Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Funding Formula Repair Committee.

Look at the list of those who are on the Funding Formula Repair Committee. 

Here they are with a limited description of their education, training and experience:

Senator Steven A. Horsford – State Senator District 4 – no college degree – no relevant experience

Senator Ben Kieckhefer – State Senator District 4 – BA English, MA Public Affairs Reporting – no relevant experience

Senator David Parks – State Senator District 7 – MBA, former member of Interim Finance Committee.  Has some view of system’s problems – has no solutions

Assemblyman Paul Aizley, Ph.D., Mathematics – college professor – no relevant education, experience or training

Assemblyman Pat Hickey – Assemblyman District 25 – Journalist – some experience on Ways and Means Committee, Government Affairs Member, Nevada Assembly 97-98 – may know education problems – obviously doesn’t understand solving funding problems

Assemblywoman Debbie Smith – Assemblywoman District 30 – little relevant education, has productive experience in the Legislature – interested, open and fair minded

Hugh Anderson – Financial Advisor – education and training very relevant – understands income and asset production –some hope here

Mike Dillon – Executive Director, Builders Association of Northern Nevada – interests seems to be limited to sporting events and traveling – nothing relevant in his education and training

Heidi Gansert – Engineer, BA and MBA – exceedingly bright, well educated, excellent legislator whose northern bias political conservatism and loyalty to Sandoval will prevent her from either fairly or adequately funding higher education

Regent Jason Geddes, Ph.D., Environmental Sciences and Health, State Employee – lacks leadership, creativity and the art of persuasion – has no understanding of money

Regent Kevin Page – Investment Banker, BA Accounting – relevant education, understands inequities in funding and has understanding of their need for repair.  Enthusiasm, good faith and energy are his relevant traits

Regent Michael Wixom – Attorney, Real Estate and Financial Agreements – outstanding business attorney – a real feeling for what is fair - not having been in business is his biggest drawback – he knows the problems and has a feeling for the solutions

I don’t know any one of these committee members who has any real understanding of money, how it is produced and how it is invested to create long-term financially viable enterprises.  Nevada needs “big money thinkers.”   This group does not fill that description.  While there are some members who have a general “money” understanding, I don’t believe their knowledge and experience is sufficient to carry the day.
The issue for this committee is money and nothing other than money.  One must have been in the money business for years to understand many problems and solutions.  You must know how to create it, how to use it efficiently and how to make it grow.   You must understand the direct relationship between the investment made and the return reasonably expected.  They are all smart, willing and people of good faith.  But I can’t find one of them I would hire to analyze and solve the financial problems and implications of any endeavor I would enter.  I don’t think I would let any one of them invest my money.
I am told that some progress is being made to make the funding formula equitable, a problem that cannot be solved when the only purpose and ability of the group is to spread financial shortages more evenly. 
I have never seen a business flourish that was not adequately funded.  Every business that is underfunded fails.  Until someone or some group in this state creates new and additional sources of funds for higher education, the system’s ability to succeed will be less and less.