What a difference five years make. With record enrollment today of 21,000 and a growing faculty among several shining new structures, and high-profile research collaborations helping fuel a bustling state economy, the University of Nevada, Reno today has grown from and through the immensely difficult times it faced in April 2011.
President Marc Johnson visited with KUNR's David Stipech for a special and personal interview during the month of Johnson's five-year anniversary at the university's helm (air date 4-22-16).
In early April 2011, Johnson was in his third year serving as university provost alongside President Milt Glick. The state and national economies were in turmoil; the Nevada Legislature was in mid-session with deep cuts to the university on the table. It was an unsettling time of unprecedented challenge. And then, the community was shocked by the news of President Glick’s unexpected death. Johnson was quickly thrust into the top leadership role amid his own sense of loss, a grieving campus and a saddened community.
Following Glick's passing, Johnson was named interim president before becoming president in April 2012 following a national search. Decisions made in those dark hours in 2011 stabilized the institution and helped lay the foundation for critical legislation, partnerships, facilities, funding and vision that would shape the university into the thriving and fast-rising institution it is today.