The honor of being your president

An open letter from President Marc Johnson

The honor of being your president

An open letter from President Marc Johnson

I write this as an open letter to the students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and visitors of our University to thank you for the support you have all demonstrated during the past nine and a half years I have served as president.

It has been quite a journey. We have worked together to lift the University from the recessionary period of the early 2010s, to a time of profound and remarkable achievement in all aspects of our institutional mission, to today, the time of COVID-19. There have been days where we have gathered together to comfort and to mourn, when we have questioned and challenged one another, when we have stood together and when we have celebrated historic institutional milestones. Of all those days, I cannot think of an institution and a group of people that I am always more proud of than the University of Nevada, Reno and the individuals who on a daily basis make real our campus’ never-ending impulse for action. 

Our institutional achievements have included our attainment in late 2018 of the classification of Carnegie R1 “Very High Research” institution; the attainment in 2019 of the classification as a “Carnegie Engaged” institution; 11 straight years, a streak that began with my predecessor, Milt Glick, ranked in the “top tier” of “Best National Universities” by U.S. News & World Report; record-setting student achievement, including record levels of student diversity; record-setting faculty achievement, productivity and research. I mention these superlatives because they belong to all of you. It is your hard work, your belief in the value of our mission that has kept our University on this decade-long trajectory.

I have been fortunate to be surrounded by so many talented, creative, determined and hard-working people. Your high institutional aspirations, strong sense of collegiality and collaboration, and the warm glow of your collective personalities and dreams, have powered our University to great heights.

I would be remiss if I did not thank the groups of people who have made the work so effective – the leaderships of ASUN and GSA; the leaderships of Faculty Senate and Staff Employees Council; members of the President’s Council and all senior administrative leadership; members of the Academic Leadership Council; the leadership of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Alumni Council and Foundation Board members; the City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County and the State of Nevada; the Nevada System of Higher Education, Board of Regents and Chancellor, and many more.

Finally, I want to wish Brian Sandoval, who becomes our 17th president on Oct. 5, the best of luck and the highest of achievements for his upcoming presidency. President-elect Sandoval’s career in public service to the people of Nevada is extensive and distinguished. I have no doubt he will be a passionate advocate for the University’s mission, and will be a strong leader for all of the people of our University.

Thank you again for all that you have done. It has been a privilege beyond any measure to be your president.


Marc A. Johnson

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