Nevada NewsMakers

News - May 29, 2018 - by Ray Hagar

By Ray Hagar
Nevada Newsmakers

The chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education said Tuesday on Nevada Newsmakers that Gov. Brian Sandoval would be a desired candidate to become president at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas when his second gubernatorial term closes at the end of December.

Yet Chancellor Thom Reilly stressed that it is still too early to seriously consider Sandoval, noting there could be a competition for his services once he is term-limited from office at the end of 2018.

Yet he praised Sandoval as someone who could stabilize the governance of UNLV and reassure its donors in the wake of the controversial resignation of former President Len Jessup earlier this year.

"With that kind of individual, you would have a great ability from an operational standpoint, from a fundraising standpoint and with a lot of those other issues," Reilly said. "We are in the process of appointing an acting president, which we will do on June 4th, and then go back to the campus in early fall to talk about when we would actually start a search."

Reilly said he has not discussed getting Sandoval to become UNLV president with the Board of Regents.

"It is still quite too early," he said. "I think he still has more of his term to serve and I'm sure he has been in conversations with a lot of individuals."

Reilly stressed that Sandoval, a former federal judge, will probably have many offers.

"I think there would be a lot of individuals and companies and agencies who would be very interested in working with the governor," he said. "He definitely is very popular and has been a tremendous advocate for education on a number of fronts. I'm sure he is a good candidate for a lot of different positions."

Reilly noted Sandoval is scheduled to soon join UNLV's Boyd School of Law.

"He is actually part of the interim faculty and will be starting that in the fall of 2019," he said. "So I know UNLV is thrilled to actually have him on faculty."

However, Sandoval would not be the only candidate for the UNLV president's job, Reilly said.

"Nevada is not short of incredibly talented individuals that can serve in those roles," he said.

There's little chance Sandoval could become president of his alma mater, the University of Nevada, Reno.

"I'm sure anything is possible," he said. "Right now, we have a wonderful president (Marc Johnson) at the University of Nevada and at least he hasn't indicated to me that he likely to retire anytime soon. In fact, we just renewed his contract."