Taylor Avery // Nevada Sagebrush
President Marc Johnson answers students’ question at Pizza with the President on Tuesday, April 2. Pizza with the President is created for students to address their concerns with university administration.

President Marc Johnson answered University of Nevada, Reno students’ questions at the open-forum styled Pizza with the President event on Tuesday, April 2, in the Joe Crowley Student Union’s Blind Onion.

The president opened the event with news of Dr. Eloísa Gordon-Mora’s appointment to the position of the university’s Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

“She has worked under normal conditions and stressful conditions, and we look forward to her arriving on campus in June,” Johnson said. “We brought in somebody who is really versed in inclusion, making sure that everybody has a place at the table and we have trainings and would like to make sure that we really understand the value of everybody’s voices and the encouragement for everyone to speak up.”

In May 2018, Patricia Richard announced her resignation from her position as Chief Diversity Officer. Richard remained in her post until the university hired someone to take over the position during a nationwide search.

Johnson also responded to questions about the plans for the university’s expansion.

“We’re going to expand the campus…so that we can create a new building for the College of Business, which will open up space in the center of campus in Ansari Hall so that other departments can expand in their space,” Johnson said. “We will be developing a life sciences building there, primarily for laboratories and we’re going to build a parking garage down there.”

Johnson also shared where the expansion would stop, sharing that the university would not be expanding across Interstate-80. Additionally, Johnson said providing affordable housing “will not be one of the university’s investment or objectives.”

“It’s up to the marketplace and the students to find marketplace housing,” Johnson said.

One student raised questions about the lack of support for esports at the university, explaining that some universities in California have full-ride scholarships, multi-million dollar facilities and coaches for esports.

“The university supports the NCAA sports,” Johnson said. “Esports are not a NCAA sport. However, our conference, the Mountain West Conference, is actively talking about how to work with the campuses to support collegiate esports.”

A nursing student asked if there were any plans to add transportation from the university’s main campus to the Redfield campus. President Johnson responded that there were no plans to have a shuttle between the two.

“If you don’t have a car, you’re lucky to be in this age of Uber and Lyft,” Johnson said. 

Taylor Avery can be reached at oali@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.