UNLV made expansion — in research, infrastructure and reputation — a top priority in 2015. A medical school and a new academic building for the Harrah Hotel College are in the works, while the university's Thomas & Mack Center underwent upgrades. Elsewhere, students and staff focused on academics and space to potentially accommodate future endeavors.
Here is a compilation of news coverage outlining those efforts.
UNLV continues its quest for high achievement in not only research, but all aspects of campus life. President Len Jessup highlighted his vision during his first State of the University address in September, and also shared insight with several media outlets.
- Vegas Seven
- Las Vegas Sun
- Desert Companion
- Las Vegas Sun (research spending)
- KVVU, KNPR, and Las Vegas Review-Journal (State of the University address)
Trop 42 approved
The Board of Regents authorized the university’s purchase of 42 acres near Tropicana Avenue and Koval Lane at its December 2015 meeting. This land is important to meet the long-term strategic needs for UNLV’s landlocked campus. Options for the land include space for graduate and professional studies, mixed-use retail, additional housing and/or athletic facilities. It will also help UNLV expand key academic and research space within the core of campus.
School of Medicine
The School of Medicine continues momentum toward its planned 2017 inaugural class. Barbara Atkinson was named founding dean of the UNLV School of Medicine in November. The school’s “high-tech, high-touch” curriculum and program details were submitted to accreditors on schedule by Dec. 1, and the Board of Regents approved the school’s M.D. degree at its December meeting.
- Las Vegas Review-Journal and Las Vegas Sun (donation)
- Las Vegas Review-Journal (accreditation)
- Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Review Journal (founding dean)
- Las Vegas Sun (faculty/staff)
- Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Review-Journal (partnerships)
In four years, the Honors College’s incoming class size has quadrupled, from 62 in 2012 to 272 this year, including 10 National Merit Finalists. And the average incoming unweighted GPA has also increased, from 3.7 three years ago to 3.85 this year. A $1 million gift from the Bennett Family Foundation will provide scholarship support to more than 150 Honors College students over the next four years, allowing the 30-year-old program to recruit, support and retain some of Nevada's — and the nation's — top academic talent.
Thomas & Mack renovation
Modernization of the Thomas & Mack Center continues on schedule and on budget. The main phase is on target for completion in the spring, with the additional phase scheduled to wrap by the fall. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing enhancements will combine with new seating, concessions, restrooms and upgraded concourse space to elevate the visitor experience.
Groundbreaking for Harrah Hotel College’s new academic building is scheduled for March in the center of campus. Hospitality Hall will feature sweeping views of the Las Vegas Strip and serve as a bridge to the hospitality and gaming industry. With room for classroom, laboratory, and meeting space, the design will encourage interaction and a sense of community among students, faculty, and industry professionals.