UNLV has started the search for a new president. The Board of Regents formally started that process Friday and made an exception to its own policy as far as who can apply.
Before Len Jessup, the school’s former president resigned tensions between Jessup and some of the members of the Nevada System of Higher Education Board were running hot, but they reached a tipping point last April when he resigned.
Ten months later, the board voted to begin the process of a nationwide search for his replacement.
Dr. Marta Meana has been serving as acting president since Jessup left.
“I’ve been here for 22 years, so it’s been an honor to be president and it’s nice to feel that the campus is responding to my leadership,” said Dr. Meana.
NSHE’s Chancellor Thom Reilly and some of the regents have met with UNLV staff in the months since Jessup’s departure.
Reilly says university staff members tell him they want a national search, but they also strongly support Dr. Meana.
“After we received the pulse, if you will, of the community, we took that recommendation back to the Board of Regents,” said Reily.
Votes of confidence from students, staff, and alumni groups prompted the board to vote for a policy exception to allow Dr. Meana, who again is acting president to apply if she chooses.
“Having the community, with a unified voice, saying that they think President Meana is doing such a great job, she should be considered in that pool, was a huge deciding factor for me, and I think the other Regents as well.”
Dr. Meana says she is leaning heavily towards applying for the permanent position.
“It’s been an incredible honor, and obviously I’m humbled by all the support that came my way today,” Dr. Meana said.
A selection committee will begin meeting in September with the goal of installing a new president by July 2020.
Until the new president takes office, the Board of Regents approved a new contract for Dr. Meana to continue on as acting president.
It will pay her $450,000 per year with $26,000 more for car and housing allowances.
She could serve in the position for nearly 17 more months before a new president takes over.