Former Nevada governor throws hat into the ring to pursue university presidency

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

Former Nevada Republican governor Brian Sandoval left his job at MGM Resorts International to try to become the next university president of the University of Nevada-Reno (UNR). MGM made the announcement public and Sandoval thanked his former employer.

“Having accomplished my goals at MGM, I have decided to put my time, energy and public and private experience to work as an applicant to become the next president of the University of Nevada, Reno,” Sandoval said. “I am thankful for the experiences I had, and the people I got to know, while at MGM and wish everyone good health and safety during these challenging times.”

Sandoval has worked for MGM since January 2019, soon after he left public office and the governorship passed onto governor-elect Steve Sisolak. At MGM, Sandoval handled the company’s expansion plans in Japan and also state public policy efforts in sports gaming.

The current UNR president, Marc Johnson, is transitioning into a teaching position in the economics department by June 2020. He was the interim president in 2011 until his official appointment as the permanent president in April 2012.

Though the search for UNR’s next president is frozen due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s System of Higher Education is looking for an acting president since Johnson will be transitioning to a teaching role this summer.

The Las Vegas Journal-Review noted that Sandoval’s political career included stints as a state assemblyman, “the youngest chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission,” state attorney general and a federal judge. His MGM role was “his first private-sector job in more than 20 years.”