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Milt Glick, University of Nevada, Reno president, dies


Highly respected national higher education leader leaves legacy of progress in Nevada and at other institutions served

University of Nevada, Reno President Milton D. Glick died April 16, 2011.

His sudden death in a Reno-area hospital following a stroke marks an incredible loss for his family, the University community and his many friends across the state of Nevada and the nation.

“Milt was a strong, extraordinarily respected leader and that, combined with his enduring belief in the power of higher education, set the stage for a remarkable legacy,” wrote University Provost Marc Johnson in an announcement to campus on Sunday morning.

“Milt was an outstanding leader and has left an indelible mark on the University of Nevada, Reno and the state,” said Dan Klaich, chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education. “Milt had a wonderful sense of humor and an engaging, enthusiastic style. He poured his energy and his love of life and education into the University and our state, and that commitment should long be a source of pride and gratitude for all Nevadans.

“I am profoundly saddened by this loss,” added Klaich. “The institution presidents from across the Nevada System of Higher Education join me in expressing sympathy to Milt’s family and expressing our appreciation for having had the honor of working closely with Milt, to learn from him and to be challenged by him.”

Dr. Glick, 73, was appointed the 15th president of the University of Nevada, Reno and began in that role on Aug. 1, 2006. Since joining the University, his tenure has been marked by numerous campus milestones and an increased emphasis on student success.

Dr. Glick led the University through a period of unprecedented progress and growth, despite economic challenges. Under his leadership, the University reached several new heights of national stature for teaching and research. His emphasis on increasing retention and graduation rates led to recent gains, and enrollment has grown to the largest in the University’s history. Last year the University graduated its largest class ever, marking a 66 percent increase in the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded over ten years.

Upon assuming the presidency, Dr. Glick issued a campus-wide challenge to recruit more National Merit Scholars. Today the University is recognized as a National Merit Sponsor school and has a record number of National Merit Scholars. He encouraged the creation of what he termed “a sticky campus” – a dynamic place where both the student body and the community feel engaged and excited. He also shepherded the opening of several student or research centered buildings on the Reno campus which, as he said, have changed the face and very nature of the University.

Dr. Glick was born in Memphis, Tenn., in 1937 and grew up in Rock Island, Ill., part of the “Quad Cities” area along the Illinois-Iowa border. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Augustana College in Rock Island in 1959, he earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisc., in 1965. Following two years of postdoctoral studies at Cornell University, he joined the chemistry faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit. He remained at Wayne State for 17 years. During that time he became a leader of the faculty senate, and during his final five years there served as chair of the chemistry department. In the initial phase of his academic career, Dr. Glick was a noted researcher in the field of X-ray crystallography. His work was funded for 15 consecutive years by the National Science Foundation and he published 99 research articles during that time.

Prior to being named University of Nevada, Reno president, Dr. Glick served 15 years as executive vice president and provost at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. During his tenure at Arizona State – first as senior vice president and, later, as executive vice president and provost – he contributed to a long string of accomplishments including increased retention and graduation rates and a tripling of sponsored research. Prior to his role at Arizona State, he spent three years as provost at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and he served as interim president of Iowa State in his final eight months there. His first senior administrative position was dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., in the mid-1980s.

An early adopter of technology, Dr. Glick was nationally recognized as an academic leader who envisioned the role of technology in higher education. His presentations to national conferences and seminars on the topic brought together audiences of faculty, administrators and information technology leaders, and contributed to trends and innovations.

“Milt is well known nationally, and is viewed by countless higher education faculty, researchers and leaders on this campus and across the country as a mentor and friend,” said Johnson. “He was deeply passionate about the role of universities in creating the citizens of the future. He often said he came to higher education 55 years ago and never left, and he always said this with a twinkle in his eye.”

Dr. Glick is survived by his wife Peggy; his son David and wife Jennifer and their sons Toby and Elijah; and his son Sander and wife Laura and their daughter Nina.

Johnson noted that plans for “paying tribute to this great man” are coming together and will be announced soon.


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