Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Southern Regents Must Finally Take A Stand

My assistant suggested that a resolution of the Nevada System of Higher Education funding problems seems rather simple, especially when 75% of the higher education students are in Southern Nevada and 75% of the State’s tax revenue is created in Southern Nevada.  Southern Nevada’s higher education schools should receive 75% of the revenue and the Northern schools should receive 25%.  If the North chooses to use all of its funds to build a medical school that seems totally out of place in Nevada’s higher education system, then so be it.  But the Northern schools should not be dictating what the Southern schools do with their share of the money.  The North shouldn’t get first crack at the pie.  The South should not get what is left. 
The issue of the ratio between North and South funding is compounded by the lack of state funding for the entire system.  The North-South conflict makes the inadequate funding even more destructive to the System.  In analyzing the funding formula, the funding formula committee must not only look at the percentage each institution receives, but also what all of the future needs of the System will be to adequately support the System.  The Regents should develop a plan that compensates the southern Nevada institutions for the hundreds of millions of dollars they have been shortchanged over the last 40 years.
The Southern regents must finally take a stand and the Southern Nevada legislators must stand with them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Disproportionate Splitting Of The Small Financial Pie

If you believe I am stuck on the outrageous funding of the medical school while the rest of the system gets shortchanged, especially southern Nevada, you are right.  If you examine all the higher education institutions in the North and compare them to the higher education institutions in the South, you can’t help but conclude that the shortchanging of the southern schools may have put them in a position where they’ll never be able to compete with top universities and top community colleges. To illustrate the differentials in funding, I’ve used the medical school as one of the examples of those differentials.
I do not believe the medical school is over-funded.  In fact, compared to the good medical schools across this country, its budget is chump change.  But I do object to the disproportionate use of Nevada tax revenues to support a very small group of professionals while leaving the other more important professionals, that is teachers, out in the cold. 
The 13 Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education have known about this problem for over 30 years.  They have done nothing to solve it.  The legislators have known about this problem for over 40 years.  They have done nothing to solve it. 
All eight institutions of the Nevada System of Higher Education need to get their fair share of State funding that is already woefully inadequate.  The problems at UNLV, NSC and CSN have been compounded by the disproportionate splitting of the small financial pie. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lack In Fairness

The Dental School at UNLV has 315 full-time students; the Law School at UNLV has 450; and the Medical School has 248 students.  The tuition at the Dental School is $20,930 per year; the tuition of the Law School is $23,900 per year; and the tuition at the School of Medicine is $17,999 per year.  The state provides $506,856 to educate a medical doctor; $69,899 to educate a dentist; and $43,805 to educate a lawyer.  Note that of the three professional schools, the School of Medicine has the lowest tuition.
The School of Medicine gets 7.3 times the amount that the Dental School receives from the state and the Medical School receives 11.6 times the amount of the Law School.  Do I not understand these figures?  They are unbelievable in their lack of fairness.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Things Are Out Of Whack

Remember that only 50% of the graduates of the University of Nevada Medical School practice medicine in Nevada.  The state gets a much better deal out of its Law School.  Tuition at the UNLV Law School is $23,900 per year or $71,700 for the three years necessary to graduate.  State general funding for the Medical School is $126,714 per year, or $506,856 for four years.  State funding for the Law School is $14,602 per year or $43,806 for three years. 

While 50% of the Medical School graduates leave the state after graduation, never to return, 86.5% of the Law School graduates stay in Nevada to practice law.  How did things ever get so out of balance?

I know that medical doctors are very smart, hardworking and dedicated individuals.  The doctors who have graduated from the School of Medicine are first-class doctors.  I have no quarrel with the product of the Medical School but in producing doctors in a state that doesn’t want to pay for anything, how can Nevada justify the School of Medicine costs ($506,856) per student for four years, while the state pays $10,000 to educate a teacher?  Things are out of whack.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Better Deal

It costs the state $506,856 to educate a medical doctor. That is a bad deal even if Nevada could be assured those medical school graduates would stay in Nevada to practice medicine.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  Of the medical school graduates, only 50% practice in Nevada.  The cost of producing a doctor who practices medicine in Nevada is actually $1,013,712. 
Have we been out of our minds, not only in starting a medical school, but in supporting it for the last 40 years?  The medical school is a worthy project.    But an outrageous percentage of the state’s budget has been used to support a medical school that graduates only 62 per year.  Supporting the medical school has seriously reduced the financial support of every other student in the system. 
I’m not so sure this state couldn’t make a better deal buying doctors from out of state and putting more of the state’s funding into educating teachers to educate our children.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Regents

I’ve asked for at least 5 of the Regents to allow me to interview them about the funding formula, its disastrous results during the last 30 years and what the Regents are going to do to remedy the problem. Vice Chair Kevin Page assures me he will be able to get at least 5 of the Regents to respond in my interviews. If all 13 Regents want time on the air I’ll be happy to give it to them. You need to know from the horse’s mouth if the Regents have the will power and the ability to cure the North/South funding inequities.

How In The World Did We Ever Get Ourselves In The Position...

A student seeking a Bachelor’s Degree in Education will pay $5,318 in tuition for four years which is $21,270. 
The student at the medical school will pay $17,999 a year for four years, or $71,996. 
The state will supplement the teachers’ tuition with $2500 per year while the state supplements the medical school student with $126,714 per year for four years, or $506,856.  
How in the world did we ever get ourselves in the position where we have a medical school that is among the smallest medical schools in this country, produces only 62 students per year, and spends $506,856 on each of those medical school students?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Logic? Fairness?

Compare the cost of providing a student with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a student with an M.D. Degree.  The medical student pays $17,999 tuition per year.  The Education student pays $5,318 tuition and fees per year.  
From the Nevada State General Fund, the financial support Nevada pays for the medical school student for four years is $506,856.  The state pays $10,000 for four years for educating the prospective teacher. 
There is no question doctors are important but so are school teachers.  If my math is correct, for the cost of educating one doctor, Nevada could educate 50 teachers.  Where is the logic and fairness in this? 

Monday, February 20, 2012


Remember my Tweets about the University of Nevada Medical School, that its mission was to serve all of Nevada including Southern Nevada and how for 40 years the medical school has functioned as though Clark County and counties other than Washoe didn’t exist? 
How about this for an insult to the injury?  The tuition for a medical school student is $17,999.  Tuition for the UNLV Law School is $23,900.  Tuition for the UNLV Dental School is $20,930. 
On their faces this seems rather fair.  But look at what it costs Nevada to educate these three groups of professionals. 
The Medical School costs are $141,324 per year, per student.  The Law School costs are $26,794 per year, per student. The Dental School costs are $39,297 per year, per student.  I would assume spending $141,324 on a medical student who pays only $17,999 in registration fees, the least of all the professional schools, should cause you to ask, “How the hell did this happen?  How did the doctors get such a sweet deal?”
I’ll give you the particulars during the next two weeks.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Antony Davies and Sandoval

A pig knows more about space travel than Sandoval knows about economics. You don't need to take my word for that. In Sunday's Review Journal  page 4-D
( ) Antony Davies an associate professor of economics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and a Mercatus affiliated senior scholar analyzed Sandoval's plan to develop Nevada's economy. Davies writes"The rest of the plan goes on to call for the government to duplicate virtually everything the private sector does already, but to do it less efficiently..."
Davies concludes, "Gov. Sandoval's plan for resurrecting Nevada's economy is a valuable document. Nevada should study it carefully and do exactly the opposite of what it proposes."

Friday, February 17, 2012

If You Fail As Leaders Of The Regents....

When is the leadership of the Nevada System of Higher Education, specifically the Board of Regents, which has nine Southern members and four Northern members, going to assume the responsibility for the fair distribution of higher education funds between the North and the South?

Nothing the Board of Regents does is of any importance and will have any lasting effect if the Board does not begin to recognize that it has totally failed in the fair and proper distribution of education funds generated by the totally inadequate tax system of Nevada?  As underfunded as the System is, the problems for Southern Nevada are compounded by a Board of Regents that seems paralyzed to be fair and paralyzed by the memories of former State Senator Bill Raggio who did everything to protect the finances of the Northern Nevada higher education schools and very little, if anything, to financially support the Southern Nevada higher education schools.  Regardless of the efforts of the Southern Nevada Board of Regents to improve higher education in Southern Nevada, their failure to adequately fund and support the Southern Nevada higher education schools should raise to each the question, what in the world am I doing in a job where I refuse to recognize and solve a financial problem that is basic to the future of the Nevada System of Higher Education, especially Southern Nevada?  Take note Chairman, Jason Geddes and Vice Chairman, Kevin Page.  This one issue is the ultimate test to see if you fail as leaders of the Regents.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nevada Won't Be In The Game

I am appalled at the Nevada Legislature’s lack of understanding of the funding requirements of the Higher Education System of Nevada, how funds are actually distributed among the eight institutions and the legislators’ inability, because of political paralysis, to do anything to solve those problems.
I would be highly enraged, disappointed and discouraged if Nevada’s legislators attempted to understand the funding of Nevada’s Higher Education System and failed to radically change how the System is funded.
I’m even more outraged by the legislators’ lack of understanding and interest in learning the basic financial problems of the System because, without any effort to understand the problem, those problems will never be solved.
I am involved in higher education systems in several states.  State legislatures in every state are the same.  They could be interchanged and no one would know the difference because state legislatures that meet other than full time have absolutely no ability to learn and analyze the problems of the state they represent.  This is especially so in solving problems of education. 
When will the Southern Nevada Legislators get off their butts to ensure the South gets its fair share of state tax revenue to support Southern Nevada’s Higher Education Schools?    The answer is never.  If you’re 5’10,” regardless of how you try and what your desire is, you’ll never be able to play center against Shaquille O’Neal.  Our legislators are all 5’10” and are unable to play the game.  Until Nevada develops a new model legislator, Nevada won’t be in the game. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sandoval / Reid

Remember the old TV show “Name That Tune” where you won with the least number of notes you heard to name the tune? Nevada politics now uses the same theme that is the less you do the better you are. Look at the Sandoval/Reid election. Reid had all sorts of ideas, mostly good, a few mediocre and some bad. But he had a lot of ideas. Sandoval, on the other hand, had no ideas good, bad or indifferent. His theory is that the less creative you are the more effective you will be. Unfortunately for all of Nevadans Sandoval’s theory does not work. He is a man with no ideas, no creativity, no leadership and no success.


In spite of what many know-nothings believe, research   universities are great profit centers for a state. Grants for research pay the salaries of Deans, Professors, Graduate Students and scholarships for outstanding students. A primary reason that UNR and UNLV have not been successful financially is that they are 40 years behind the times in developing research and gathering large amounts of money to support research projects as well as to support the other functions of the schools.
Clark County is the economic engine for Nevada, and all successful urban areas must have a world-class research university. If Nevada is ever going to diversify its economy, that diversification can only occur in Southern Nevada.   When the State Legislature unfairly diverts higher education funds to the Northern schools, and the Regents rubber stamp these practices, that unfair and illogical diversion injures all Nevadans, holds back Nevada’s economic potential and leaves a very negative legacy for Nevada’s next generation.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Current Financial Formula

THE CURRENT FINANCIAL FORMULA FOR DISTRIBUTING STATE TAXES RECEIVED BY THE STATE BETWEEN THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH IS NOT SIMPLY A LITTLE UNFAIR AND ILLOGICAL, IT IS TOTALLY ILLOGICAL AND COMPLETELY UNFAIR. When the present funding formula, which was adopted under the 30 year Raggio administration, gives the Northern institutions 50% of the tax revenue, although the South has 75% of the higher education students and creates 75% of the State’s tax revenue, it should not take a Rhodes scholar to understand that this is unfair, outrageous and an insult to every Southern Nevadan.
One method to develop a formula for dividing State revenues among the eight institutions is to treat the Community Colleges and the Research Universities separately and appropriately for their missions and not use a "one size fits all" approach. Nevada needs to adopt the successful structures of states that focus on making their Community Colleges and Research Universities successful and not continue to "average" them all together as Nevada does.

Monday, February 13, 2012

North Oriented

When I was the Chancellor, I spent 80% of my time in Southern Nevada taking every opportunity to speak to groups in Southern Nevada about the Nevada System of Higher Education.  I viewed the Chancellor’s job as an “outside” job because I felt the primary objective of the Chancellor was to bring the community and the System together.
I was very fortunate that Dan Klaich, who was the Executive Vice Chancellor, had grown up in Reno, had gone to UNR, had gone to the University of Washington College of Law and after graduation had returned to Reno.   Dan had been a member of the Board of Regents 20 years before and while he didn’t have a close tie to Southern Nevada, he appeared to understand the problems of the Southern Nevada schools.   Dan spent the majority of his time in the North bringing the Northern higher education schools together with their communities.  The relationship between Dan and me worked perfectly.
Of course now Dan is the Chancellor and lives in Northern Nevada and while I think he has an intellectual understanding of Southern Nevada, I don’t believe he has the emotional and community connection to the South. 
It is unfortunate that it is either the North or the South where the Chancellor lives.  I don’t know of any way to fix it unless you had the Chancellor live in Tonopah. 
The education philosophies of the North and the South are far different, and in most ways incompatible.  If I were designing a system of higher education I would create two separate entities—one for the North and one for the South.  Until that happens, all the Regents must understand the need to compensate for the Chancellor residing in Reno.  Frankly, I haven’t found the Regents, although mindful of the problem, doing anything whatsoever to solve it.
The NSHE System staff needs to be more representative of Southern Nevada needs and interests. It is absurd that most of the System staff is located in Reno and so many are alums of UNR. The staff in Southern Nevada must be expanded for it to have any impact on the System.  The Medical School will never be able to serve the state of Nevada if it centers everything around Reno, and the same is true of the System Office.  I have seen some state-wide movement of the medical school and am very pleased with the new Dean but the overall administration of the System is too North oriented.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why Doesn't Nevada Implement This Model?

Twenty nine states in the U.S. have a model for funding community colleges that includes a local tax base. The states that have this model have schools that are the best in the U.S. (Arizona, New York, Texas, California, etc.). This not only guarantees a close connection with local needs, but results in overall better funding for the community colleges. Why doesn't Nevada implement this model?

When I was Chancellor and looked into the structure of the community colleges in the Western United States, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that community colleges were initially designed to support the communities they serve.  Therefore, the local communities provided the financial support for  those community colleges.  For example, the community colleges in Arizona, specifically Phoenix, Maricopa County, are governed and funded by the county.  Maricopa County has over 400,000 community college students.  Several years ago the county issued over $900 million in bonds to construct learning facilities.  THERE IS NOT ONE REASON WHY THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN NEVADA SHOULD NOT BE GOVERNED AND FINANCED BY THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTIES. 
The State Legislature meets every two years.  Having a multitude of problems to solve, and not having one legislator capable of solving those problems, attempts to understand what funds are needed for the higher education system are beyond their comprehension.  On the other hand, the County Commission in Clark County is a full-time commission.  Because the board is close in proximity and its philosophy is compatible with the local community college, it is infinitely more qualified to govern the Clark County community college. 
You would think the Board of Regents would take a position in favor of local rule and that the Southern Nevada Regents would understand what a drubbing the College of Southern Nevada takes when the money gets distributed to the eight higher education Institutions.  But like every other fundamental issue facing the Regents, they seem unable or unwilling to look at a new support system for the community colleges.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Why does the state always appoint an equal number of people from the North and the South to deal with every issue?  Clark County has 75% of the state population but is often short-changed on representation as it is on the new legislative funding formula committee for higher education. The committee is half from the North and half from the South. How can meaningful change be implemented when this repeatedly occurs?

It seems rather obvious to me that everyone’s vote should count equally and if 75% of the population votes “yes” and 25% votes “no,” the measure should be passed.  I don’t know of any political theory that supports the position that regardless of the number of voters in the northern half of a state and the number of voters in the southern half of the state, that the one with 75% has no more influence than the half with the 25%.  In Nevada, where 75% of the people live in Southern Nevada and produce 75% of the State’s tax revenue, the North, with one person alone, that is Senator Bill Raggio, who ruled with an iron hand for 30 years, and totally ignored the needs and will of the majority of Nevadans.  Don’t you think there’s something terribly wrong with this and don’t you think Southern Nevadans, with 75% of the population that creates 75% of the state revenue, should have at least 75% of the members of any committee making policy for the entire state?  But no; that’s not how Nevada operates.  It doesn’t operate on the basis of people, it operates on the basis of territory.  That being so, when state-wide committees are being formed to solve state-wide problems, the North gets half the votes on every issue and the South gets half the votes.
The Raggio method of counting votes and operating this State must be abandoned. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


What do you think of legislators (those from Southern Nevada who are so grossly incompetent and lacking in any understanding of the financial structure of this State, specifically the funding of higher education) who for 30 years never had as much as one financial victory in the State Legislature in funding Southern Nevada Higher Education schools?  When funds were short, and funds were short every year, the Southern Nevada higher education schools got far less than their fair share.  That problem is exacerbated by the fact that Southern Nevada provides 75% of the tax revenue of the state.  When you realize the higher education students in Southern Nevada, who comprise 75% of the System’s total number, pay their tuition each year and that tuition doesn’t stay at the institution where they are enrolled, you have to wonder how Southern Nevadans could be so stupid and unobservant that they could allow this to happen.  I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF ANY SOUTHERN NEVADA LEGISLATOR WOULD RESPOND TO ME IN WRITING AND EXPLAIN WHY THE LEGISLATORS HAVE CONSISTENTLY ABANDONED THE SOUTHERN NEVADA HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM.
The fees students pay must stay at their campuses and not be subject to redistribution to other institutions—this includes getting rid of the current trap that technically keeps a dollar of student fee increase on the campus generating it, but then withdraws a dollar of state money netting $0!  Any new funding formula must distribute ONLY state general fund support to institutions, and not distribute tuition and fees to any institution that did not create those tuition and fees.  This is the only way the System can honestly tell students that all their fees will be invested in their campuses.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our First Year!

We’ve just finished 52 weeks of sending out Tweets. 
We really appreciate your support and participation. 
There are now 1806 of you following which means we have gained 35 followers for the last 52 weeks. 
Thank you and please give us your opinions. We value each and every one of them.  
We are good listeners.


STATE CAPITAL FUNDING FOR FACILITIES.   Bill Raggio, whom I admire and respect, must have laughed until his chest hurt, when he convinced the Legislature to adopt a funding formula that penalized UNLV for having new buildings and supported UNR because its buildings were old and in need of repair and maintenance.  Under the Bill Raggio snake-oil formula, the better you are, the less you get.  If that funding is projected forward, it means there really is little money coming to the Southern Nevada Schools for new construction. 
As I said yesterday, UNLV got shorted $600 million over 30 years, not because UNR got too much (the State has never adequately funded education) but because the State chose to short change UNLV in order to support UNR. 
For too long the allocation of building/construction funds for NSHE has been based on the "NORTH" AND "SOUTH" GETTING EQUAL ALLOCATIONS, REGARDLESS OF THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE IN STUDENT ENROLLMENT (Clark County has about 75% of the total NSHE enrollment). This has left CSN and UNLV very short of facilities, while the institutions in the north have as much as two times the space per student as the NSHE institutions in Clark County. WHEN WILL THE BOARD OF REGENTS PUT AN END TO THIS NONSENSE?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Need I Say More?

How many people in Nevada know the State Senator or State Assemblyman in their district?  How many people know their District Number?  How many representatives come knocking at your door to introduce themselves and discuss problems?

If you are like most, you don’t know who your representatives are.  If you have a problem how would you find your representative?  

For these two weeks, I have been Tweeting about the “funding formula” for the Nevada System of Higher Education and how funds are allocated between the North and South.    
This is an issue that should concern you.  The inequitable allocation of funds is destroying the Southern Nevada Higher Education Schools.  The Northern institutions receive 50% of State funds and the Southern institutions get the other 50%.  The number of students in Northern Nevada is approximately 25% - and the number of students in Southern Nevada is 75%.  Southern Nevada students are getting shortchanged and cheated.

I sent advanced copies of my Tweets to the members of the State Senate (21) and the State Assembly (42).  Not one of these representatives even commented on this important subject.

My assistant called a member of the Nevada State Legislature and was told that during the interim she did not access her emails.  If constituents want to reach her, they must phone or write.  

In today’s world where more and more people utilize email, you would think it is important to be available to your constituents for the 24 or 48 months you are elected to serve – not simply the three months when the Legislature is in session.

Need I say more?