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Board of Regents appoint Don Snyder as UNLV acting president

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Board of Regents appoint Don Snyder as UNLV acting president

By Spencer Lubitz. CREATED Jan 24, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The University of Nevada, Las Vegas now has a new acting president.

The state Board of Regents voted on who should lead the school now that former president Neal Smatresk has taken the top job at the University of North Texas.

State Chancellor Dan Klaich recommended retired Boyd Gaming Corp. president and academic officer Don Snyder for the post. Snyder is leading a project to bring a new stadium to campus.

Snyder was officially appointed on Friday morning.

He will now assume the post after getting a majority of votes from the 13 members on the board.

The room erupted when the vote was announced.

"I have been involved with this university in one way or another for over 25 years, and that both fuels the passion, but it also fuels the understanding that it takes to be able to know where the priorities are," said Snyder.

By definition, the acting president cannot become the permanent president of the university, so the Board of Regents has recommended a search for the permanent president get underway immediately.

It's a search Snyder said he looks forward to taking part in, "I am a firm believer in the national search. I am a big believer that this university deserves and can support a world class president."

Snyder said he considers himself to be an effective bridge from the former president and the future president, and plans to continue Smatresk's legacy.

"He laid out very clearly what the priorities for this university are. First and foremost, to be a tier 1 research institute, that does incredibly important things for the university, and for the community."

Although the board said it will now start putting together a selection committee to search nationwide for the permanent president, many regents already voiced their opinion that they would like to see Provost John White take the job, becoming the university's first African-American president.