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

The Board of Regents voted unanimously Thursday to appoint Melody Rose as the higher education system’s newest chancellor, ending a year-long search to find a replacement for Thom Reilly. 

At a special meeting Thursday, regents approved a four-year contract for Rose that will pay her a base salary of more than $437,000, with an additional $25,000 in allowances for a car, housing and a host account. 

Rose, now a higher education consultant, spent more than two-decades inside the University of Oregon system, including a brief one-year stint as interim chancellor and four years as the president of the now-closed Marylhurst University. 

She will step into the role on Sept. 1, taking the reins at a time of deep and widespread upheaval for a university system looking to navigate the worst cuts to state appropriations since the 2008 financial crisis. Already the system has cut 19 percent of its budget between fiscal years 2020 and 2021 — roughly $160 million — and it could cut more should state revenues continue to falter amid the ongoing pandemic.

“She received overwhelming support during her public forums and from the faculty, students, cabinet, presidents, and community members of the Ad Hoc Chancellor Search Advisory Committee,” Board Chair Jason Geddes said. “The board looks forward to her leading us through these difficult times and for many years ahead.”

Rose’s appointment fills one of a trio of high-profile vacancies at the system and its institutions. Still left to be filled are permanent president positions at both UNLV and UNR, though search committees for both positions are expected to finish their work in the coming months. 

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