Aug. 24, 2022

Dear UNLV students,

I am excited to welcome you to UNLV for the fall 2022 semester and a new academic year!

There’s so much to look forward to this fall. Construction continues on our new engineering building and a new medical education building for the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine is set to be completed in October near our Shadow Lane campus. The addition to the Tropicana Parking Garage is complete and has added more than 750 new parking spots to campus, along with the 100 in the Del Mar parking lot across from the Student Union on Maryland Parkway that opened last spring.

I know there remains anxiety about COVID-19 as new variants linger, but recent trends in Southern Nevada show the virus is on the decline. Wearing masks on our campuses is optional, but we ask that everyone continues to exhibit kindness and respect for one another regardless of their decision. One way we can all help protect our university community is by keeping up to date with COVID vaccinations and boosters, and self-reporting positive tests to UNLV so our health team can help you with next steps and related guidance.

We’re also stepping up our efforts to deliver mental health services to students. UNLV Student Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is on track to expand its staff by nearly 65% in the coming months as it responds to increased student demand. Beginning this fall, CAPS will embed two counselors in on-campus housing, and by summer 2023, counseling staff will open a satellite location at the Shadow Lane campus.

UNLV has also joined the national campaign to promote the 988 mental health crisis hotline as an additional mental health resource for our university community.

I know our students face other challenges, including housing, transportation, childcare, or food insecurities. We hear you. UNLV’s Division of Student Affairs has created an easy online resource to connect you to the services you need. We’ve already helped about 3,000 students. Let us help you.

Even though the semester is just getting started, it’s never too early to think about your career following graduation. Please consider visiting UNLV Career Launch, a website where students receive customized guidance and support to help them on the pathway to achieving their professional goals.

As you come to campus this fall, I hope you will feel the same vibrancy I do. Remember, it’s better to try new things and fail than to have never tried at all. We learn through our experiences, our setbacks, and our successes.

With that in mind, please check out the many Welcome Weeks activities planned for you. It will be a great way for you to get to know our campus and one another. Also, don’t forget to wear red on Fridays for “Rebel Red Friday,” and support our women’s soccer team at its home opener on Thursday, Aug. 25, our football team, which opens its season on Saturday, Aug. 27, and the women’s volleyball team, which has its home opener Sept. 1.

Welcome, Rebels. I look forward to seeing you!

Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.
UNLV President