UNLV president will accept University of North Texas job, if confirmed

UNLV President Neal Smatresk said Wednesday he would accept the position of president for the University of North Texas if his appointment is confirmed by the system’s Board of Regents next month.

And if Smatresk departs the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he would be “leaving an institution that’s on its way up.”

The news comes just six months after he received a new four-year contract with UNLV.

Smatresk was named the sole finalist for the presidential position at the University of North Texas by the system’s Board of Regents.

The board during a special teleconference meeting Wednesday approved the recommendation from the UNT system’s Chancellor Lee Jackson, according to the University of North Texas, located in Denton near the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A telephone connection was only available for members of the board. Members of the public or media had to be physically present.

“The University of North Texas has made it clear that they would like me to take the leadership role there,” Smatresk said in a statement to Nevada’s Board of Regents. “This is a great university, in many ways similar to UNLV, and this position will allow me to combine an opportunity, the skills I have developed, and our family life all in one place.”

The board’s action begins a minimum 21-day period required under Texas law before the UNT System Regents can vote to appoint Smatresk to take the helm at UNT as its next president, according to the university. Kelley Reese, spokeswoman at UNT, said information regarding Smatresk’s base salary and total compensation package won’t be available until the board votes to appoint him as president.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for December.

UNT President V. Lane Rawlins in March announced he would retire at the end of this year, according to UNT.

Smatresk is happy at UNLV, said Kevin Page, chairman of the Nevada Board of Regents, but the new job would take him closer to family in Texas, he said. Smatresk has two children there.

“It’s very disappointing,” Page said of the possibility of Smatresk leaving. “He’s done a fabulous job.”

Smatresk said the issue of family spurred interest in the position.

Smatresk said that he’s been approached by a number of other institutions since arriving at UNLV, but he never returned a call until the right opportunity came around.

“They approached me,” he said. “They were interested in me. I was a known commodity to them.”

The potential new job would also offer an opportunity for growth that could lead to “achieving national prominence,” Smatresk said.

“I think UNT is a great institution with 36,000 students and a growing mission,” he said.

This fall, during his annual State of the University address, Smatresk spoke of his vision to make UNLV a top research university. The school also is in the middle of a project to build a stadium, in partnership with the Las Vegas resort industry.

Smatresk said he expects progress to continue and doesn’t think his vision for the university will change if he departs.

“I don’t see why anyone would change that vision,” he said. “I think the regents want a top-tier university in Las Vegas and will work to attain it.”

Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Dan Klaich said he was happy for Smatresk and wished him the best. He said it would be a loss for UNLV to lose him, but the university is in good shape.

“The initiatives and ideas that (Smatresk) started will prosper behind him,” he said. “The university is strong and will stay strong and will do well. I don’t see any change on those good ideas. Good ideas survive a transition in leadership and those are great ideas for UNLV and for this region and for the state.”

Smatresk has designated UNLV Executive Vice President and Provost John White as the acting officer in charge, Klaich said. If Smatresk ultimately leaves UNLV, White would be in charge until the board appoints an interim or acting president.

Klaich and Page would then visit UNLV and talk to students, faculty and staff as well as UNLV Foundation and business leaders to gather their ideas on leadership. The pair would then make a recommendation to the board.

A presidential search is triggered by a vacancy in the president’s office, he said. Smatresk would be the second president within the Nevada System of Higher Education to step down in the last two months.

Early last month, Western Nevada College President Carol Lucey stepped down from her post.

In early June, the Nevada Board of Regents voted to approve a four-year contract for Smatresk. His annual salary is $246,426, with a total compensation package of $447,424, which includes an annual salary supplement of $169,997, an $8,000 car allowance, an $18,000 housing allowance and a $5,000 host account.

The only change to his new contract was an additional $50,000 in “take home” pay annually. Additionally, a one-time contribution of $125,000 in deferred compensation paid by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation, was rolled into a retirement account for Smatresk on July 1.

Smatresk was named president at UNLV in 2009. Before that he served as executive vice president and provost for two years.

Previously, he had served for 22 years at the University of Texas at Arlington in various capacities and also worked at the University of Hawaii at Manoa before coming to UNLV.

Smatresk said there will be a period of ambiguity between now and Dec. 12, but he will continue to communicate with Page and Klaich.

Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at (702) 383-0440, or yamaro@reviewjournal.com.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Vegas Homeless Remembered
Las Vegas vigil remembers 179 homeless people who died over the past year in Clark County. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A look inside Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory
Tesla's Gigafactory east of Reno produces the batteries that fuel the company's electric cars. Production has created more than 7,000 jobs, and the campus that includes one of the largest buildings in the world is expected to triple in size by the time it is completed. Tesla Vice President Chris Lister leads a tour of the facility. (Bill Dentzer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Garnet Interchange Ribbon Cutting
The Nevada Department of Transportation celebrated the completion of the $63 million I-15-US 93 Garnet Interchange project. The project includes a modified diverging diamond interchange and a 5-mile widening of US 93.
State Foresters Hunt for Record Trees
Urban foresters from the Nevada Division of Forestry hunt for record setting trees.
Rick Davidson directs NFR satellite feed
Rick Davidson directs the Wrangler NFR's live satellite feed from a production trailer outside the Thomas & Mack Center. (Patrick Everson)
Scott Boras, Bryce Harper's agent, speaks to media at baseball's winter meetings
Baseball agent Scott Boras updates media on the contract negotiations of his client Bryce Harper during baseball's winter meetings at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 12, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Achievement School District
The achievement district faced strong opposition from traditional schools back in its beginnings in 2016. But with schools like Nevada Rise and Nevada Prep, it's slowly and steadily growing. Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State QB on record-breaking receiver
Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion talks record-setting receiver KeeSean Johnson. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The annual 'Shop with a Cop' event at Target
This year’s "Shop with a Cop" event gave about 40 children the chance to shop at Target alongside a North Las Vegas Police officers. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Bizutesfaye
Melvin Dummar dead at 74
Melvin Dummar has died at 74. Dummar was famous for claiming to have saved Howard Hughes in a Nevada desert in 1967. Dummar claimed to have been left $156 million in Hughes’ will. The will mysteriously appeared after Hughes’ death in 1976. It was dismissed as a fake two years later. Dummar never saw a dime of the billionaire's fortune. Dummar died Saturday in Nye County.
Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like