LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State University is one step closer to finding a new president.
The search started with 57 applicants from all over the country, a number officials said is more than the last time they searched for a new NMSU president.
"We're looking for leadership qualities as you would expect. Someone who could help us navigate some waters of change here in the near future," said Board of Regents chairman Mike Cheney.
On Wednesday, the presidential search committee announced the five finalists: former president of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, David Ashley; former president of Texas Tech University, Guy Bailey; dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado-Denver, Daniel Howard; president emerita of Texas A&M University, Elsa Murano; and dean of NMSU's College of Business and former New Mexico governor, Garrey Carruthers.
"They look like outstanding qualifications and candidates for us at this time. It looks like different people are bringing different strengths to the table," Cheney said.
Months ago the board held listening sessions across the state to find out what the public wants in the next president.
Cheney said they're taking the public's requests into account: more transparency and someone who will stay for the long haul.
Around campus, some think fellow Aggie Carruthers would be a good fit.
"If he does get the post as presidency I think it'll be really worthwhile to see what he can do," said NMSU student Stephen Roberts.
"Someone who knows what they're doing and how to get things done. So I think if gets the position, he'll do good for that," said NMSU student Joseph Lasky.
Carruthers thinks being a New Mexico would help make him a great NMSU president.
"I don't have to go through the process that someone else has to do to get acquainted with our governor, the legislature, the business community, the alumni community," Carruthers told ABC-7. "This is my university. It has been for many years. Twice a graduate, actually been here 22, 23 years on again off again."
The board will start interviewing candidates on April 22. They hope to announce a new president by May 10.
Cheney said each candidate will have question and answer sessions for the public to attend. Stay with ABC-7 for complete coverage on each candidate.