DRI President Contract Renewed Through 2009

Nevada System of Higher Education

System Administration
5550 W. Flamingo Rd., Suite C-1
Las Vegas, Nevada 89103
Tel: (702) 889-8426

June 24, 2005

Contact: John Kuhlman
(702) 889-8426

DRI President Contract Renewed Through 2009

RENO – The Board of Regents yesterday concluded the periodic evaluation of President Stephen Wells and renewed his contract as well as approved a supplemental compensation package provided by the university’s foundation.

“President Wells has done an outstanding job leading the Desert Research Institute,” said Dr. Stavros Anthony, Board chair. “He has continuously demonstrated that his vision and talent have played a vital role in the increasing international recognition of DRI.”

Regents conduct annual evaluations and periodic evaluations of all eight NSHE presidents. Wells’ periodic evaluation incorporated a wide range of feedback from faculty, staff, and members of the community.

Wells’ new contract was renewed through June 30, 2009. His base salary will be $228,000, effective today. He will continue to receive the presidential annual perquisites of an $8,000 car allowance, $24,000 housing allowance, and a $5,000 host account.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to serve as president of such a distinguished, world-renowned organization for environmental research,” said Wells. “I am surrounded and supported by the most talented and dedicated team of faculty, staff, students and foundation trustees who understand DRI’s drive to advance scientific knowledge that benefits society as a whole. I look forward to the next several years of growth in our research enterprise and the future accomplishments that DRI will have through cutting-edge contributions that continue to positively affect Nevada and the world.”

Since becoming president of DRI in 1999, Wells has been instrumental in growing DRI’s research portfolio through interdisciplinary research and federal initiatives. By working closely with Nevada’s Congressional delegation, DRI has seen a 20-fold increase in funding of federal initiatives from $400,000 per year to $19 million for fiscal year 2005. Additionally, DRI has experienced overall research growth of 60 percent, including a 136 percent increase in support from the National Science Foundation.

Wells is the vice president and councilor of the Geological Society of America and serves on the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, a nationally prominent environmental advisory body to the National Academy of Sciences. Before serving as DRI president, he was the executive director and research professor of DRI’s former Quaternary Sciences Center from 1995-1998.

The Nevada Board of Regents is the elected, 13-member governing body for the Nevada System of Higher Education. Comprising two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, the NSHE serves the educational and job training needs of the nation’s fastest growing state. As Nevada’s only system of higher education, the NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students.