BOULDER, Colo. – William “Bill” Soules, a state senator with the New Mexico Legislature, has been appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to represent the state with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).
A semi-retired teacher, Soules joins Barbara Damron, professor and senior advisor to the dean at University of New Mexico, and Patricia Sullivan, associate dean at the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University, as one of three WICHE Commissioners representing the state of New Mexico. He steps into the role vacated by Sen. Mark Moores.
The WICHE Commission is comprised of 48 commissioners from the 15 Western states and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States. Together, the Commission guides WICHE’s direction and assures the Western Regional Education Compact is carried out for the benefit of the West, as it has done since 1953.
“New Mexico has been an integral member and partner of WICHE since its inception. As we celebrate our 70th anniversary this year, I welcome Sen. Soules to the WICHE Commission. His extensive background in education gives him a unique perspective that will be of great value to the work of the Commission,” said WICHE President Demarée Michelau.
Born and raised in the Mesilla Valley, Soules has been a lifelong advocate for the interests of students. He has served as a state senator since 2013, taught in the Las Cruces Public Schools for 16 years, and served as president of the New Mexico School Board Association and a member of the Las Cruces School Board. Soules currently serves as the senate representative to the New Mexico Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NM EPSCoR), a statewide consortium expanding the state’s capacity to conduct scientific research and train a diverse, highly qualified STEM workforce.
“My priorities as a policymaker and teacher have been education, empowerment, and building a society where everyone can thrive, and these align perfectly with the mission of WICHE. I look forward to collaborating with the other commissioners to support students across the West,” Soules said.
A proud Aggie, Soules earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from New Mexico State University (NSMU), as well as an interdisciplinary doctorate degree in the fields of education and psychology.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) works collaboratively to expand educational access and excellence for all residents of the West. By promoting innovation, cooperation, resource sharing, and sound public policy, WICHE strengthens higher education’s contributions to the region’s social, economic, and civic life. Visit wiche.edu.