What is driving this move to put Nevada’s community colleges under local control? It’s the same old story. Power. There are certain elected officials and business leaders pushing this agenda, not to help students, but to help their political careers. Putting CSN under the control of the City of North Las Vegas is like letting your broke friend manage your bank accounts. It makes no sense and provides no benefit to students.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
When I was chancellor, I explored local funding as a way to provide additional support for the community colleges. Long story short, there was no appetite from local governments to take on the additional financial and management burdens. It doesn’t take an MBA from Harvard to figure out that putting community colleges under the control of financially challenged local governments is a bad idea.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
In the 2013 legislative session, legislators created the SB 391 committee to examine the governance structure of Nevada’s four community colleges which are part of an eight-institution system including two universities, one college and an environment research institute. The committee’s purported goal is to look at the feasibility of putting the community colleges in a new governance system where they would be taken away from the Board of Regents and put under local city and county control. Is it a sensible move? Or a power grab? How on earth does this benefit the students?
Monday, April 21, 2014
Community colleges play an important role in Nevada. They not only provide an affordable entryway to a college degree, they train the next generation of workers in critical healthcare, technology and vocational fields. Nevada’s four community colleges, the College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows College and Western Nevada College, currently serve more than 55,000 students. These colleges are in a centralized system governed by the Nevada Board of Regents to create efficiencies and ensure collaboration with Nevada State College, UNLV and UNR. So, why is there a move by the Legislature to tear the colleges apart?
Friday, February 7, 2014
A newspaper reporter called to ask me if Beverly and I would withdraw our financial support of UNLV because Don Snyder was chosen to be the acting president. I told the reporter that we would not withdraw financial support because we had insulated our donations from the overall use by UNLV and by the Nevada Higher Education System by directing that the funds would be used only to support the Black Mountain Institute, an international center that supports creative writers and scholars.
Fortunately, many, if not all of the departments or areas of specialization within UNLV can be isolated from the overall inadequacy of the board of regents and the school’s leadership so that these “pockets of excellence” can flourish regardless of the incompetence that surrounds them. I would urge that any donor carefully earmark and control his or her money to keep it out of the mainstream controlled by UNLV leadership and management.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
How do you look for and find a new president for UNLV between now and July 1 of 2014? If an employment contract for a new UNLV president is to be put in place, it must be done so before July 1, not before September first when the school year begins.
How do you persuade a present sitting president at another university to leave that job and come to a school that has all the problems UNLV has when merely applying for this job may cost that president his or her present job, or may result in that president taking this job and killing his or her career? Maybe Don Snyder, Dan Klaich, and Kevin Page have the answer to this question. I hope they do, but I seriously doubt it.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
In one stroke of idiocy the board of regents proved what Nevadans had thought for fifty years; that is, that the board of regents should be disbanded and sent home and that a new governing system should be developed, that is, one that appoints the members of the board of regents. Picking Snyder to be the president of UNLV, albeit only for a short time, is the most outrageously incompetent decision the board has ever made. During my tenure as chancellor I was privileged to serve under Mike Wixom, whom I considered to be the best board chairman I had ever known, and I have served on more than thirty major boards. Although I’ve never served under present Chairman Kevin Page, I’ve observed his tenure through act after act that proved him to be inadequate, incompetent and totally over his head in every issue the board faces. I realize that Page did not by himself put Snyder in office, but Page’s lack of leadership certainly allowed for Snyder to sneak through and assume a position that now will have no substance at all.