Feb. 15, 2024

Dear University Community,

We’re now a month into the spring semester at UNLV. And as our university moves through the paces of the academic term, we do so with a mix of routine and remembrance while navigating the Rebel Recovery process together. There are many aspects of this process and all are important.

On Feb. 27, I’ll host a mental health town hall for students from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Student Union. This annual event will give students the opportunity to ask questions, learn important coping and wellness skills, and connect with resources. Students who are interested are asked to sign up online. Though the town hall is geared toward students, wellness staff will also offer mental health resources during a concurrent tabling event in the Student Union’s second floor art gallery. All are welcome.

This event is just one of the many ways in which we’re centering mental health and wellness as part of the Rebel Recovery process to build a strong culture of compassion and understanding. This has been true since the COVID-19 pandemic and even more so today.

One group that has taken that message to heart is Project Wellness . This student-led organization began last spring with the simple premise that we all need someone in our corner. Project Wellness has quickly grown into one of the largest student organizations on campus, offering events (like the Feb. 27 town hall), activities, and just a friend to talk to. I’m so proud of our students for their caring, compassion, and initiative, and I’m not alone. Our accrediting organization, NWCCU, has taken notice too. They’ll be meeting with Project Wellness in March and have indicated that the organization will become a model for other schools nationwide.

Additional Campus Operations Updates

  • The Faculty Senate has established a committee and has begun meeting to plan a permanent campus memorial in honor of our cherished faculty members lost on Dec. 6. I anticipate they’ll be seeking input from the larger campus community in the near future. The group is also considering the possibility of a temporary memorial.
  • University Police Services (UPD), in coordination with local and federal law enforcement, is nearing completion of the investigation into the hate-filled email that was sent to some of our Black faculty shortly after the shooting in December. An update will be shared with the university community in the near future upon completion of the review.
  • Earlier this month, five new police officers were sworn in by UPD and will begin serving our campuses soon. Five additional recruits have entered the academy and will join us upon successful completion of their training.
  • Temporary repairs have been completed on the roughly 500 doors damaged on Dec. 6. Please notify Facilities Management if your door or workspace was impacted and repairs are not yet complete. Additionally, the RFP to select a vendor to make permanent repairs will close at the end of February and the review process will begin immediately.

I encourage you to check the UNLV Strong website regularly for continuing Rebel Recovery updates and to learn about related events, activities, and ways to engage. As we move through the spring semester, I want to again express my gratitude for all that each of you do every day in support of one another, our university, and our broader community. We will continue to move forward collectively and remain UNLV strong

Warm Regards,

Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.