Thursday, March 22, 2012

CSN's Funding

The Interim Funding of Higher Education Committee is  reviewing the current formula for allocating state resources to the Nevada System of Higher Education.  The committee has hired a consultant to look at comparable state funding systems as well as a proposal from NSHE officials.  In August the Committee will make a recommendation to either revise the current funding formula or adopt a new funding approach.  The NSHE proposal only allocates state funds  and assumes that each institution will retain student fees and tuition.  Under the NSHE funding matrix universities receive extra state funding to support their research mission while rural and small institutions receive extra state funding to cover operating costs.  Surprisingly, the institution with the most students and with the most recognized underfunding, CSN, is slated to receive no extra state allocation.  While it is possible that CSN can survive on a small state subsidy along with student fees and tuition, why should current CSN students pay not only the lion’s share of their own higher education costs, but also make up for twenty years of past underfunding?  It is a well-documented fact that many CSN students are lower income and struggling to make ends meet.  And it should be noted that these students are doing exactly what state leaders have urged them to do: pull themselves up by their bootstraps to take care of  themselves.  Why then deny them the same support students at other institution will receive?

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