NV Regents Appoint new UNLV President

The Nevada Board of Regents today approved the appointment of Dr. Neal J. Smatresk as the ninth president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Smatresk received a two-year contract (August 1, 2009-June 30, 2011) with an annual base salary of $289,120 in the first fiscal year and $246,426.84 in the second fiscal year. He will also receive the following annual perquisites: $8,000 automobile allowance, $18,000 housing allowance, and a $5,000 host account. In addition, the UNLV Foundation will supplement the president’s compensation by $58,880 in the first fiscal year and $101,573.16 in the second fiscal year.

Smatresk received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980. Following post-doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he joined the University of Texas, Arlington (UTA) department of biology in 1982. In his 22 years at UTA, he served as chair of biology and later dean of science, until his appointment as the chief academic officer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2004. During his tenure, the University of Hawaii at Manoa entered the ranks of the top 25 federally funded institutions, gained three National Academy of Science members, and received recognition from the Chinese Ministry of Education as a Confucius Institute, an honor shared by only 11 other U.S. institutions.

After a national search, Smatresk was appointed executive vice president and provost at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2007, where he was responsible for leadership and administration of all academic and research programs.

Smatresk has received a number of teaching awards, and his research in cardiorespiratory physiology has resulted in over 50 papers and book chapters, and grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. As the chief academic officer of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Smatresk has led the efforts to forge a new strategic plan that commits to improving educational access and success for its diverse students, to provide regionally responsive research growth for the improvement and diversification of the Southern Nevada economic base, and to supply critically needed services for this rapidly growing region.

In addition to his teaching and administrative roles, Smatresk has devoted considerable effort to kindergarten to doctorate (K-20) science outreach programs and teacher professional development and has participated in a number of consortia focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career development. He has been deeply engaged in community college articulation efforts in Texas, Hawaii and now in Nevada and has worked to expand educational opportunity and access for underserved populations. ??About NSHE?The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of the nation’s fastest growing state. The NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 108,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.

About UNLV
UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of 28,000 students and 3,300 faculty and staff. Founded in 1957, the university offers more than 220 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs. UNLV is located on a 332-acre campus in dynamic Southern Nevada and is classified in the category of Research Universities (high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.