UNM's Jerónimo "Jerry" C. Domínguez, vice provost of Extended University, announced his retirement to take place at the end of the fiscal year.
Domínguez said, "When you reach this stage in your career you stop and reflect on how many people you touched and those that touched you, and you hope you made a difference."
Domínguez' professional career, which spans more than 40 years, has been dedicated to improving educational opportunities for the citizens of New Mexico and beyond. His goal has been to contribute to making the University of New Mexico the University for New Mexicans.
A native of Tucumcari, N.M., Domínguez understands the challenge of educational access for rural New Mexicans. He is one of eight siblings, six of whom have defied the odds by achieving masters or terminal degrees.
Since late 1999, Domínguez has served as vice provost of Extended University, guiding UNM's distance education efforts. Provost Chaouki Abdallah said, "I feel extraordinarily privileged to have worked with Dr. Dominguez. His vision and energy paved the way for the success of Extended University. I wish him the very best."
Over the last 12+ years, UNM's distance education enterprise has grown from a handful of online courses to more than 800 online courses offered annually. Online enrollment have increased from 4,316 in 2001 to almost 22,000 in 2012. A network of Extended University bachelor and graduate centers co-located with UNM branches and independent community colleges, has provided students the option to remain in their home communities and complete their degrees. Since 2004, more than 1,300 students at these centers have completed bachelors or masters degrees. These centers are the foundation for the 2+2+2 partnerships marshaled by Dr. Domínguez statewide.
During his initial appointment as vice provost of Extended University, Domínguez continued to serve as dean of Continuing Education until 2003, at which time the units became separate operations. His tenure at Continuing Education began in 1984 and included positions as director, assistant dean, associate dean and dean. During this period, Domínguez' efforts focused on special project professional development training in the areas of substance abuse, bilingual and special education and distance education. As dean, he was responsible for successfully aligning Continuing Education non-credit programs under an entrepreneurial model. By spearheading the design, construction and financing of a $3 million, 35,000 sq. ft. classroom and office facility, he brought Continuing Education staff and programs together at a single location in 1998. Domínguez also worked with UNM leadership and academic units and education, business and community leaders, to conceptualize and initiate development of UNM West.
Early in his career, Domínguez held positions at the UNM School of Medicine and with the State of New Mexico working with and on behalf of deaf and blind children. Subsequently and before returning to New Mexico in 1982, he directed a technical assistance project in early childhood education for the Oregon System of Higher Education, serving all states west of the Mississippi River.
Nationally, regionally and locally recognized, Domínguez has been the recipient of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) Distance Learning in Higher Education Award (2012), the National University Continuing Education Association award for Innovative Programming, the New Mexico School Administrators Administrator of the Year Award, the Governor's Distinguished Public Service Award, and the UNM Alumni Association Zia Award, among others.
Domínguez earned his bachelors at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, N.M., and his masters and Ph.D. at UNM. He is married to Dr. Meave Stevens Dominguez, also a UNM alumna.
A national search for Dominguez' replacement will be initiated in the near future. Dominguez plans to continue to work on special initiatives in the Provost's Office and Academic Affairs in a part time capacity, as well as to pursue other personal and academic research interests and activities.