Las Vegas Sun

March 21, 2019

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UNLV Honors College Dean Marta Meana named acting president

Marta Meana


UNLV psychology professor Marta Meana has been chosen as the university’s acting president.

Marta Meana, dean of UNLV’s Honors College, will take over July 1 as the university’s acting president while officials search for a permanent replacement for the departing Len Jessup.

“I’ve been privileged to be part of the UNLV community for more than 20 years, and I’m honored to serve as acting president during this transition period for the university,” Meana said today after the Nevada Board of Regents announced the appointment.

“UNLV has a deep pool of leadership talent, and I look forward to working with partners on and off campus to continue to move the university forward,” said Meana, a psychology professor.

Jessup, who is leaving to become president of Claremont Graduate University in California, announced his departure in April, citing “unfounded and unjustified” attacks by members of the Board of Regents and Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Thom Reilly.

Jessup faced criticism from several regents over such matters as an agreement to accept a $14 million gift for the UNLV medical school building on the condition that he remain as president until 2020 and the university’s investigation into a dentist in its School of Dental Medicine reusing equipment intended for single usages in performing dental implants on more than 180 patients.

“Marta is a highly respected clinician, researcher and educator and is lauded for her contributions to teaching, psychology and women’s health,” Reilly said in a statement. “As dean, she has tripled Honors College enrollment and boosted student success. I am confident she is the right person to lead the university as we conduct a search for a permanent president.”

The Board of Regents hosted 11 forums to gather input from students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, donors and community members on filling the temporary post.

Kevin J. Page, chairman of the board, said Meana “has excellent management skills and is admired by students and faculty alike.”

Meana, who has authored two books and dozens of journal articles, is credited with advancing clinical approaches to women’s health and human sexuality.

She has received the Nevada Regents Excellence in Teaching Award, the Nevada Senatorial Recognition for Teaching, the James Makawa Award for outstanding contributions in psychology, and the Masters and Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award.