UNLV Provost Neal Smatresk should be the university’s acting president for the next two years, the state’s higher education chancellor recommended Monday night.
Chancellor Dan Klaich, in a 20-plus page memo to the Board of Regents, said Smatresk should be appointed acting president with a two-year contract. With the recommendation, Klaich reversed his earlier statements that the system should launch a search for a permanent president this fall. "I changed my mind," he wrote.
Regents will vote on the recommendation at a special meeting at 3:30 p.m. Aug 6 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
"I think the faculty are very happy about the two-year contract," said John Filler, chairman of the faculty senate.
Klaich and board Chairman James Dean Leavitt spent the past two weeks meeting with campus groups.
Klaich wrote there seemed to be some agreement that a leader was needed on more than a temporary basis because of the issues UNLV faces, such as severe budget cuts, an accreditation review and the possible reworking of the state formula that determines higher education funding.
Also, the consensus was that having a leader in place who already knows how the university and the system works would be a plus in the next legislative session.
Regent Ron Knecht said he trusted that the chancellor and the chairman have made a good choice.
"I am very impressed with how hard they worked," he said.
Contact reporter Richard Lake at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0307.