Neal Smatresk speaks with Action News about accomplishments at UNLV


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Neal Smatresk speaks with Action News about accomplishments at UNLV

By Bryan Callahan. CREATED Nov 22, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- After seven years in Southern Nevada and four and half as the president of UNLV, Neal Smatresk is getting ready to say goodbye to the Rebels.

"We've come a long way in five years, from a point where we felt embattled to a point where the university pulled together and endured very hard cuts to the point where we are rebuilding again and looking at building a stadium and medical school," Smatresk said.

Smatresk said the draw of family led him to interview for the job of president at the University of North Texas, where he is the sole finalist and expected to be appointed next month.

So as he begins to prepare for the move to the lone star state, Smatresk is looking back on his accomplishments.

Those include the biggest, most diverse and most qualified freshman class in school history.

"Well I loved bringing the Brookings Institution here, because we are the only institution that has that connection here in the United States. And Really they kicked off and helped us start a lot of this stuff," Smatresk said.

The president said he tries to live in a world without regrets, but admits there are things he would like to see through to the end.

"If I could be here to see anything to fruition, would be the medical school. So leaving that is the hardest thing, because I think the impact of that on the university and the community is the biggest impact we've had on anything," Smatresk said.

When it comes to a successor, Smatresk said they will have a solid foundation of support to rely on.

"So I hope the next president embraces the internal and external communities and sees what I saw, which is terrific people who believe in their mission and want to do better," Smatresk said.

The Board of Regents cannot begin searching for a replacement until after Smatresk officially resigns.

The current president says he expects that process to include a nationwide search.

Bryan Callahan

Bryan Callahan

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Bryan Callahan joined the Action News team as a general assignment reporter in August of 2013.