Las Vegas, N.M. – Two top priorities for the new School of Business, Media and Technology dean at Highlands University are accreditation and reviewing academic programs to streamline degree completion.
“We’re getting ready for accreditation in 2017 with Mary Romero, an excellent department chair, leading that effort,” Taylor said. “We’re also doing a complete review of our academic programs to make sure we can graduate students in four years at 120 credit hours.”
Taylor, a Highlands economics professor, oversaw a successful accreditation process when he first served as dean of the School of Business from 2005 – 2008. From 2008 – 2010, he was the vice president of finance and administration at Highlands.
“Our biggest strength in the School of Business, Media and Technology is a faculty that cares deeply about student learning and each individual student. Our goal is to give our students the opportunity to develop a good career path that coincides with their interests,” Taylor said.
Taylor said it is exciting that the Department of Media Arts and Technology will move into the university’s renovated historic Trolley Building on the western edge of campus in time for fall semester 2016.
“The Trolley Building is an historically important local architectural gem that will now house an outstanding program that focuses on the latest developments in multimedia and cultural technology,” Taylor said.
Highlands President Sam Minner said that after conducting a national search, Taylor was chosen as the strongest candidate for the position.
“Dr. Taylor has held a number of positions at Highlands and has done so with great success and high integrity,” Minner said. “He brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to this position.”
Taylor earned a doctorate degree in economics from the University of New Mexico and a master’s degree in public policy studies from the University of Chicago.
Previously, he worked for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee for eight years as the assistant director for fiscal policy and chief economist. His international economic development experience includes positions such as working for the U.S. Treasury Office as a budget adviser for the government of Senegal.
Taylor will continue to teach economics at Highlands.
“Teaching economics for me is the perfect storm that combines my passionate interest in the subject matter and a love for teaching. I get to work with students, helping them develop their analytical and critical thinking skills. I also try to instill a sense of intellectual curiosity and love of learning that will last a lifetime,” Taylor said.
He said economics analyzes how financial and labor markets affect human welfare.
“In the end, for me, the study of economics is about making the world a better place,” Taylor said.
Taylor is a leader in Las Vegas, New Mexico, civic organizations. He serves on the board of directors for Main Street de Las Vegas, chairs the Las Vegas Lodgers Tax Board and is active in the Rotary Club. Previously, he was vice president of the San Miguel Economic Development Corporation.
“I have a sense of personal history and interest in Las Vegas because my maternal great- grandfather was a merchant on the west side of town, and my grandfather and grandmother owned and operated a ranch in nearby Mora. I’m involved with civic organizations with the idea of making Las Vegas an even better community,” Taylor said.
He said that one of the things he loves and values about both Highlands and the Las Vegas community is the diversity.
Early in his career, Taylor was a Peace Corps volunteer, trainer and recruiter. He volunteered as a rural development worker in West Africa and Chile. He is fluent in Spanish and French.