A Message from the Nevada System of Higher Education
NSHE shared an overview of next steps to fill the role of UNLV President following an announcement from current President Neal Smatresk of his intent to take a position with University of North Texas.
Yesterday we all heard news that our President at UNLV would be taking another job. First, we want to congratulate the University of North Texas on securing a great leader and thank Neal and Debbie for seven outstanding years of service to UNLV, our region, and our state.
In the roar following this announcement we have heard a few questions over and over again. What is next, and what is the timing? And, more importantly, what will happen to UNLV?
Existing Board of Regent policies address sudden vacancies in the office of president and presidential transition. Board policy requires the president of each campus designate an acting officer in charge in the event of a vacancy. President Smatresk has designated Provost John Valery White as the officer in charge upon a vacancy and John will serve in that capacity when the presidency is vacant until the Board designates an acting or interim president.
The next step is for us to come to campus and to reach out to the community to seek input on your wishes for leadership and to hear your hopes and dreams for the future of UNLV. We want and need to know the kind of leader you think the campus requires and then, with you, we will find that leader. All of this is happening very quickly, and no timeline has been established. Rest assured that we will move expeditiously to ensure the institution does not suffer. We will not miss a beat. We cannot slide backward.
UNLV is a great, strong, thriving institution. Despite painful budget cuts, Neal leaves this institution with a higher profile in our region, our state, the nation, and beyond. Initiatives that have begun to flourish under his leadership will certainly continue. Great ideas survive leadership transition.
This year UNLV had its largest, most diverse and most accomplished freshman class. More valedictorians and National Merit finalists chose UNLV than ever before. We will continue to build a strong undergraduate experience to make UNLV a first choice university for Nevadans and all who wish to attend. UNLV will pursue the goal of achieving Carnegie Very High Research status. We know a creative and innovative UNLV is critical to our region’s growth and development. UNLV will continue to pursue medical school expansion that will aid the health care system for our valley and raise the profile of UNLV. UNLV will continue to press for an on campus stadium that can change the face of our campus and provide a new tier of entertainment venue in our state.
As we head into the holiday season, we can truly be thankful for the leadership we have had and be comfortable in the strength of our campus. We will attract the bold and dynamic leadership that this campus and region needs and deserves. Our trajectory is set and we will not look backward.
Please contact us if you have any questions, and
Kevin J. Page
Chairman, NSHE Board of Regents
Daniel J. Klaich
Nevada System of Higher Education
System Administration South
5550 W. Flamingo Rd., Ste. C-1, Las Vegas, NV 89103