The president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, will take over as president of Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, effective July 1, it was announced Tuesday.

In a message to the CGU community, Presidential Search Committee Chair Donald Baker and Board of Trustees Chair Tim Kirley said trustees voted unanimously in favor of Len Jessup, praising him as “a gifted administrator” and “practicing scholar.”

They cited “the combination of Len’s outstanding record of achievements with a warm and intellectually open nature that will bolster the character and traditions that CGU has fostered since its founding in 1925.”

At UNLV, Jessup has led a 10-year strategic plan to reinvent the university, increase fundraising, launch new programs and centers and forging key partnerships with major players in the Las Vegas community, according to CGU.

Previously, as dean of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, Jessup oversaw that college’s rise in undergraduate and graduate rankings and led the drive for more partnerships, online opportunities and new programming, according to the CGU search committee.

“I’ve enjoyed many opportunities in my career, both as a professor and administrator, and I am honored and excited to join the CGU community,” Jessup said. “I am looking forward to working closely with everyone at CGU to move this excellent university to the next level in every way.”

Born and raised in Northern California, Jessup is the first in his family to graduate from college. He credits the sacrifices of his immigrant Italian grandparents for inspiring him to choose a career in higher education.

“I’ve always been driven by a desire to give something back,” he said, “to pay back my ancestors who by immigrating to the United States made great sacrifices for future generations of grandchildren they didn’t yet have.”

Jessup holds a doctorate in Management and Organizational Behavior from the University of Arizona, as well as an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in Information and Communication Studies, both from California State University at Chico.

Founded in 1925, CGU is a founding member of The Claremont Colleges, which includes Pomona College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College, Scripps College, Harvey Mudd College and Keck Graduate Institute.

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