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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — UNLV held its annual State of the University address on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at which President Keith Whitfield laid out his main focuses going forward.

The 2024 address was Whitfield’s fourth address as UNLV’s President. His contract was renewed on March 1 for four more years. 

Dozens attended the address on campus at the Student Union Ballroom which lasted about an hour. 

The address opened with a video showing highlights from the university and then President Whitfield announced his two main focuses going forward which are safety and free speech. 

The Rebel Recovery program established after the Dec. 6 shooting on campus and they plan to continue to focus on plans to enhance security on campus for the fall semester. One of the many things being discussed is the possibility of giving professors the ability to lock doors from their phones. 

“We’re only really three months since that incident,” Whitfield said.

Whitfield said the philosophy going forward will be “leave no Rebel behind.”

“Everybody is going to come with us as we move forward in the future and that we are successful,” Whitfield added. “And we are going to do that by working together.”

In the speech, he also shared other updates including enrollment numbers and possible future plans for the university. The university had a 95% retention rate from fall to spring and a historically high enrollment rate of 29,000 students this spring. The graduation rate is at 50.1 percent. 

Other big items discussed were potential plans for UNLV’s north campus by Nellis Air Force, adding more buildings to the main campus, and an NSF grant in partnership with other neighboring universities that will focus on western drought and other energy issues. 

The future of the building involved in the Dec. 6 shooting was brought up during a Q&A session and Whitfield said they are still discussing plans for it. Whitfield was also asked about the fourth person injured in that shooting and told the audience that he is out of the hospital doing recovery and rehab, but asks for privacy at this time. 

UNLV remains in good financial standing. 

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