LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – After five years leading New Mexico State University, Chancellor Dan Arvizu is parting ways with the southern New Mexico institution. The university made the announcement Friday, while also naming a former NMSU president the new interim chancellor.

In a news release, Arvizu emphasized a “truly mutual” separation with the university, while the Chair of the Board of Regents thanked Arvizu for his work. However, Arvizu’s departure comes after two recent high profile incidents involving the New Mexico State University’s men’s basketball team.

In February, NMSU revealed allegations of hazing within the men’s basketball team, which lead to the suspension of the remainder of the team’s 2023 basketball season, and the firing of head coach Greg Heiar. In December, a player on the NMSU basketball team was involved in a deadly shooting, unrelated to the subsequent hazing allegations.

“This separation is truly mutual,” Arvizu said in Friday’s news release. “For the past five years, my only motivation has been to do what I believe is in the best interest of NMSU, and transitioning now will allow the university to devote the time and effort needed over the next several months for a successful search.”

In Arvizu’s place, NMSU’s Board of Regents has appointed former NMSU President Jay Gogue to serve as the interim chancellor. Gogue’s leadership position is effective as of Friday. Previously, Gogue was NMSU’s president from the 2000 to 2003. After his NMSU stint, Gogue went on to leadership roles at the University of Houston and Auburn University over much of the last two decades, departing Auburn in 2022.

“My plan is to hit the ground listening,” Gogue said, in part, in a written statement. “No two institutions of higher education are the same. Just because something worked at Auburn doesn’t mean it will work at NMSU.”

NMSU says it is hiring the executive search firm WittKieffer to help with the chancellor search process. The university says it plans to host listening sessions and gathering input from stakeholders around the state in the coming weeks. It’s unclear how long the search is expected to take.