UNLV President Neal Smatresk announced the selection of John Valery White as the university’s next vice president and provost, effective July 1. White is the current dean of the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV, a position he has held since 2007.
“John White is an innovative leader who guided the Boyd Law School at UNLV into one of the nation’s best, and I am confident he will help build our national reputation in collaboration with our deans, faculty, student and executive leadership,” said UNLV President Neal Smatresk.
The executive vice president and provost oversees academic and budgetary policy and priorities for the university. The provost also ensures the quality of the faculty and student body and helps to expand the institution’s research enterprise. The position reports to UNLV President Neal Smatresk and serves as the university’s chief executive officer in his absence.
“I look forward to building upon UNLV’s engagement in the community, and ensuring the university is student centered and focused on research and great instruction,” said White. “We hope to make UNLV a first choice for Southern Nevada and the region.”
In his five years as dean of the William S. Boyd School of Law, White was responsible for increasing scholarship funding, driving improvement in first-time bar passage rates, and elevating national rankings. The school’s U.S. News & World Report rankings rose three of his five years as dean, and programs in legal writing and dispute resolution ranked in the top ten. White also successfully led the law school through the state budget crisis, maintaining faculty size while preserving and adding new programs.
White joined the Boyd School of Law from Louisiana State University (LSU), where he was the J. Dawson Gasquet Memorial Professor of Law. At LSU, he taught for 15 years and wrote and lectured extensively about civil rights law. Previously, he served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Insubria in Como, Italy, where he explored the role of civil rights law and multicultural theories in responding to globalism. Before teaching law, he was an Orville Schell Fellow at Human Rights Watch in New York City where he worked on prison and human rights practices in Egypt.
White received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1991 and bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern University in 1988. He replaces Michael Bowers, who has served as interim provost since 2009.
UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of more than 27,000 students and 2,900 faculty and staff. Founded in 1957, the university offers more than 220 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs. UNLV is located on a 332-acre campus in dynamic Southern Nevada and is classified in the category of Research Universities (high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.