Who we are
New Mexico Independent Community Colleges (NMICC) was formed in 2006 to support the mission of independently-governed community colleges in New Mexico. Membership is also open to constitutionally-created institutions that have a significant community college mission. The member institutions are:
Central New Mexico Community College
Clovis Community College
Luna Community College
Mesalands Community College
New Mexico Junior College
Northern New Mexico College
San Juan College
Santa Fe Community College
Western New Mexico University (joined in 2009)
New Mexico Military Institute (joined in 2010)
Six of the institutions are organized under the Community College Act (Chapter 21, Article 13, NMSA 1978), one (Central New Mexico Community College) is established under the Technical and Vocational Institute Act (Chapter 21, Article 16, NMSA 1978), and three (Northern New Mexico College, Western New Mexico University and New Mexico Military Institute) are established pursuant to the Constitution of New Mexico (Article 12, Section 11). Each has a governing board with comprehensive legal authority and responsibility for control and management of the institution. In addition to independent governance, NMICC institutions can generally be distinguished from Branch Community Colleges by significantly larger levels of local property tax support. As constitutionally-created state institutions, Northern New Mexico College, Western New Mexico University and New Mexico Military Institute can’t impose local property taxes.
Who we serve
New Mexico Independent Community Colleges annually serve in excess of 60,000 students in college credit courses. Approximately 4 in 10 New Mexico college students are enrolled in NMICC institutions. In addition to college credit courses, NMICC institutions serve thousands more through Adult Basic Education, non-credit courses and a comprehensive array of community service and economic development programs.
What we do
NMICC supports the mission of independent community colleges through the advocacy of a limited agenda of issues deemed critical to its member institutions. The NMICC agenda generally focuses on funding issues (excluding capital outlay) and is determined by member institutions through a consensus-building process.
The member presidents meet on a regular basis to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern. A president of NMICC is elected for a one-year term from among the eight member colleges. The president serves as a key spokesperson for the organization and provides general support and direction for the director.
NMICC does not seek to directly administer grants or programs, or to assume responsibilities more appropriately undertaken by state agencies or the individual institutions.
NMICC works in a cooperative manner with the New Mexico Higher Education Department, the Executive and Legislative fiscal offices, and with other public higher education institutions through their respective organizations (New Mexico Association of Community Colleges and Council of University Presidents).
NMICC has employed a full-time Executive Director who coordinates the activities of the group, oversees limited data collection required by state agencies, represents the consensus of member institutions at meetings and other venues, lobbies the Executive and Legislative branches of government in support of its agenda, and performs other duties as assigned.
Ms. Lillian Montoya-Rael is the NMICC Executive Director. She brings over 20 years of professional experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors to this position. Her previous positions include tenure as Director of Community Programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Executive Director of the Regional Development Corporation and Deputy Director of the former Commission on Higher Education. Ms. Montoya-Rael holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of New Mexico.
Lillian Montoya-Rael, Executive Director
New Mexico Independent Community Colleges
Room 312-R, Santa Fe Community College
6401 Richards Avenue
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508