LAS VEGAS -- UNLV is focused on the future, hoping to become a top-tier research university.
The public will get a preview of the school's goals in the president's annual State of the University address scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Judy Bayley Theatre.
However, the university is now getting more recognition on a national level.
Spend a few minutes on the UNLV campus, and you'll see it is diverse. According to fall 2012 enrollment, minorities are actually a slight majority.
"There are a lot of cultures here and a lot of ethnicities here, and I like that," comprehensive medical imaging student Priscilla Tovar said.
UNLV says 51 percent of its undergraduates are part of a racial or ethnic minority.
That is one reason U.S. News and World Report ranked UNLV among the most diverse campuses for undergraduates, tied at sixth place in the country.
UNLV Interim Vice President of Government Affairs and Diversity Initiatives Luis Valera says the school has started a new faculty hiring initiative.
"That is aimed at recruiting a more diverse faculty, so that UNLV can more accurately reflect its student body," Valera said.
U.S. News and World Report has ranked the Boyd School of Law 68th out of 194 accredited law schools.
However, the university as a whole is not ranked nationally by the magazine.
"Our real goal now, though, is to build out to being the top-level research institution," UNLV Executive Vice President and Provost John Valery White said.
To accomplish that goal, administrators are taking a very close look at some of the things that are happening in Las Vegas, off campus.
"There is clearly our traditional industry of gaming and resorts, but there are also new industries, so that data industry in town with data storage entities. There is the consumer-tech industry that is booming downtown," White said.
Regardless of a magazine's rankings, Rebels do have pride.
"I feel confident my money is going to good use here," environmental studies student Alec Doyle said.
UNLV has evolved over its 56-year history, and plans more academic success over the next 56 years.
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