RENO — Former Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has been named president of the University of Nevada, Reno.
University regents voted Thursday to hire the former two-term Republican governor, U.S. District Court judge and MGM Resorts International executive to begin Oct. 5 with a four-year contract.
Sandoval becomes the 17th president of the university founded in October 1874, and its first Hispanic chief executive.
The decision came after campus forums featuring four final candidates and interviews Wednesday with a Nevada System of Higher Education search committee.
Sandoval, 57, graduated from high school in Reno, earned a bachelor's in English and economics at UNR in 1986, and a law degree at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
"I have believed in the promise of the University of Nevada, Reno my entire life," he said in a statement.
Sandoval also is a distinguished fellow at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
He served as Nevada state attorney general, as chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission and two terms as a state Assembly member.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, issued a statement congratulating his predecessor, calling him a friend and the ideal person to guide the university's future.