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MSI Task Force

From its earliest days as a small branch college to its current position as a major research institution, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas has long regarded diversity as one of its hallmarks. Located in a region that is inherently rich in multicultural diversity, UNLV makes every effort to reflect that diversity within its student body, its faculty, and its staff.

A key part of UNLV’s educational mission is to deliver a superior academic experience to students from all walks of life. UNLV prides itself on being an institution of opportunity where those who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education can receive the support they need to achieve their educational and professional goals.

The MSI Task Force, led by the University’s Executive Vice President and Provost, was established in Fall 2019. This group is a coalition of UNLV stakeholders dedicated to advancing student success initiatives for campus students of color, including promoting educational equity and eliminating the achievement gap.

About the Initiative


The MSI Task Force provides institutional leadership and support for establishing UNLV as a leading MSI. Its work includes to designing and maintaining institutional support systems to promote educational success for students of color and other underrepresented students in higher education.

The task force includes representatives from various administrative and academic units across the campus and is responsible for organizing a variety of programs and initiatives to support students and faculty of color as well as others underrepresented in higher education.


The members of the MSI Task Force comprise a broad coalition of UNLV community members dedicated to promoting student success for students of color:

MSI Task Force Members


A number of different subcommittees work in parallel to advance the goals and priorities of the MSI Task Force.

Student Services


To review student-facing programs, service models, and policies that have implications for equity. Share best practices across campus and work with units on the refinement of existing student services and development of new ones.


Resource Development and External Relations


To plan and execute strategies for engaging community partners, donors, and funding agencies to establish a sustainable resource base to support MSI, HSI, and ANNAPISI initiatives.


Data and Assessment


To review existing data sources related to underrepresented student enrollment and success metrics, faculty representation, campus climate, and other relevant measures and identify gaps in available data. Develop strategies to assess existing and new programs related to UNLV’s MSI, HSI, and ANNAPISI status if such assessment plans are not already in place.




To collaborate with units across campus to develop programming that engages faculty, staff, and students in UNLV’s efforts to create an inclusive and equitable campus culture and to be a part of the national conversation.




To centralize information about MSI, HSI, and ANNAPISI initiatives and related activities at UNLV and to disseminate this information to the campus community in ways that encourage engagement.


Steering Committee


To facilitate and support the activities of the MSI Task Force and its various subcommittees.


  • Chris L. Heavey, Executive Vice President and Provost (Co-Chair)
  • Juanita Fain, Vice President for Student Affairs (Co-Chair)
  • Juliet Casey, Communications Director, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Tondra De, Chief of Staff, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Brent Drake, Vice Provost for Decision Support
  • Jose L. Melendrez, Executive Director of Community Partnerships, School of Public Health
  • Barbee Oakes, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Laurel M. Pritchard, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
  • B. Keith Rogers, Deputy Executive Director, The Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach
  • Renee' Watson, Associate Vice President for Campus Life

Learn More

To learn more about diversity and student success initiatives on the UNLV campus, please visit the following sites:

Data on student and faculty diversity at UNLV are available through the Office of Decision Support.


The MSI Task Force is an effort jointly led by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Division of Student Affairs. If you have any questions or would like to get involved with the work of the Task Force, please contact:

Chris L. Heavey, Executive Vice President and Provost

Phone: 702-895-3301

Juanita Fain, Vice President for Student Affairs

Phone: 702-895-3656

Tondra De, Chief of Staff

Phone: 702-895-0730