Brian Sandoval Delivers First State of Education as UNR President

There may still be a pandemic, budget cuts, climate change and societal turmoil, but University of Nevada President Reno Brian Sandoval laid out plans for growth and optimism in his first speech on the state of education.

Almost 40 years to the day since Sandoval entered the UNR campus as a freshman, he has reflected on the pandemic and its challenges, but credited students, faculty, staff and the “Wolf Pack Way”.

He said the UNR must expand its campus to include external borders in Nevada.

“These are our challenges, and these are our opportunities,” he said.

“I have never been so convinced that our university is ready to serve as the silver door through which we are the ideal university to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

Sandoval, the first Hispanic and the first UNR graduate to lead the university, spent much of his first speech thanking others for what makes the campus what it is today and what it is today. will be tomorrow.

“We are a place where we have phenomenal students, where the knowledge and quality of our faculty and staff is second to none, where there is no better place, not nearly as beautiful, to provide a university experience. amazing, ”he said. noted

Highlights of Sandoval’s first major campus address

Increase the number of enrollments to 25,000 students by 2030

He plans to grow the university with an aggressive push to surpass 23,000 students by 2025. That would be an increase from the 21,034 students enrolled in the fall of this year.

From there, he is pushing for an enrollment of 25,000 students by 2030.

Diversity is the priority

Sandoval said it will also make UNR more diverse. He said UNR will continue to serve more Hispanic students. He said the UNR is on the verge of being identified as an institution serving Hispanics, which means at least 25% of those enrolled are Hispanics.

Sandoval said increasing the number of Native American students enrolling at UNR is a priority.

He said the state tuition exemption for Native American students was a first step.

Sandoval said he would soon appoint a director of relations with indigenous communities. This is a new position.

Sandoval also said he would continue to ensure that the “dreamers,” students who may have moved to the United States when they were children of undocumented parents, continue to be part of UNR and are not not excluded from financial aid, including federal programs.

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High school partnerships

Sandoval also spoke about the growth of partnerships with high school students, including providing more double credit options.

UNR recently partnered with two high schools in Clark County on a pilot program. The program offers 15 college credits to high school students in two high schools. Over 400 students have enrolled in courses aimed at what these students envision and enroll in college after high school. Similar programs have existed in Washoe County with the intention of expanding them in the years to come.

Online education becomes more important

Sandoval said the UNR will expand its online presence, something it has had to pivot quickly amid COVID-19.

“We need to build a university that embraces technology and trains ready-to-use graduates with skills that meet the needs of a changing society,” he said.

Sandoval has created a new position, Vice-Chancellor of Online Learning. UNR is currently recruiting someone who will be responsible for determining the next steps.

Sandoval said this person “will help determine the way forward to give our faculty and students the best of both words – an incredible educational experience on and off campus.”

Best ranking as a research institution

Sandoval said he intends to join the Association of American Universities. The group is made up of universities that are invited to apply and then reviewed for comprehensive, quality research and graduate programs and federal, state, and institutional research dollars.

Currently, the association has 66 universities, including Duke, Harvard, and Brown, and two of New York State’s public colleges, including the University of Buffalo.

The UNR and UNLV were awarded R1 status from the Carnegie Foundation in 2018. This is a ranking of 130 research institutes across the country.

Siobhan McAndrew tells stories about the people of northern Nevada and covers education in Washoe County. Read his journalism here. Consider supporting his work by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal.

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