Touro College and University System appoints former Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley to CEO and Senior Provost role for Nevada and California campuses

Date: December 18, 2013
Former Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley to the position of CEO and Senior Provost of Touro’s Western Division.
Former Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley to the position of CEO and Senior Provost of Touro’s Western Division.
Media Contact:

Andrea E. Garcia
Director of External Relations
Touro University California
W: (707) 638-5272
C: (707) 704-6101

Mandi McCary

Tom Letizia

Koula Gianulias

Las Vegas, Nev. – TheTouro College and University System is pleased to announce the appointment of former Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley to the position of CEO and Senior Provost of Touro’s Western Division. Berkley will take the helm of both the Nevada and California campuses. 

Berkley was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1998 and represented Nevada’s first Congressional District from 1999 to 2013.  She was the first woman to serve the District and held the position for seven terms.  Prior to her election to Congress she served as a member of the Nevada State System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents for eight years and previously served in the Nevada State Legislature.  Her distinguished record of achievements and her national prominence make her perfectly suited to take on this esteemed role.

President and CEO of the Touro College and University System, Dr. Alan Kadish, announced the commitment Berkley is making to the Touro Western Division in a press conference on Wednesday, December 18.  Berkley’s appointment came about following a national search.  “The Touro College and University System is an institution that has experienced incredible growth and success over the past four decades and the appointment of Shelley Berkley, a person of national stature, is a reflection of that achievement,” said Dr. Kadish.  “She is an accomplished professional, visionary, humanitarian and leader who has nobly served her country and state.  We look forward to her building upon the great successes we’ve enjoyed in Touro’s Western Division and the Touro System as a whole.”

A 50-year resident of southern Nevada, Berkley was the first person in her family to attend college.  She graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in political science and received her juris doctorate from the University of San Diego, School of Law.  Prior to her political career, she served as an attorney for the Nevada State Commerce Department, in-house counsel for Southwest Gas Corporation, and Vice President for Government and Legal Affairs for the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.

During Berkley’s 14 years in Congress, she served on the Transportation Committee, Small Business Committee, Veterans Affairs Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Ways and Means Committee.  Berkley earned the title of “hardest working woman in politics” for her tireless work on issues including job creation, healthcare and renewable energy.  She also was a champion for veterans, seniors, immigration reform and human rights.  Among her most proud accomplishments was leading the efforts to construct the new Veterans Administration medical complex in southern Nevada and working with the California congressional delegation on important issues like protecting Lake Tahoe in northern California and supporting tourism in both states.  While serving as a Regent, she dedicated herself to numerous causes including keeping tuition costs low and creating a new law school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

“I have spent my entire career dedicated to issues related to education and healthcare and am honored to have been given this remarkable opportunity to lead Touro’s Western Division,” said Shelley Berkley.  “As a Congresswoman and a longtime resident of southern Nevada, I am well aware of the Touro College and University System locally, in California, and nationally.  I share Touro’s commitment to improve the quality of education worldwide and look forward to working with the dynamic faculty, staff and students on the Nevada and California campuses to help educate the next generation of healthcare and education professionals.” 

The former U.S. Representative will replace Dr. Michael Harter in the position beginning in January 2014. Joining Touro University Nevada at its inception in 2004, Dr. Harter’s dynamic leadership led to the creation of six new schools in a five year period.  In 2008, he was named Senior Provost and Chief Executive Officer of the Western Division. Dr. Harter’s leadership has been instrumental in establishing both campuses as leading academic institutions for health sciences and education. “Having seen Shelley’s leadership at a State and Federal level for the past 19 years, I am delighted with her appointment as my replacement and am confident that she will successfully build on the programs we’ve established,” said Harter.  “Her understanding of Nevada and California will catapult the two campuses and the entire Touro system to the next level of national prominence.”

Berkley’s appointment was approved by the Touro College and University System Board of Directors earlier this month.  “The selection of Shelley Berkley is yet another stellar appointment to the Touro College and University System,” said Dr. Mark Hasten, chairman of the board.  “On behalf of the entire Board, we welcome her to Touro and look forward with great anticipation to her leadership and commitment to help us achieve our lofty but noble goals of service, leadership and teaching.”