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UNLV president: I'm looking for a new job

Michelle Rindels
Michelle Rindels
The UNLV Sign in front of the Hospitality Hall under construction

UPDATED, 11:15 AM. 3/14/18

UNLV President Len Jessup, while saying "media reports about my pending departure are misleading," nevertheless confirms he is on the way out. Here's what Jessup, who did not respond to multiple inquiries Tuesday, sent to faculty and others Wednesday morning:
Dear campus community, 
Recent media reports about my pending departure are misleading. It’s no secret that a few regents and I have not always agreed on the direction of UNLV under my leadership. Over the last several weeks, I had conveyed to Chancellor Thom Reilly that the governance structure makes long-term sustainability for any president challenging. I continue to be passionate about UNLV and all our initiatives, but expressed to him my intent to begin looking at other opportunities. I am grateful for all the tremendous support on campus and in the community, and I am proud to be president of UNLV.  Thank you for all your hard work and for staying focused on our core responsibilities to move the university forward. 

UNLV President Len Jessup is facing pressure to leave his post amid concerns about his handling of issues at the university’s dental and medical schools, among other things, according to several sources with knowledge of the situation.

University insiders say that Chancellor Thom Reilly recently gave Jessup a week to either resign or face termination proceedings. Some board members have signaled that they are willing to hold a “personnel session” on Jessup — which can be called if at least five regents agree to do so and could include a vote to fire him if a majority of regents on the board agree.

Jessup did not respond to requests for comment from The Nevada Independent on Tuesday about the situation.

Multiple sources confirm that Reilly evaluated Jessup in January and raised numerous issues with him, including practices at the dental school and fundraising and management at the medical school. When little improvement was seen, sources said, the regents prepared to hold a personnel session but Reilly told the board he would handle the situation. Jessup’s resignation announcement is expected any day, and he is expected to leave by the end of the semester.

Reilly himself declined to comment.

Regents have recently raised concerns that the estimated cost of building UNLV’s new medical school has exceeded expectations, rising to $232 million from an initial minimum estimate of $100 million, and also that fundraising has fallen short of expectations.

The news that Jessup’s job is in jeopardy comes shortly after the university announced that a dental faculty member had been reusing devices on patients that the manufacturer specified were only for single use. The faculty member has since left, and the university says it’s not aware that patients are at any increased risk of getting a disease, but they’ve informed 184 patients about the situation and said they can be put on a disease testing plan if they want.

Jessup started as president of UNLV in January 2015. Previously, he was dean of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.


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