UNLV President Steps Down

After a decade as UNLV president, Carol Harter is stepping down. She transformed UNLV from a basketball school to a major institution. Her contract wasn't set to end for another three years. Some say her job as become increasingly difficult under new leadership.

Channel 8 Eyewitness News first reported this major development on Friday. The announcement of her departure was officially made to students and staff in an e-mail sent out Friday afternoon. Dr. Harter's resignation as president is effective on June 30. No official reason was given. After that, she will serve out the remainder of her contract focusing on fundraising. 

Eyewitness News had a chance to talk with member of the Nevada Board of Regents. They praised Dr. Harter for her leadership, but are looking forward to finding that person who can take UNLV to the next level. Harter was not at the Board of Regents meeting.

Regent Howard Rosenberg said, "To lose her would be one of the most dreadful losses this system has ever suffered." Rosenberg has served on the board almost the entire decade President Harter led the university. He praised her for leading them through phenomenal growth.

Harter hasn't said why she is leaving. Rosenberg said it's well known that Harter and new chancellor Jim Rogers didn't get along. "Jim's problem with her is very simple, she won't take crap from anybody, particularly from him. She knows more than he does about education. That's a given. And she won't back down."

In a letter to Rogers, Regent Linda Howard also criticized the way Rogers treated Harter. When Rogers volunteered for the position of chancellor a year ago he didn't have control over university presidents. He wanted them to work more closely together.

Chancellor Jim Rogers said, "The more I got into it the more I found that you had eight divisions of the university that didn't function together because you couldn't bring them together."

Regents unanimously gave Rogers control over the presidents. Now that Harter is leaving -- the university will start the 6-month process of looking for a replacement. Rogers said he hadn't given any thought to a replacement. But there is one candidate who is already high Chancellor Jim Rogers' list. His name is Dick Morgan. He's the current dean of the Boyd School of Law.

"I think he would make a good president. I will tell you that I have had several people talk to me and say that they thought that Dick ought to be a president at UNR. And I have told those who have spoken to me that he has good management skills," Rogers said.

Coincidently, the University of Nevada Reno is also looking for a new president.

While Harter is leaving as UNLV president, Rogers says Harter is interested in continuing with UNLV on a new project. It has yet to be unveiled, but it's a new school called the Black Mountain Institute.

Dr. Carol Harter's accomplishments include:

  • Dr. Harter has been at UNLV since July 1995 and has more than 35 years of college administrative experience. During her time in Las Vegas, enrollment has grown to more than 25,000 students.
  • Her credits include the addition of more than 36 masters and doctorate programs. Before her arrival, UNLV didn't have a school of law, architecture or dentistry.
  • Dr. Harter has also led a push to increase the grade point average to get into UNLV. It's currently 2.5. She's called for a 3.0.

Email reporter Ky Plaskon at kplaskon@klastv.com


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