ENMU-Ruidoso Branch Community College President Dr. Ryan Carstens has announced that he has accepted a mission and leadership calling to serve at the worldwide headquarters of his church. He will help the church’s education system to develop systemic approaches, architectures, and procedures to enable collaborative delivery of online college classes and programs worldwide.
Dr. Carstens shared the news with the college community on Monday, March 16. He will remain with the college through early May.
Dr. Carstens told college employees that he had “accepted a call” from his church to support a global initiative with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, specifically working with the church education system office and the BYU Pathway program, which links educational opportunities to students around the world.
BYU Pathway is the church’s initiative to offer degree programs and religious training to students globally, including underdeveloped nations.
“My wife and I love the Ruidoso area. This is a wonderful community—the best in the state—and we have made many friends here,” Dr. Carstens said. “I love being a part of this college that has been willing to take major steps forward to provide additional learning opportunities for students in Ruidoso and across Lincoln County.
“I was not seeking to leave Ruidoso. But when the call came to serve with my church, I was compelled to respond to the request. I am leaving to help a church program that, just as ENMU-Ruidoso does, works to open doors to educational opportunity for students who have little access otherwise.”
Dr. Carstens joined ENMU-Ruidoso in January 2018 and led it through a successful bond referendum in November 2019. He has been active in community affairs, serving as a member of the Village of Ruidoso Comprehensive Planning Committee and as a member of the Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
In addition to the successful bond referendum, Dr. Carstens led the college through the development of renovations at the campus, part of an ambitious three-phase construction project that will change the look, function and capacity of the ENMU-Ruidoso facility. The facility project was developed in response to community forum input and the revised strategic plan for the college which focuses on four goals: Student Ready, Community Ready, Employer Ready and Mission Ready.
Dr. Carstens has more than 36 years in higher education leadership, which includes prior service as president of Spokane Community College and vice president of New Mexico State University-Alamogordo.
At ENMU-Ruidoso, he is credited with developing a spherical branding strategy, annual marketing plan, new college logo, website and new external marketing initiatives in social and traditional media.
He established the Success Emporium, a partnership with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and WIOA, to support all students and clients seeking college classes, job skills and employment. Through the Success Emporium and WIOA partnership, he initiated the redesign of career/technical programs to align for pre-apprenticeship and post-employment apprenticeship delivery models.
He led the college to transition to a more effective online learning system, and supported faculty training in Quality Matters certification for online course design standards. He established an Institutional Effectiveness office to improve data-informed decisions.
During his tenure, the college’s Cybersecurity program achieved renewed certifications from the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
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