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July 25, 2014

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Letter from Bonnie Ashley to the Regents and chancellor

To all the Regents, Chancellor Jim Rogers, and EVC Dan Klaich,

The recent discussions in the media regarding David's Presidential Performance Evaluation have unfortunately focused on my activities in support of UNLV. Let me take this opportunity to comment on these concerns.

In all issues, there is always a cause and effect, and I am addressing that now.

The first year I lived in Hawaii, I made sales calls to my potential clients, introducing myself to them in a very professional manner. I proceeded to tell them how I could help improve their business with our services. What I didn't realize at the time was what they saw and heard. I was to them a newcomer and outsider coming in and saying I knew better than them how to run the business they had operated for many years. It was a lesson learned the hard way, one that I in turn have taught many other newcomers to avoid since then.

Now, years later, I apparently had forgotten that lesson, and didn't realize the same concept applied in this setting. My main goal at this point was to do my part and assist in any way I could. I was asked by many to take on key hostessing responsibilities, and proceeded to come with all my zest and zeal to help with those aspects usually expected of the President's Spouse or partner.

I did not realize how my perceived improvements or my striving for excellence in UNLV's face that was put forward to the community would affect the people associated with those tasks. I truly did not believe it was causing them so much distress.

For this I am most apologetic, as in my quest for improvement I was not always as gracious as I could have been in the carrying out of those plans.

Even when confronted in ways I felt were disrespectful to me as a human being, I should not have reacted so harshly and am very sorry for not being more even tempered in my response. I don't want this to be misconstrued as an apology for being a strong minded woman, but rather to show an awareness that it must be exercised in a more temperate fashion. I will be working on making this right with the people involved as best I know how.

Since it was in the Hostessing role that the concerns arose, I am willing to remove myself from that capacity, until such time as you, the Regents and Chancellor decide what it is you do and don't want from me as the President's spouse.

We all have the same goal in mind, being the advancement of the University. In times when people are extremely sensitive on every level, the last thing I want to do is cause them any more distress and anxiety.

I am truly apologetic as that was not my goal.

I am more than willing to learn from this, as I hope we all can. It is always best to talk to the ones concerned rather than take it anywhere else.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my response to your concerns.

Bonnie J Ashley

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