MERCED — The university is losing another founding administrator.
David Ashley, executive vice chancellor and provost of the University of California at Merced, accepted a job as president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The Nevada university regents voted Thursday to approve a four-year contract. Ashley will earn $400,000 a year with allowances for housing, a car and for his wife to travel with him, UNLV said.
Plus, Nevada has no personal income tax.
At UC Merced, where Ashley has worked since 2001, he earns $239,000 a year. He starts his new job July 1, and said there's no time for a break in between — he is working on UC Merced's budget for next year, which will include new faculty positions.
Ashley was one of founding Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey's first hires.
She's leaving her post this year to write a book about opening the state's first UC campus in 40 years. She'll return to UC Merced as a psychology professor in fall of 2007. The search is on for her replacement, and for someone to replace Vice Chancellor Lindsay Desrochers. She left last fall to move to Portland, Ore., with her husband, a real estate developer. Desrochers oversaw campus construction, among other duties, and the university has someone doing that work.
"David has been a tremendous asset to UC Merced and played a pivotal role in developing academic programs and recruiting world-class faculty," Tomlinson-Keasey said. "UNLV will benefit greatly from David's leadership. We wish him well."
As provost, Ashley is the school's top academic officer, responsible for all educational programs, academic policies, faculty affairs and personnel matters, the school said.
He also works with the chancellor, the deans and the directors of the university's research institutes.
Ashley said his decision to leave isn't directly related to Tomlinson-Keasey's, but he's leaving it up to the next chancellor to choose a provost.
"The chancellor and provost have to be a complement to each other," Ashley said.
He said he had been planning to start looking for a new job next year, but was asked to apply for the UNLV job about a month ago.
The Nevada regents had three candidates to choose from, Ashley said, but one — Lt. Gen. William J. Lennox Jr., the superintendent of United States Military Academy West Point — dropped out Saturday.
The regents got a recommendation about Ashley on Thursday morning, voted, and let him know he had the job.
He said leaving UC Merced isn't easy, but his work there is done.
"For the last five years, the challenge has been going from a green field to a something that's UC caliber," Ashley said. "It's here; it's going to thrive.
"I have been delighted and honored to be one of the founders of UC Merced," he said. "It has been the opportunity of a lifetime."
Bee staff writer Lorena Anderson can be reached at 667-1227 or email@example.com.