Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2017

Currently: 60° — Complete forecast


Piracy pays off.

In his efforts to recruit some established professors to UNLV's College of Liberal Arts, outgoing Dean Ed Shoben has cast his net into other universities' waters.

The result is some hefty bounty: four new superstars to help advance UNLV's reputation.

Dennis Pirages, an internationally known political science professor for his work in global and environmental issues, will arrive this fall from the University of Maryland. The most senior hire, Pirages is leaving a named professorship behind, in part because of connections he has in Las Vegas.

The author of more than a dozen books, Pirages is seen by Shoben as an important mentor for UNLV's younger faculty.

The college's philosophy department will be boosted by the hire of William Ramsey, currently a professor at Notre Dame, home to one of the top 20 philosophy departments in the country. Ramsey's work in the philosophy of cognitive science - theories on how the brain works - is well - known. His third book is being published by Cambridge University Press.

Ramsey said he was attracted to UNLV because of its location, especially the outdoor pursuits around Las Vegas.

Shoben's third coup is a young Harvard psychology professor with a doctorate from Cornell University. Erin Hannon is currently the director of Harvard's auditory cognition and development lab, researching music and sound perception in infants.

Hannon said she saw a lot of opportunity at UNLV to expand her research, including easier access to research subjects. "Usually young professors don't have much of an impact on how their departments develop," Hannon said.

Her husband, Harvard Medical School post-doctorate fellow Joel Snyder, will also be transferring to UNLV's psychology department. He specializes in cognitive neurosciences.

"It's not very often UNLV can hire off Harvard faculty," Shoben said.

Shoben, who was forced to resign in May for unknown reasons, will be replaced by English department Chairman Chris Hudgins, at least temporarily.

A faculty member since 1976, Hudgins will be one of three deans filling in at UNLV next school year.

Life sciences professor Peter Starkweather, formerly interim dean of the College of Sciences, has been named as interim dean of the Honors College , a selective, more intensive college within UNLV.

Ann McDonough, known for her work developing UNLV's gerontology and senior theater programs, is interim dean of University College. University College offers a home to students who have not selected a major or those lacking the grade - point average for their field of study.

Paul Jarley, senior associate dean of business at the University of Kentucky, is the new dean of business.

Ashley is close to naming two vice presidents - one for research and graduate studies, and one for advancement.

Starting this fall, the best and brightest entering student in UNLV's joint juris doctor/master of business administration degree program will receive free tuition for his or her first year.

The $10,000 scholarship is a gift from Mike Saltman in honor of his late friend Jerry Trenberth, a former Vista Group in-house counsel and chief operating officer. Trenberth , who died last month, earned his JD/MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, and was an attorney in Las Vegas for 28 years.

Saltman is the founder of the conflict-resolution center at UNLV's Boyd School of Law.