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August 1, 2014

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Regents settle on Georgia firm to lead search for UNLV president

Nevada’s higher education leaders are one step closer to selecting an executive search firm to find the next president of UNLV.

A UNLV presidential search committee voted unanimously today to begin contract negotiations with Baker and Associates. The Marietta, Ga.-based firm has been involved in several presidential searches, including those at the universities of Georgia, Iowa and Minnesota.

The search committee is expected to vote on Baker and Associates’ $150,000 contract on June 2, pending reference checks and a successful contract negotiation. UNLV is responsible for paying the search firm.

On Friday, the committee heard hourlong presentations from each of the four search firms that cast bids. The other firms were AGB Search, Diversified Search and EFL Associates Inc.

The committee — composed of six voting regents and 37 nonvoting advisory members — questioned the firms on their executive search process and how they would ensure a diverse pool of presidential candidates.

Ultimately, the committee favored Baker and Associates because it felt they could sell UNLV effectively to potential candidates. President Jerry Baker said a thorough search process could take up to a year, which would miss regents' initial September target.

In the coming months, the UNLV presidential search committee will work with its search firm to finalize a list of character attributes the Las Vegas community wants to see in its next university president.

Higher education leaders say they are looking for a president who is outgoing, involved in the community and is a visionary for UNLV. Many faculty members say they want an academic, while some community leaders say they are open to a politician or business executive. Chancellor Dan Klaich said he favors hiring a president who has experience leading a top-tier research university.

“We’re confident we’ll get a good president for UNLV,” Nevada Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Page said.

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