Erin Meyering

UNR’s Presidential Search: Process, Politics and Personality

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From Left, UNR President, Marc Johnson, Vice President of Administration and Finance, Ron Zurek, and Government Relations Director, Bob Dickens, further discuss issues addressed at President's Council on Tuesday.

Define President.

Pedigree?

Persistence?

Personality?

Pride?

Regardless of particulars, the University of Nevada, Reno will have a more permanent patriarch in the short range of five months time.

The regents’ search for a new president began last September and continues with their sights set on finalizing the decision. The person selected for the position of president to take office July, 1st 2012.

With the university’s greater affect on Northern Nevada as a whole, a possible change in the president is significant.

Interim President Marc Johnson stepped up from vice president and has been the leader holding the reins for the university since former president Milton Glick.

Johnson is the only current declared candidate.

“This is a very strong university, and its strength is much greater than its national reputation, and its reputation is growing in the West,” Johnson said in an October interview with the Sagebrush. “It would be a real honor to get to lead the institution in the direction that we’ve been moving in.”

With all of the daily responsibilities and future plans, the university has a concise idea of what type of leader they’re looking for.

“A successful candidate must be concerned with the present while working with a wide range of constituencies to plan for the university’s future,” a university document outlining the presidential search says.

In addition, the next president will aggressively promote the highest quality in academics, research, student life, alumni relations and service to the community using the system’s master plan as well as the institution’s master and strategic plans for guidance, according to the same presidential search document.

Characteristic Requests of the Next President:


 

The communication factor between the students and the president is also important to a successful university.

“President Johnson, in the time he’s had the job, has always done a good job at making himself as available as he can,” Associated Students of the University of Nevada President, Casey Stiteler said.

President Glick, the previous president of UNR, always had an annual holiday party, Stiteler said. Continuing his tradition, President Johnson now hosts a summer BBQ at his house for some of the leaders of clubs and organizations on campus.

In addition to his holiday soirée, Johnson makes a point to frequently attend ASUN Senate meetings, where there are 22 senators present that represent every college on campus.

Attending these meetings may be the best way for the president to stay in touch with the students and what is happening around campus, Stiteler said.

While some have adapted to President Johnson, others believe that he could do a better job communicating with the students.

“I do not think that the current acting president has been as involved [on campus] and with students as [President Glick] was,” 19-year-old sophomore, Connie Anderson, said.

Most students talked to were also unaware of the search for a new president.

Whether his presence is felt around campus by students, or not, President Johnson is in the running for the position of the president.

The position is important to the greater Northern Nevada, as the university plays such a huge role in the town itself.

The Board of Regents will continue to look for fitting candidates and have meetings upon their selection. About six candidates’ names will be brought to the university for the entire committee. Their resumes will be reviewed and finally two or three will be interviewed by the Board of Regents, Stiteler said.

“The national search is critical, as it is important for the campus to see a wide range of qualified candidates and to engage in a discussion of who can best lead the university,” former Faculty Senate Chair Eric Herzik said in an October interview with the Sagebrush.

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The process of picking a president

The majority knows the university always has an acting president, but how the process works is another story in itself.

The president of the university is chosen through a series of meetings and has to jump through fire-lined hoops of eliminations and meeting a variety of students. When chosen, the president reports to the Chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), which governs only seven other institutions of higher education.

Before taking the position, though, he or she is sought after and interviewed by the Board of Regents. The Board of Regents includes people from all over the state of Nevada and consists of: five faculty members nominated by the Faculty Senate, three administrators, one classified staff member, one undergraduate student, one graduate student and one university alumnus.

“Regents are elected through the statewide election process administered through the Nevada Secretary of State’s office,” Media Relations Director for UNR, Jane Tors said. “Each represents a specific district and is elected by registered voters that district.”

For more information, go to the Regents’ website: http://system.nevada.edu/Nshe/index.cfm/administration/board-of-regents/

For more general information about the search, go to the search website:

http://www.unr.edu/president-search

All photos taken by Erin Meyering

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Written by emeyering

February 24, 2012 at 12:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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