LAS CRUCES. N.M. -

 New Mexico State University may use a search firm to hire the next school president.
    
The board of regents chairman Mike Cheney told the Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/VXjx0A) that the board has put out a request and received proposals from firms interested in taking on the search but may not use them.
    
The board aims to make a decision on whether to use a firm by Jan. 1.
    
Cheney says the interview process would likely run through the first half of the semester, in hopes of announcing a president by spring graduation.
    
Former NMSU President Barbara Couture abruptly stepped down last month following a mysteriously administrative leave. The school's executive vice president and provost Wendy Wilkins also stepped down.
    
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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com