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NSHE outlines next steps in search for new chancellor

The entity overseeing Nevada’s higher education institutions is moving forward with its search for a new chancellor after the former chancellor departed the system amid allegations of a hostile work environment.

The Nevada System of Higher Education is soliciting proposals from Nevada-based search consultants to help it find a new chancellor, who will report to the Board of Regents.

Last April, Chancellor Melody Rose received $610,000 in severance to depart the system just a year-and-a-half into her four-year contract, making her the third chancellor in five years to leave the higher education system.

Rose’s departure capped a controversial tenure where she leveled claims of “persistent and unrelenting abuse” from two members of the Board of Regents.

Dale Erquiaga, who was Nevada’s state superintendent of public instruction from 2013 to 2015, was named acting chancellor in June with an 18-month contract and a base salary of $300,000.

In a document dated Wednesday outlining its search process, NSHE said that it had authorized Erquiaga, interim chief of staff Keri Nikolajewski and chief general counsel James Martines to select the most qualified firm to lead the chancellor search.

Timeline for chancellor search

According to the document outlining the proposal process, NSHE has set several dates for the chancellor search process, including an initial meeting that the selected firm will have with NSHE’s search committee at 1 p.m. Feb. 3.

After that, the search committee will define the criteria for a new chancellor, maintain a diverse pool of candidates and present a list of semifinalists to the search committee no later than April 14.

The firm will also coordinate the final selection and candidate interview process, which will include public forums held at the colleges with relevant stakeholders. The firm will interview semifinalists and present final candidates no later than May 31.

NSHE has expressed an interest in seeing firms from Nevada and said it is not obligated to accept the cheapest bid, but will award the search contract “in the best interest of the NSHE after careful evaluation of all proposals received.”

Proposals from interested firms must be submitted by 5 p.m. Jan. 20 to interim chief of staff at knikolajewski@nshe.nevada.edu.

Contact Lorraine Longhi at 702-387-5298 or llonghi@reviewjournal.com. Follow her at @lolonghi on Twitter.

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