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NMSU selects sustainability expert as new Facilities and Services leader

Release Date: 16 Nov 2022
NMSU selects sustainability expert as new Facilities and Services leader

New Mexico State University has selected alumnus V.S. “Raghu” Raghavan as its new associate vice president for Facilities and Services and chief facilities officer. Raghavan, an engineer with expertise in data-driven sustainability efforts at higher education institutions, will begin his new role Jan. 3 overseeing the NMSU system’s facility operations.

“As a proud alum of NMSU, I am excited to be back in Las Cruces to now serve the institution with the excellent Facilities and Services team,” Raghavan said. “In addition to providing a safe, well-maintained and welcoming campus community, I look forward to emphasizing sustainability in all aspects of the operations with F&S.”

Ruth Johnston, vice chancellor and chief operating officer for the NMSU system, said Raghavan’s scholarly work and experience in environmental sustainability will help move the university toward its goal of enhancing operational efficiency systemwide.

“I’m delighted to recruit a former Aggie back to NMSU, and one who is highly esteemed in his work with facility operations and environmental sustainability,” Johnston said in a message to the campus community announcing the hire. “Raghu brings the right mix of smarts, demonstrated ability to communicate and work well with people, a love of higher education, and an eagerness to learn. He’ll be a great addition to the Strategic System Services team.”

Raghavan comes to NMSU from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, where he is director of sustainability and associate director of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment. He led the development of an energy master plan to transition that campus from natural gas use to renewable geothermal energy, with a carbon neutrality target of 2037.

Prior to that role, he served as sustainability manager at University of Missouri, where he also taught a course in sustainable development in the university Honors College. He has served as a public schools energy specialist and as a sustainability task force coordinator at Marymount University in Virginia.

He also has experience as a programmer analyst, and has integrated his knowledge of computing into his scholarly work in sustainability, giving presentations on incorporating sustainability into the computing curriculum.

Raghavan will earn his doctorate in natural resources next spring from University of Missouri, where his dissertation focuses on leading organizational change for sustainability. He also holds three master’s degrees – one from NMSU in environmental engineering, along with both an MBA and a master’s in information management from Marymount University. His bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering comes from University of Pune in India.

Raghavan is currently chair of the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s board of directors. He said sustainability in the NMSU system’s facility operations has far-reaching implications, and he looks forward to shaping that impact in his new role.

“For me, this is a unique opportunity to contribute at New Mexico’s premier land grant-institution and comprehensive research university,” he said. “I am well aware that the impact of NMSU’s land-grant mission of teaching, research, outreach, and public service extends far beyond New Mexico’s borders.”

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