Regents Elect Baylor Alumnus and Nevada, Reno President John M. Lilley as the University's 13th President

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    President Dr. John M. Lilley
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    President Dr. John M. Lilley
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    President Dr. John M. Lilley
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Nov. 4, 2005

Media Contact: Larry Brumley (254) 710-1964 or mobile (254) 709-9950

The news conference is available via streaming video at

Link here to Dr. John Lilley's bio.

A transcript of the news conference is available here.

Click here for quotes from the news conference and members of the search committee.

The Baylor University Board of Regents today unanimously elected Baylor Distinguished Alumnus and University of Nevada, Reno President Dr. John M. Lilley as the University's 13th president. Dr. Lilley was the 11-member Regent Presidential Search Committee's unanimous choice and will take office Jan. 2, 2006. He succeeds Dr. Robert B. Sloan Jr., who became university chancellor on June 1, and William D. Underwood, who has served as interim president since June 1.

The son of a Louisiana Baptist pastor, Dr. Lilley, 66, majored in music at Baylor, earning bachelor's degrees in 1961 and 1962 and a master of music degree in 1964. He earned his doctorate in music at the University of Southern California in 1971 and his scholarship is focused on musical works from the Baroque and Modern eras. The Baylor Alumni Association awarded him its 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award, the organization's highest honor, in January.

Since being named the University of Nevada, Reno's 14th president in April 2001, he has led the major research and land-grant institution through a comprehensive strategic planning process that incorporated the best ideas of faculty, staff, students and friends. He has presided over an expansion of the institution's external funding, created new research centers and institutes to further its scientific outreach, and strengthened the leadership team to create a more responsive, more nimble team that focuses on the academic mission of the university.

The University of Nevada, Reno was founded in 1864 and is comparable in size to Baylor with approximately 16,000 students, including more than 11,000 undergraduates, and more than 800 full-time faculty members. Its 11 schools and colleges include a statewide School of Medicine, and the institution also operates a cooperative extension program in all of Nevada's counties. It fields seven NCAA Division I men's teams and 12 women's teams and is a member of the Western Athletic Conference. The university's athletics department earned a "best in the nation" rating for providing opportunities for women in sports, according to the Kennedy Index, a study released in August by Penn State University-York professor Charles Kennedy.

Dr. Lilley began his academic career as a faculty member at the Claremont Colleges in California. In 1976, he was named assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State University, where he chaired the college's curricular affairs committee, led a reform of the college's general education requirements, and supervised the student advising program.

Prior to being named president of Nevada, Reno, Dr. Lilley was the head of Penn State Erie. Over a 21-year period, he led the four-year and graduate campus of The Pennsylvania State University through a period of dramatic growth.

During his tenure, enrollment doubled, admissions standards rose, and the college's physical campus grew from 400 to 750 acres. Under his leadership, the institution created four-year and/or graduate programs in science, engineering, and business - all of which earned accreditation from top accrediting agencies. He presided over creation of an honors program, secured a $20 million private endowment for the School of Business, and helped found the Allegheny Mountain College Conference for athletics. Penn State Erie's athletics program grew from nine intercollegiate sports to 21 teams that were in full compliance with Title IX. He also led in the creation of 13 research centers for economic development and a 200-acre research park on campus.

In July 2002, Penn State's trustees voted to name the Erie campus' new library in Dr. Lilley's honor. At the same time, he received Penn State Erie's top honor, the Behrend Medallion, for outstanding service to Penn State and the Erie community.

A great believer in community service and engagement, Dr. Lilley serves on the boards of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, the Reno Philharmonic, and the Education Collaborative.

While at Penn State, he served as president of the Rotary Club and chair of the United Way board. His other board memberships included the Erie Philharmonic; WQLN, Northwest Pennsylvania's public radio and TV stations; the Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System; the Northwestern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Council; and the Erie Plastics Corp. He also was a corporator of Hamot Health Systems Inc. and the Saint Vincent Health Center.

Professionally, he has served on the board of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

While a student at Baylor and USC, Dr. Lilley, a licensed Baptist minister, served as minister of music at two Baptist churches. He and his wife, Geraldine (Gerrie), have four grown children and three grandchildren.

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