The Nevada Board of Regents Thursday appointed a longtime Desert Research Institute professor and researcher Kumud Acharya as interim president.
Acharya, who was given a two-year contract, has worked at DRI since 2006 as an associate research professor of ecological engineering senior director for the Center of Environmental Remediation and Monitoring and executive director of the Division of Hydrologic Sciences.
His work in Nevada has focused on invasive species threatening both Lake Mead and Lake Tahoe.
“Kumud is a highly respected scientist and long-time leader at DRI and it was clear after meeting with his colleagues and institute community that he is well respected and admired. I am confident he is the right person to lead DRI at this time,” Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Thom Reilly said in a statement.
In February of this year, Acharya was appointed interim vice president of DRI, an environmental research institute with two campuses in Reno and Clark County, as well a a satellite laboratory in Boulder City and another in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Since June, he has served as DRI’s officer in charge, following the departure of former President Kristen Averyt for personal reasons. The Board of Regents has no plans to conduct a search for a permanent president at this time, though an interim president can be considered for a permanent position after one year on the job.
Acharya has brought in over $18 million in external research grants and contracts to DRI, according to NSHE.
“I am truly humbled by the trust and confidence that DRI faculty and staff, the chancellor, and the Board of Regents have expressed in my ability to lead this incredible institution,” Acharya said in a statement. “Science is more important than ever as Nevada and our planet face growing environmental challenges, and I look forward to what the future holds for DRI.”