Regents make it official: Johnson to head UNR

Marc Johnson is the new president of the University of Nevada, Reno. The higher education system’s Board of Regents Friday voted Johnson in on a vote of 9-0, with three regents abstaining and one absent.

Johnson, 63, pledged to work with the system to help UNR serve the entire state.

“We’ll make you proud,” he said.

“Marc Johnson is absolutely the right choice for this institution at this critical time in its history,” Joe Crowley, who served as the university’s president for 23 years, told the board before the vote.

A slew of supporters spoke in favor of Johnson, who has been serving as interim president since last year, when then-President Milton Glick died in office.

Faculty, students, alumni, donors and community members all said they supported Johnson.

“We’ve seen his honesty, his integrity, his level of transparency,” said Trudy Larson, a faculty member and director of the School of Community Health Sciences. “We’re thrilled with the outcome, and hope you will be too.”

Johnson was recommended by a committee of board members after a national search, culminating in interviews and campus visits by three finalists. He came to UNR in 2008 as provost.

As president, he will be paid a base annual salary of $246,426.84, a supplemental $119,997.16 provided annually by the UNR Foundation, an $8,000 annual car allowance, an $18,000 annual housing allowance and a $5,000 annual hosting account. His contract runs through June 30, 2015.

The terms are identical to those of UNLV President Neal Smatresk’s contract.

Jennifer Satre, a former head of the UNR Foundation, its chief fundraising arm, said Johnson was instrumental in her and her husband’s recent $5 million gift to the university. She said she supports Johnson.

“He has been completely open and honest with his constituencies,” she said.

A similar process is going on at Nevada State College. Six final candidates were scheduled to visit campus next week, with a committee scheduled to make a final choice April 27 and the full board voting April 30.

Bart Patterson, NSC’s interim president, is among the six candidates. Regent Mark Alden, the chairman of the search committee, said Friday that one candidate, John Beehler, provost and vice president for academic excellence and student success at the University of North Texas at Dallas, dropped out after Johnson emerged as the final pick at UNR.

Contact reporter Richard Lake at or 702-383-0307.

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