There are many causes for the competitive shortcomings of the Nevada System of Higher Education. One is a Board of Regents that plays high school politics far too often.
UNR is looking for a new president. Among the applicants are Interim President Marc Johnson, Stephen Wells, President of DRI and Yash Gupta, formerly from Johns Hopkins University. Yash Gupta is a very close friend of mine. There are two other applicants whom I don’t know. Long before the search for a UNR president began, I had dealings with Johnson. I found him to be weak, with little leadership ability.
On the other hand, I considered both Wells and Gupta competent, qualified and far superior to Johnson. Not even being sophisticated enough to hide the railroad job disguised to make Johnson look like he won the contest against the other four candidates, the regents used very unsophisticated high school politics to eliminate Wells and Gupta before the list of finalists was submitted to the regents. The other two finalists appear far weaker than Johnson and so I would anticipate that Johnson would come in number one against the other two.
To further indicate the arrogance and irresponsibility of the regents, when Regent Kevin Page, who was believed to have been in favor of not electing Johnson at this stage of the game, asked that he be allowed to vote in abstentia because he would be out of town at the time of the vote, Chairman Geddes refused Page’s request.
I realize my opinion will carry no weight and that my efforts will have been a waste of my time and energy because Johnson will surely be the next UNR President.
However, I thought it best to give you my opinion and ask that you examine these activities to determine if this is the manner in which you want your higher education system operated.