Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost David Ashley Will Become New President of UNLV

Campus Leader Headed Development of First Academic Programs, Hiring of Founding Faculty


MERCED - David B. Ashley, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Merced, has accepted the position of president at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, officials announced today (Thursday, May 18). As UC Merced's top academic officer for the past five years, Ashley has played a central role in the development of the university's inaugural academic programs, spearheaded the hiring of the 55 founding faculty members, created research opportunities and helped to organize strategic planning efforts. He will assume the position of president at UNLV on July 1.


UNLV is a doctoral-degree granting institution with more than 28,000 students and approximately 3,000 faculty and staff. More than 220 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees are offered. Founded in 1957, UNLV is located on more than 350 acres in Southern Nevada. The university is classified in the category of Research Universities (high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


"David has been a tremendous asset to UC Merced and played a pivotal role in developing academic programs and recruiting world-class faculty," said UC Merced Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey. "His leadership has been instrumental in building the first University of California campus to open in 40 years, which is no everyday feat. UNLV will benefit greatly from David's leadership. We wish him well."


During Ashley's tenure as executive vice chancellor and provost, UC Merced has begun from a blank slate and officially offered its first 14 undergraduate and five graduate degree programs (which may be applied toward master's or doctoral degrees). More programs are in development, with four to five to be added each year. UC Merced's undergraduate and graduate academic programs are designed to promote interdisciplinary teaching and research.


This period also saw the hiring of UC Merced's 55 founding faculty members, plus several more who will assume faculty positions this summer, from across the country and around the world. The faculty reflects commitments from UC Merced and Ashley to diversity, with gender and Hispanic diversity leading the way - an important factor considering UC Merced's location in the Central Valley of California where a large proportion of the population claims Hispanic heritage.


Supporting those programs and faculty, UC Merced under Ashley's leadership has developed a philosophy of core equipment and instrumentation facilities. This encourages collaborations among faculty from different disciplines with similar research interests, as they work together in efficient, common and adjacent laboratories. Core labs will serve research interests in genomics, imaging and microscopy, environmental analysis and other fields.


"The opportunity at UNLV matches my interests and abilities especially well," said Ashley. "UNLV has identified goals to enhance its already-solid academic reputation in the next several years, and I look forward to helping bring in the necessary resources to meet those goals and continuing to move the campus toward even greater academic excellence."
"I have been delighted and honored to be one of the founders of UC Merced. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime," he continued. "I am particularly happy with the quality of the academic programs we have developed and the hiring of truly stellar faculty who sustain high quality research programs while also demonstrating exceptional care and concern for our students."


Ashley came to UC Merced in 2001 after serving as dean of the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University for four years. As a professor of civil engineering, he has more than three decades of professional experience studying project risk analysis and management in the construction industry. He has also held faculty positions at UC Berkeley, the University of Texas, Austin and MIT.






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