Portales, NM – November 29, 2022 – The Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) Board of Regents has appointed James N. Johnston, Ph.D., to serve as chancellor of the ENMU system. Johnston currently serves as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Midwestern State University.
"I am truly honored to join the ENMU family. From the beginning of the search process, I was impressed with the great work by the ENMU System to deliver quality education to the region and beyond, but I also saw great potential," said Johnston. "I cannot wait to add my energy, creativity, and eye for innovation to the team and community to realize that potential."
"Dr. James Johnston has served as Interim President at Midwestern State University and has the experience, energy, and creativity to move ENMU forward and expand our programs and services to our students and future students," said Lance Pyle, President of the ENMU Board of Regents. "ENMU received 96 applicants vying for the chancellor position, and that speaks volumes for the caliber of our University and what advances we can anticipate under Dr. Johnston's leadership."
Johnston has been at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, since 2003, holding multiple leadership positions during his tenure with the University. Johnston was the Interim President at Midwestern State University from September 2021-May 2022. During this time, he helped to lead the University through its transition to the Texas Tech University System while also initiating the University's Centennial celebration, continuing the University's comprehensive fundraising campaign, and working with his task force to increase student enrollment and success.
Johnston has served as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs since 2017 at Midwestern State University. During his time as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, he shepherded the construction of Centennial Hall, a state-of-the-art, 86,000-square-foot health science building. He also raised funds totaling more than $3.25 million in support of the project, including the first corporate naming of a university radiologic sciences department in the United States. It was also during his role as Provost that he co-led the University's response to an unprecedented global health pandemic.
Previously Johnston was the Dean of the Robert D and Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services at Midwestern State University from 2013-2017. Through his leadership, Gunn College grew to 40% of the University student population and continues to thrive as the largest of six colleges at Midwestern State University.
Johnston's earliest leadership role was as the Director of Interdisciplinary Education at the Robert D and Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services, where he began his focus and interest in interdisciplinary education.
Dr. Johnston is the lead author of the Essentials of Radiographic Physics and Imaging, now in its 3rd edition. He is also a contributor and reviewer of several books and has numerous publications in refereed journals and scholarly publications. Dr. Johnston has always considered himself to be a teacher-scholar and holds strongly to a student-centered teaching philosophy.
Johnston earned his Ph.D. in Health Studies from Texas Woman's University in 2006. He earned his Master of Science in Radiologic Sciences and his Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences from Midwestern State University. He began his education at South Plains College, where he received his Associate Degree in Radiologic Sciences in 1986.
Johnston's appointment as chancellor of the ENMU system marks a return to New Mexico and West Texas for him and his family. Johnston is originally from Slaton, Texas, and his wife Stephanie is originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Johnston and his wife are honored to return to the region they consider home and look forward to serving ENMU and advancing its mission of student success.
Johnston will begin as chancellor on January 3, 2023.