ICT Futures Initiative


Due to senior level and other retirements in NMSU’s Information and Communication Technologies unit effective July 1 as well as increasing needs for ICT to support the NMSU system, the organization was reassigned to the Chancellor’s office, within Strategic Systems Services, and to align with Goal 4 priorities of NMSU LEADS 2025 Strategic Plan.

The ICT Futures Team, led by Ruth Johnston, vice chancellor and strategic finance officer, working closely with the NMSU system stakeholders, and Norma Grijalva, chief information officer, will determine:

  • Interim leadership and staffing plans by the end of May
  • Hire an interim chief information officer by the end of June
  • Create a business plan by the end of August which will help launch a search for a permanent CIO

Nine Tiger Teams involving ICT staff, college and unit faculty and staff, students, administrative leadership and others were appointed to review and get input on current operations and present recommendations in the following areas:

  • Strategic Planning, including governance and priority setting ­– Ruth Johnston, team lead
  • ICT Operations – Melissa Chavira, team lead
  • User Experience, including automation needs – Carlo Mora-Monge, team lead
  • Institutional Data – Lauren Goldstein, team lead
  • Budget, Finance, Business Model – Dave Maddox, team lead
  • Systems Integration and needs- Lauren Goldstein, team lead
  • Risk Management, Privacy and Security – Carlos Lobato, team lead
  • Organizational Structure and work environment- Gena Jones, team lead
  • Getting to the Cloud/Physical assets – Melissa Chavira, team lead


Chris Kielt has held a variety of administrative positions during his 34 years serving higher education. He began his HE career at Yale managing technology at the School of Management and later worked in various settings that included leadership technology roles in Yale's Facilities Management organization, Student Administration, Distributed Computing, Administrative Computing, Finance, and Capital IT Project Management. His tenure at Yale included serving for eight years as the chief operating officer for the University's ERISA-based HMO, and he returned to a technology leadership role as Deputy Chief Information Officer where his duties included the management of Yale's Information Security team. During his time at Yale he led major portions of the Y2K changeover, oversaw the technical implementation of the Banner Student Information System, planned and implemented the IDX's Medical Practice Management applications as well as Yale's move to a modern ERP, Oracle's E-Business Suite.

His post-Yale experiences include work as the Chief Information Officer at Stony Brook University where he managed successful initiatives to modernize the campus network, expand and enhance wireless coverage, replace a legacy Lotus Notes application with Google's G-suite for education, and recaste IT fiscal management practices. He was subsequently appointed Vice Chancellor for Information Technology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he oversaw a staff of 400 and a budget in excess of $80m. His work at UNC included the implementation of Oracle's Finance, HR and Payroll PeopleSoft applications, various information security initiatives, and the adoption and implementation of MS' Office365 and Adobe's Creative Cloud for faculty, staff and students. Chris moved on to Washington University in St. Louis where he supported efforts to improve IT service and governance, developed key digital transformation initiatives in the areas of business intelligence and collaboration software, and led the technology support response for campus during the Covid-19 pandemic. Most recently Chris served as the Interim Chief Information Officer at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania during its search for a permanent CIO.

Chris and his wife, Patti, have two adult sons and five grandchildren. The couple resides in Saint Simons, GA.


ICT Futures Team

Name Department
Ruth Johnston; Vice Chancellor & CFO Chancellor's Office
Lenny Martinez; Chief of Staff (Chancellor) Chancellor's Office
Carlos Lobato; Chief Privacy Officer/Chief Audit Officer, Inter. Chancellor's Office
Melissa Chavira; Exec Director, Marketing, Web, Brand Development Marketing and Communications
Abel Sanchez; R&D Info Security Analyst, Sr. Physical Science Laboratory
Dacia Sedillo; Registrar, University Student Records Office Student Success
Sherry Kollmann; Vice Provost, Digital Learning Initiative Provost's Office
Luis Cifuentes; Vice President for Research Research
Enrico Pontelli; Dean, College of Arts & Sciences College of Arts & Sciences
Carlo Mora-Monge; Department Head, Management College of Business
Yesenia Palma-Dominguez; Chief Support Officer College of ACES College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences
Pam Jeffries; Director, Enterprise IT Information and Communication Technologies
Curtis Ewing; Assistant Director, ICT Systems Administration Information and Communication Technologies
Gena Jones; Assistant Vice President, Human Resource Services Human Resource Services
Louis Bear Eagle; Systems Analyst Sr., NMSU-Grants NMSU Grants Campus
Julia Parra; Chair, Faculty Senate College of Education, Faculty Senate
Kelly Brooks; Vice President for Business & Finance, DACC Doña Ana Community College
Minerva Baumann; Media Relations Officer Marketing and Communications
Robert Herrera; Interim Executive Director, PD&E, F&S Facilities and Services
Dave Maddox; Consultant
Lauren Goldstein; Organizational Development Specialist Chancellor's Office
Jon Webster; Asst. Director F&S Project Design/COVID Project Manager Facilities and Services
Gena Barela; Executive Specialist Chancellor's Office