The 2017-2018 academic year has ended with great success across Nevada’s public institutions of higher learning.
We graduated more than 10,000 students and they are entering the workforce at a great time as job growth remains high in Nevada. There are so many stories of student success that are encouraging. We have many first-generation college students attending and graduating our institutions, which will help our economy grow even more. Certainly, our state’s economic success is dependent on increased participation in post-secondary education and closing the achievement gap among the underserved.
I’m extremely proud of our graduates and confident they have the foundation for successful careers and life here in Nevada.
Board of Regents
We want to welcome Regent Anthony L. Williams to the Board of Regents for District 1. Regent Williams was appointed by Governor Sandoval in April 2018 to serve out the remaining term of departing Regent Cedric Crear.
Regent Williams is a U.S. Navy Veteran and a Bronze Star recipient for his service. He is a 10-year operations executive with MGM Resorts International and is currently the vice president of engineering operations at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where he continues to successfully foster an environment that encourages and implements improvements producing overall employee and guest satisfaction.
The Board of Regents recently selected new presidents for the College of Southern Nevada and Western Nevada College. I think Dr. Federico Zaragoza of CSN and Dr. Vincent Solis of WNC both availed themselves wonderfully during the interview process and are great fits for their respective institutions.
And I’ve recommended a new acting president for UNLV, Dr. Marta Meana, to oversee the university as we undergo a national search for a permanent president of the institution. The Regents will vote on the recommendation at a special meeting set for June 4.
Dr. Meana has served the university in numerous capacities for more than 20 years, including as senior advisor to UNLV President Neil Smatresk. She is a highly respected clinician, researcher, and educator, and her contributions to teaching, psychology and women’s health are well regarded. As dean of the Honors College, enrollment has tripled and she helped boost student success.
Nevada Promise Update
More than 1,300 students will attend Nevada community colleges at virtually no cost thanks to the Nevada Promise Scholarship, which was established by Governor Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature in 2017. The next step in the process for these students is to apply for admission to a community college in the state and register for 12 or more credits for the fall.
We are very excited to have so many applicants make it through the process in our inaugural year and we hope to see that number grow next year.
Upcoming Board of Regents Meeting
Even though school’s out, the Board of Regents and NSHE remain hard at work with a full agenda for the June 7 and 8 Regents meeting next week at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno. (You can attend in person or watch via live stream on NSHE’s website.)
Some of the items we’ll be discussing include introducing our developing Dashboards to measure NSHE and institutional progress toward achieving the Board’s strategic goals of Access, Student Success, Closing the Achievement Gap, Workforce, and Research.
Each Board of Regents meeting will highlight one of these strategic goals. Our June meeting will hear from each institution about how they are working to achieve their research goals.
The discussion will begin with Dr. Kevin Carman, executive vice president and provost, UNR, and Dr. Diane Chase, executive vice president and provost, UNLV, who will present an update on the progress of NSHE’s two doctoral-granting universities toward achieving Carnegie R1 classification.
Next, we will hear from leaders of the Desert Research Institute, Nevada State College, and community colleges.
Las Vegas Talent Hub
The Lumina Foundation, in partnership with the Kresge Foundation, has designated Las Vegas a Talent Hub and has awarded a $275,000 grant to support educating more people and allowing community and education leaders to better meet the specific needs of residents. Talent Hub cities are focused on raising the nation’s overall post-high school attainment level to 60 percent of working-age adults by 2025 and committed to eliminating deep disparities in educational outcomes among African-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians, who fare poorly in contrast with white and Asian students.
The Las Vegas Talent Hub is comprised of partners from NSHE Workforce Development, the College of Southern Nevada, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation for a New Nevada (OWINN), and the United Way of Southern Nevada. The group will collaborate to increase the credentials of African American, Hispanic, and low-income learners.
UNLV Immigration Clinic
The Board of Regents and the NSHE Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council want to recognize the outstanding work of UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law Immigration Clinic and its director, Professor Michael Kagan, for their outstanding performance and dedication in serving as NSHE’s resource for undocumented and DACAmented students.
The clinic trains student attorneys to defend people in deportation proceedings and innovates new ways to offer legal services to immigrants in Nevada. The Immigration Clinic offers free legal services to immigrants in Nevada, and, through the Clinic, volunteer law students are trained to defend unaccompanied children in deportation proceedings.
We are very excited to welcome four new members to our NSHE Team.
Transfer and Articulation Ombudsperson
David Singleton, NSHE’s new Transfer and Articulation Ombudsperson, has over a decade of higher education experience, which includes having worked for the College of Southern Nevada, Nevada State College, and UNLV in various academic advising and coaching roles. He has also worked for the State of Nevada in the Employment Security Division.
Marcie Jackson is the new director of EPSCoR. She previously served as the National Science Foundation Research Administrator for EPSCoR. Marcie has a proven record of leadership for EPSCoR activities and served as the Faculty Senate representative for the System office.
Senior Policy Analyst
Joi Holliday is our new senior policy analyst. She comes from the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce where she served as the policy analyst for their Government Affairs division. Joi will support NSHE’s government affairs, diversity initiatives and community outreach activities. She starts July 9.
Francis McCabe joins us in a new hybrid position as communications officer for NSHE and UNLV. He is a veteran of public relations and the news media. Most recently he spent three years as a media relations specialist at UNLV. Prior, he spent a dozen years as a newspaper reporter, including nine years at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
– Chancellor Thom Reilly