Advanced Engineering Building - Dean's Update July 2020
Hello Friends of Engineering,
COVID-19 has changed UNLV’s day-to-day operations and altered Engineering planning. Our students and faculty adapted to online studies during the spring semester and have continued online learning through the summer sessions. The fall semester will have new obstacles to overcome.
This past January we had secured more than 60% of the funding needed to construct the Advanced Engineering Building. The next step, with support from the Nevada System of Higher Education and UNLV, was to petition the 2021 Nevada State Legislature for the remaining amount, and schedule construction.
However, an emergency session of the Legislature resulted in major state budget cuts, including the cancellation of a previously allocated $20 million in state funding for our building.
I have spoken with our major donors and they remain committed to their $8.3 million in gifts. Combined with UNLV capital fund bonding, we have a total of $28.3 million in funding for the building.
My goal at this point is to continue to pursue additional support from private donors and petition UNLV for assistance.
I believe if we can reach $40 million we can begin Phase 1 of construction, and as our state’s economic outlook improves, return to the Legislature with a revised request to finish the project.
In my opinion, we "deliver the goods" for both Southern Nevada and the state of Nevada. Over the past 5 years, engineering sponsored research, under the most trying environments for space and facilities, has produced over $50 million in grants. Engineering has been touted as the UNLV leader in student enrollment growth as we top 3,000 students. This fall we will again see strong engineering enrollments as we lead the effort to diversify the workforce for Southern Nevada.
As I communicate with our alumni and friends, I am only more energized to see this project to completion. Please feel free to continue sending me your thoughts on ways to continue our efforts for community support.
Rama Venkat, Dean, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering