Isaac Hoops/Nevada Sagebrush Former Gov. Brian Sandoval attends a press conference on Thursday, Sept. 17. Sandoval is the university’s 17th president.

The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents held a special meeting, in which the regents voted to select Brian Sandoval as the University of Nevada, Reno’s next president on Thursday, Sept. 17. 

This morning, the university announced that the university’s search committee recommended former Gov. Brian Sandoval. The search committee includes student leadership members, faculty members, higher administration and community members.

Last night during the ad hoc search committee meeting, Search Committee Chair Regent Rick Trachok said the candidates gave presentations and then listed their first and second choices among the candidates.

Trachok said of the 27 committee members, 22 listed Sandoval as their first choice. The remaining five members listed Jennifer Evans-Cowley or Jonathan Koppel as their first choice, but listed Sandoval as their second choice. 

Regent Trachok made a motion to appoint Sandoval as the next president. Regent Jason Geddes seconded the motion.

“I believe it would be a conflict of interest and inappropriate for you to vote today,” ASUN Senator Joshua Leurs said in a statement, read by Dominique Hall.

Sandoval graduated from the university in 1986 before going on to get his law degree from Ohio State University. Among other positions, he served as Nevada’s governor from 2011 to 2019.

Despite his appointment, community members and students expressed their disappointment in the regents decision. 

Harry Rodefer expressed his disappointment in Sandoval’s presidency during  public comment. 

“I am in complete disbelief that the Board of Regents would even consider a politician who has no experience whatsoever to lead the university,” Rodefer said. 

ASUN Senator Joshua Luers submitted a comment saying the regents needed to reflect on student feedback and support students.

“I could not have felt more disappointed in our Board of Regents and institutional advisory members,” Luers said. “Firstly, I found that when deciding on a finalist candidate, it seems as if no thought was taken into account of the feedback from the undergraduate forum… I could not help but feel that the Regents and advisory members had an extreme lack of care for students and faculty opinions—almost as if the forum itself was a courtship [rather] than an event designed to gather and interpret real concern.”