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Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents quarterly meeting at UNLV on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (Jeff Scheid/Nevada Independent)

A search for a new chancellor to head the Nevada System of Higher Education drew one step closer to completion with the announcement of four finalists Tuesday, signaling a rapidly approaching end to the year-plus search to replace outgoing Chancellor Thom Reilly. 

Those finalists are set to participate in a virtual town hall next week before being interviewed by the system’s search committee on June 17. They will then be considered by the full Board of Regents at a special meeting on Friday, June 18. 

Among the finalists are: 

  • Arthur Ellis, a longtime member of the University of California system and most recently a Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies at the UC system’s Office of the President.
  • Richard Larson, a Harvard-educated medical doctor who now serves as an Executive Vice Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of New Mexico.
  • Anthony Munroe, the president of Essex County College in New Jersey, which is both a predominately-black institution and a Hispanic-serving institution. 
  • Melody Rose, a higher education consultant who spent nearly two decades in the University of Oregon system, including a one-year stint as chancellor and later four years as the president of Marylhurst University, a Catholic liberal arts college in Oregon that closed in 2018

Whoever takes over the top job at the university and community college system will face a tough test in the coming months and years, as higher ed looks to navigate the worst financial crisis since the Great Recession. Regents have already prepared preliminary budget scenarios that could cut up to $124 million over the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years, though Gov. Steve Sisolak signaled last month that the required cuts from public agencies may be higher than initial estimates. 

The board is set to discuss the budget, including any additional emergency measures, at its regularly scheduled meeting on Friday. 

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