque, and Ms. Chandler Head of Levelland, Texas, were appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham and approved by the New Mexico Senate on Monday, March 16, 2021. They succeed outgoing regents Terry Othick, Ed Tatum, and Joseph Gergel.

"Our Greyhound family is grateful for the years of service that Regents Gergel, Othick and Tatum have provided to Eastern," ENMU Board of Regents President Dan Patterson said. "Our new regents bring a wealth of experience and a variety of important perspectives to the board and I look forward to working with them to continue to advance our University mission."

Ruiz, a resident of Hobbs, New Mexico, attended ENMU before completing her bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of the Southwest. She is a counselor at Hobbs High School and a former adjunct professor at the University of the Southwest. She served as the co-chair of the Workforce Solutions, Workman's Compensation, and the State Personnel Office committees for Governor Lujan Grisham's transition team.

Ruiz has extensive experience in public service. She has served as member and officer of the board of directors for the National Education Association New Mexico (NEA-NM), former vice chair and treasurer for NEA-NM's National Hispanic Caucus, member of the New Mexico Public School Insurance Authority (NMPSIA), vice president of the board of trustees for Con Alma Health Foundation, and chair of the Lea County Democratic Party. Ruiz recently completed a term on the New Mexico Public Education Commission, District 9, serving as the commission's vice chair.

"Serving on the ENMU Board of Regents affords us the opportunities to continue to advocate for students, to seek ways to adapt curriculum to our ever-changing needs, and provide the necessary means to garner continued student success," Ruiz said. "I'm grateful for the tremendous successes the current board has accomplished, and look forward to continuity and successful partnerships with students, staff, communities and all stakeholders."

Bustos is the retired vice president for Student Services at CNM. A native New Mexican, he attended ENMU from 1975 through 1978. Bustos' career began in drug and alcohol counseling, followed by service in student affairs at the University of North Texas, the Auraria Higher Education Center in Denver, Colorado, and finally, CNM. He is involved in numerous volunteer and aid organizations in the Albuquerque area.

"It is an honor and a privilege to have been selected to serve the students, staff and faculty of Eastern New Mexico University," Bustos said. "I hope my background and experience will benefit all as we navigate the challenging times ahead. Together we can position Eastern for success."

Head is a vocal performance major at ENMU. A 2018 graduate of Levelland High School in Levelland, Texas, Head enrolled at Eastern in August 2018 and has distinguished herself from her peers in both her academic program and service to the University. Among her many honors and awards, Head was recognized as the first-place award recipient of the Rio Grande National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) in 2019, and was a Vocal Artist Art Song Festival finalist in 2019 and 2020. Joining the Student Government Association (SGA) to help address student concerns, Head serves on student senate on the Student Fees Board and in the SGA Shadow Program.

"There is nothing more gratifying and humbling than to have the opportunity to encourage a productive, equitable and successful learning environment for all: and how fortunate are we to be a part of such a vibrant and productive academic institution," Head said. "I count it a distinct privilege and honor to serve ENMU as the next student regent and I can assure my most dedicated and diligent service. I also would like to extend my endless gratitude to all the support that faculty and administration has offered me throughout this process."

Appointed by the governor with consent of the New Mexico State Senate, the ENMU Board of Regents consists of five members appointed to six-year, staggered terms. As the institution's governing body, the regents have a broad range of responsibilities, including major policy and budgetary matters affecting the University.

Additional information regarding ENMU Board of Regents activities and meeting information is available at

Eastern New Mexico University
Dr. Patrice Caldwell
President/System Chancellor, ENMU
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 575.562.2626

Ms. Chandler Head