Marc Johnson, 2012 - 2020
Johnson, a native of Kansas and an economist by training, came to the University from Colorado State University to serve as Provost in 2008. Upon the death of President Milt Glick in 2011, he served as interim president for one year until he was named president in April 2012. During his tenure at the University, Johnson has stressed the creation of a culture marked by student success, faculty-led and world-improving research and creativity, and statewide engagement with communities and business.
The University has responded with all-time high enrollment and graduation figures, as well as institutional records for the diversity and accomplishment of its student body and investment by its donors. Johnson established the University's Office of Diversity Initiatives and represented the University in its move to the Mountain West Conference in intercollegiate athletics. Johnson has led the University through one of the institution’s greatest periods of faculty growth, with more than 400 tenure-track positions either being currently filled or planned on being filled in the future.
His leadership has seen the University grow to nearly 22,000 students, as well as nine consecutive years for the University being ranked in the top tier of best national universities by U.S. News & World Report. In late 2018, culminating a process and goal first stated by Johnson during his 2013 “State of the University” address, the University was elevated to an “R1” Carnegie research university, ranking among the top 130 doctoral universities with the highest levels of research excellence – a first for the state’s oldest institution of higher learning.
Numerous capital improvement projects have been completed under Johnson’s leadership, including new on-campus living learning communities (Peavine Hall, Great Basin Hall), a new University Arts Building with teaching and performance space, the William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center as well as renovation of several of the campus’ most historic buildings, such as Lincoln Hall and Palmer Engineering.