April 8-9, 1994
BOARD OF REGENTS
UNIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM OF NEVADA
April 8, 1994
Members present: Dr. James Eardley, Chairman
Mrs. Shelley Berkley
Dr. Jill Derby
Mr. Joseph M. Foley (by telephone)
Mrs. Dorothy S. Gallagher
Mr. Madison Graves, II
Dr. Lonnie Hammargren
Mr. Daniel J. Klaich (by telephone)
Mrs. Nancy Price
Mrs. Carolyn M. Sparks
Mrs. June Whitley
Others present: Dr. John A. Richardson, Interim Chancellor
Mr. Donald Klasic, General Counsel
Mrs. Mary Lou Moser, Secretary
Chairman Eardley called the special meeting of the Board to order
at 9:05 A.M. in Ham Concert Hall, University of Nevada, Las
Vegas. All Regents were present except Regents Foley, Hammargren
and Klaich. Regents Klaich and Foley were out of State but took
part in the meeting through teleconferencing. Also present were
UNLV Faculty Senate Chairman Dr. John Swetnam and Graduate Stu-
dent Association Chairman Sharlene Sayegh.
1. Approved the Appointment of Interim President, UNLV
Chairman Eardley stated that in accordance with the Board
of Regents Handbook, Chapter 2, Section 2.C, he recommended
that Dr. Kenny Guinn be appointed Interim President of the
University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Guinn is well-known
and a respected member of the Las Vegas community and
throughout the State. He has recently retired as Chief
Executive Officer of PriMerit Bank and Southwest Gas Company
and currently serves as Chairman of the UNLV Foundation.
Dr. Guinn served as Superintendent of Schools of the Clark
County School District from 1969 to 1978. He has been very
active in community and State organizations.
Chairman Eardley explained that this decision was reached
after considerable input and deliberation. He, Vice Chair-
man Madison Graves and Interim Chancellor John Richardson
had spent two days on the UNLV Campus interviewing some 33
persons from across Departments, Administration and staff,
alumni, foundation, and community leaders. In addition,
Board members have received a number of letters and phone
calls concerning the appointment. Chairman Eardley stated
that sentiment for the position was about evenly divided
for Dr. Guinn and Provost Dr. John Unrue. He related that
he had long discussions with both gentlemen, who had both
expressed a desire to help the institution, and would work
closely together to ensure a smooth operation.
Dr. Hammargren entered the meeting. Mr. Klaich and Mr. Foley
joined the meeting via telephone.
Chairman Eardley expressed concern that the Las Vegas media
and the city had begun discussions of who might serve dur-
ing the interim long before the Board had begun delibera-
tions. He assured the group that the media did not influ-
ence the decision; that the decision was based on what was
best for the institution.
Mr. Graves moved to accept the recommendation of the Chair-
man of the Board that Dr. Kenny Guinn be appointed as In-
terim President of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas,
until a permanent President is appointed. Mrs. Berkley
Mrs. Price objected to the recommendation and questioned
the process used in bringing names forward to the Board.
Mrs. Sparks stated she had spent a long time debating the
question and after careful consideration, many discussions
with a wide variety of people, and with Dr. Unrue, and
finally, the night before with Dr. Guinn, she supports the
recommendation that Dr. Guinn will be the "outside" leader
for the institution and Dr. Unrue will continue as "inside"
person leading the Campus in academic standards. Further,
she felt this would send a powerful message that UNLV is
in control and has the best possible people at its helm.
Mr. Graves clarified for Mrs. Price that in the 33 inter-
views each person was asked for names for candidates for
this position. Mrs. Price questioned why only 3 people
conducted the interviews and why a consulting group was
not brought in to do the interviewing. Interim Chancellor
Richardson explained that by Board policy the Chairman of
the Board is to make the recommendation in consultation
with the Chancellor, and that they had added the Vice Chair-
man to the list. The goal of the interviews was to receive
views from a cross section of the Campus and community, and
that it was felt a decision must be made within a short
span of time for the good of the institution and the city.
Mrs. Berkley spoke in favor of the motion, stating that the
Board process had been followed and she felt time was of the
essence in that preparations for the legislative session are
underway and that budgets are in the process of preparation.
Mrs. Gallagher agreed, stating that it was critical to have
a person who knows the legislative process and the political
arena of the State. Dr. Derby commended the Chairman for
bringing the recommendation so promptly and to end the
speculation. She stated that as Chairman of the Regents'
UNLV Search Committee her focus now will be on the search
process which can be held in a stable environment during
this interim period.
UNLV Faculty Senate Chairman John Swetnam spoke in favor
of Dr. Unrue being appointed to the position and that the
Board was faced with the "well qualified" vs. the "well
connected". He stated that Dr. Unrue did have the support
of the faculty.
Interim Chancellor Richardson read the 5 questions posed
to each of the people interviewed:
1) What are the important reponsibilities of a
2) What individual do you feel would be able to fill
3) Why would that person be effective?
4) Have you considered a UNLV Dean, an experienced
UNLV Administrator, an Administrator from out of
5) Do you have suggestions to offer?
He stated that an out-of-state person was rejected by most;
several Deans were suggested but no single Dean was identi-
fied as the best possibility; and that the two people men-
tioned were Dr. Unrue and Dr. Guinn. Chairman Eardley
stated that the Acting President would not be a candidate
for the permanent position.
A number of faculty spoke in support of Dr. Unrue:
Mohamed Yousef, Biological Sciences
Isabelle Emerson, Music
John Lujan, Affirmative Action Officer
Gerald Lanwer, Kinesiology
Ken Hanlon, Music
Craig Walton, Philosophy
Leonard Goodall, Political Science
Paul Burns, Administrator
Gloria Shangreaux, News & Publications, Classified
Nancy Master, Library
Sharlene Sayegh, Graduate Student Association
Robert Ball, Library
Hart Wegner, Film Studies
Dr. Tom Wright spoke in favor of Dr. Guinn.
Mr. Foley, who was out of the State and on a telephone
hookup, stated his vote was for Dr. Unrue, then left the
meeting at that point.
Mrs. Whitley spoke to the faculty stating that they were the
University, they taught the students; that she had always
fought for their academic freedom and that they were very
important to their University. She stated that she dis-
agreed with a lot of the statements which have been made
concerning this appointment. Mrs. Whitley reminded the
group that the University is a big business; that if Pres-
ident Maxson had not been raising funds for the buildings
over these past years and been fighting to provide funding
for academics, that the faculty would not be here to teach.
She stated that Dr. Guinn was the type of person needed to
run the University. She agreed that Dr. John Unrue was
one of the best professors she had ever known. She admon-
ished the faculty that they cannot go around thinking the
Board is against the faculty; that that is not true; and,
that the Board is doing what they feel is best for the
faculty and the institution. She urged all the faculty
to get behind the person who is appointed to the interim
position and to continue to move this institution forward.
Mr. Klaich, also on a telephone hookup, stated he rejected
the position that the Board was being asked to chose be-
tween the qualified and the unqualified inasmuch as he felt
there were two extremely qualified people who would do a
superior job. He agreed with Dr. Derby's point that the
selection of the Interim President does not change the
criteria for the selection of the permanent President.
Motion carried. Mrs. Price voted no based on the process.
Mr. Foley had stated his intention to vote for Dr. Unrue.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 A.M.
Mary Lou Moser
Secretary of the Board