Dr. Jim Fries Announces Retirement


After seven consecutive years as President of Highlands (and one non-consecutive year when he served as interim president), Dr. Jim Fries announced his retirement to the Board of Regents and the Highlands community in October. In a short and good-humored speech to the assembled faculty and staff, President Fries explained his age, 72, his health, excellent, and his years as a college president, 27, at two institutions, as well as his desire to see something of life other than from an office chair as some of the reasons for his decision.

Within a few weeks of Fries’ announcement, Leveo Sanchez, Chairman of the Board of Regents, founding member of the Highlands Foundation, and distinguished alumni, had interviewed four presidential search firms, with the help of fellow Regent, Frank Marchi, also a Highlands graduate and a Albuquerque businessman. They and a few committee members then chose R.H. Perry & Associates, a longtime leader in the industry.

The Regents sought council from a number of individuals and groups and consequently named a 13-person search committee to interview prospective applicants, bring a number – four to six – to campus for interviews with numerous groups within the University and Las Vegas communities. Ultimately, a number of names will be submitted to the Regents from which they will select Highlands’ new president, with the approval of the governor.

The aim is to have named a new president by the end of May, and to have him or her on board sometime after June 30.