ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 | 6:15 p.m.
MGM Resorts International and UNLV are partnering up to create a think tank that will seek bipartisan solutions to various economic, social, political and workplace issues.
The MGM Resorts Public Policy Institute at UNLV — co-chaired by retired Sen. Harry Reid and former House Speaker John Boehner — will concentrate on comprehensive, authentic and relevant national and international policy issues that impact the travel, tourism, hospitality and gaming industries and the global communities in which they operate.
“While our public opposition on issues may be more storied than our private friendship, we have successfully collaborated on complex problems and signature ideas and look forward to doing so again,” Reid and Boehner said in a joint statement. “As passionate and committed believers in the importance of public service, we are eager to work with MGM Resorts and UNLV to inspire a new generation to serve their country through public office.”
Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, said the institute will pay dividends to the local tourism and hospitality economies.
“I’m excited about the possibilities the institute offers to proactively explore issues and develop bipartisan policy solutions — especially on topics that matter to our workforce, our communities and the industries in which we play a leading role,” Murren said. “I’m pleased to have a partnership with UNLV, a leading academic and research institution, and am deeply honored to have the guidance and involvement of Sen. Reid and Speaker Boehner.”
The development of the institute is part of MGM Resorts’ continuing efforts to expand its leadership in extensive conversations on matters of public policy and will continue to strengthen UNLV’s engagement on a wide variety of national and international issues.
“Identifying solutions to complex public-policy issues can only be achieved through robust debate and our university — with its diverse expertise and capacity for community engagement — is a natural setting,” UNLV President Len Jessup said. “We look forward to working with the leadership of MGM Resorts and the institute co-chairs to further define a compelling research and policy agenda.”
The institute will be housed in UNLV’s School of Public Policy and Leadership within the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs.
Robert Ulmer, dean of the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, said the addition of the institute is a big deal not only to the school, but the entire country.
“At a time when our country is probably as divided as it’s ever been in recent memory, what I think is really exciting about this is that I don’t think there’s a public policy institute in the country that is bipartisan and is a result of a public-private partnership,” Ulmer said. “This elevates UNLV and the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs as a national player, and it’s a testament to the outstanding work being done by our faculty, students and staff.”
Work will commence at the think tank later this year pending formal approval by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents.