Las Vegas Sun

April 19, 2014

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Chancellor asks the governor for a budget sit-down

University system Chancellor Jim Rogers faxed Gov. Jim Gibbons a letter today asking the state's chief executive to personally discuss the implications of potential budget cuts with Rogers and the superintendents of the Clark and Washoe County School Districts.

State officials have asked higher education officials to prepare for a 14 percent decrease in their budgets in the next biennium.

Rogers has laid out his opposition to cuts in blunt terms, issuing a six-page memo last week bemoaning potential reductions.

"K-16 is a malnourished, sick, weak, worn out being," Rogers said in the memo. "Its ribs show, even bulge."

State agencies have already undergone one round of budget reductions. And facing a 14 percent cut, colleges could shut down entire areas of study or raise student fees dramatically, Rogers said.

Rogers has called for the governor to explore options including new taxes to address the state's funding shortfall.

The chancellor said since late last year, he has left numerous messages for the governor about budget cuts. Those messages have not been returned, said Rogers, who added that he hoped Gibbons would make more of an effort to speak to higher education officials ‹ and the public ‹ about the state's financial crisis.

"He's the governor, and it's his job to respond to the people, not the people's to respond to the governor," Rogers said today. "I think he's got it upside down."

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