Len Jessup at his annual State of the University address

Uniquely UNLV

UNLV President Len Jessup on how this university is different, daring, and diverse.

At my annual State of the University address this fall, I shared some of the exciting changes taking place at the university. I also emphasized the unique attributes of UNLV: We’re different, daring, and diverse!

Of the 4,000 higher education institutions in the United States, only 200 are considered research universities and even fewer are at the level in stature and community impact to which we aspire. While we might be considered young by higher education standards, we are an emerging institution that is making a great impact on our community and in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff.

In these pages, you’ll find ample evidence of that — from the way our students are immersed in the process for electing our country’s next leader (page 28) to how our new medical school will be addressing social issues in our community (page 8). And certainly,  the alumni featured beginning on page 40 are different, daring, and diverse. These are the types of UNLV stories that keep me passionate about my work. As a community, we have never followed the traditional path and have never been timid. Now more than ever is the time for UNLV to be bold and to act.

As a university, we will continue our transformation. We will:

  • Become a school of choice in the region with a 40,000-student enrollment in the next decade.
  • Reach a six-year graduation rate of 50 percent or more in alignment with the national average.
  • Have more students recognized nationally through scholarship programs, awards, and learning opportunities.
  • Enhance economic development activities that have been steadily growing over the last four years and form partnerships — like the one with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to host a 2016 Presidential Debate — that bring unparalleled opportunities to our campus.
  • Expand faculty research opportunities and increase research expenditures to more than $120 million in the next decade.
  • Grow total economic output to more than $4.5 billion per year, which is two and a half times more than our current activity.
  • Expand the Academic Health Center, which includes the schools of Nursing, Dental Medicine, Medicine, and Allied and Community Health Sciences. This will lead to a pathway for more doctors and healthcare providers, increased economic impact, and enhanced healthcare for the community.

Over the past two years, my commitment and passion for this university has grown even stronger. We are at a pivotal time in our history and have created an environment where the possibilities are endless. I appreciate your continued support in helping us achieve our vision. Go Rebels!

Originally Posted In

Magazine cover featuring The Debate, Vegas Style story
Fall 2016

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