UNLV has long been on a trajectory for achieving Top Tier status. The Top Tier Initiative is under the direction of President Keith E. Whitfield, and the Top Tier Tier Executive Committee:

  • Chris Heavey, Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Brent Drake, Vice Provost for Decision Support
  • Kyle Kaalberg, Executive Director, Strategy and Strategic Initiatives
  • Jean Vock, CFO and Sr. Vice President for Business Affairs
  • Vince Alberta, Chief Marketing Officer & Vice President of Brand Integration
  • Laurel Pritchard, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
  • Lori Olafson, Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development
  • Kate Korgan, Graduate College Dean
  • Jim Thomson, Special Advisor
  • Juanita Fain, Vice President for Student Affairs and Interim Chief Diversity Officer
  • Tondra De, Chief of Staff
  • Sabra Smith Newby, Vice President of Government and Community Affairs
  • Bo Bernhard, Vice President of Economic Development
  • Rickey McCurry, Vice President of Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement
  • Marc Kahn, Dean of the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV and Vice President for Health Affairs


During fall 2014, the president's office appointed two campus committees to assess what it needs to do over the next several years. During summer 2015, the president appointed chairs for each goal area, and these chairs worked with the leadership team to form committees. In summer 2016, committee chairs appointed steering committee members, and these members have formed numerous subcommittees and working groups to focus on their areas of action. In 2018, the Top Tier Initiative transformed by moving from centrally managed, committee-focused work to residing within the individual units. While there are some areas that are managed centrally, the focus is within the unit. It is important that each unit develops faculty- and staff-driven initiatives that align with central initiatives, meets the unique needs of their students and/or unit, and promotes accountability at the local level.

Core Chairs

Each core area has an appointed chair who leads and supports actions, advancing their area and the mission of the university.

Top Tier 2.0

Charge for Each Chair

  • Determine how to tackle the tasks and issues present within their goal area, based on the Top Tier vision, goals, key measures of success, and strategies.
  • Define precisely what can be accomplished over the next year and what needs to happen over a several year period.
  • Determine strategies for the long term.
  • Prepare mid-year and final reports.