I have long believed in the indispensable role UNLV plays in our state's economic and cultural development. We cannot have a great community without a great university, one that is intimately connected to the needs of its community and beyond.
I first became involved with UNLV more than 25 years ago as a donor and Foundation Board of Trustees member, serving as chairman of its board and eventually as co-chair of UNLV's groundbreaking Invent the Future campaign, which raised more than $537 million for the university. In 2010, I joined UNLV as an employee, first as dean of the Harrah Hotel College and then as executive dean for strategic development.
Now as president of UNLV, I am both humbled and invigorated by the opportunity to lead the university during a pivotal time. I hope to bring insight to the position as a longtime Las Vegan, a businessman, and a university administrator.
To best serve this community, UNLV must be considered -- unequivocally -- one of the top research universities in America. A direct relationship exists between a city's business and industry and its Tier One institutions. Such institutions are drivers of economic development in their states. They improve the human infrastructure of their regions and produce the workforce needed for companies to thrive.
Our new drone studies program is a perfect example of the power of a Tier One university. The story on page 20 shows how UNLV research already enhances student education, aligns with the governor's economic development plan, and attracts grant and private industry investment -- ultimately creating new businesses and diversifying our state's economy.
As the Board of Regents searches for UNLV's next president, I will focus on outlining a successful path to Tier One (more specifically designated as "Carnegie Research University-Very High"). The strategic initiatives likely to emerge from this include: first, a new medical school; second, research and economic development; third, the campus master plan, which will include a new stadium on campus; and fourth, student achievement and success. I hope as alumni and friends of the university, you will offer your support to these important initiatives.
--Don Snyder, UNLV President
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