Las Vegas Sun

April 23, 2019

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UNLV Honors College dean tabbed to become acting president

The dean of UNLV's Honors College could soon become the acting president of the university.

As part of a special meeting June 4, the Nevada Board of Regents has scheduled a vote on whether to name Marta Meana as the acting leader of UNLV, according to the meeting agenda. Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Thom Reilly is recommending Meana for the position after consulting with regents Chairman Kevin Page, the agenda said.

According to UNLV's website, Meana joined the psychology department in 1997 and was named dean of the Honors College in 2014 after serving as interim dean. She has received degrees from the University of California San Diego, McGill University and the University of Toronto.

Meana is a nontraditional choice for the position, as acting and interim presidents at large universities often are high-level university administrators like provosts or vice presidents, or the deans of large schools like business colleges or colleges of liberal arts.

By design, UNLV's Honors College is small, with about two dozen administrators, faculty and staff listed on the college's site.

The vote comes after the forced departure of UNLV President Len Jessup, who in April announced that he had accepted an offer to serve as the president of Claremont Graduate University in California. Jessup, who was in the third year of the five-year contract he signed when he came to UNLV, had been criticized by Reilly and some members of the Board of Regents over a number of issues, including cost overruns associated with the 2016 presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center and the university's response to the discovery that a dentist in its School of Dental Medicine had reused equipment intended for single usages.

But the handling of Jessup prompted criticism of the board and Reilly by several prominent UNLV supporters, some of whom announced they were withdrawing or reconsidering major contributions over dissatisfaction with oversight of the university by state higher education officials.

The special meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. at NSHE's Las Vegas office, 4300 S. Maryland Parkway.