ENMU president under fire for remarks made to local paper

Posted at: 02/04/2014 5:49 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The president of Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell is taking heat today after calling some voters “scum.”

President John Madden was quoted in the Roswell Daily Record saying they’re “anti-everything.”

This comes the same day as a special election that would increase taxes to fund programs at the university.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 sat down with the president.

Dr. John Madden has been president of Eastern New Mexico University’s Roswell campus for five and a half years.

"I feel very strongly about this, and I know I've made some comments that were probably not polite, fair enough," said Madden.

He said times are tough right now.

The special election is for survival.

“At this stage, we have laid off, retired, gotten rid of whatever you want to say of 1/3 of our employees. There's no place left to go," said Madden.

The special election would raise taxes for Chaves County property owners by $32 for every $100,000 of taxable property.

Madden said if voters agree to the hike, the university will be able to continue operating its’ programs.

But if it doesn’t the university will be forced to make some big cuts.

“It’s really in the hands of the voters.  Do they want these programs or not?" said Madden.

He said he feels strongly about keeping these programs and strongly about those who oppose it.

"I regret my choice of words, but I don't regret the tone. No I do not," said Madden.

The property tax increase would generate around 2 million dollars a year for the university.

The president won’t say what programs would be cut if the tax doesn’t pass.