Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
Nevada State College President Fred Maryanski was among a number of people who spoke at Tuesday’s Henderson City Council meeting in support of the school, which could face closure as a result of pending state budget cuts.
Maryanski said his college’s goal is to cater to low-income, first-generation students. About half of the students at Nevada State are the first in their families to earn a four-year college degree, he said.
“I think that’s very important,” he said.
Although the council doesn’t have a say-so in keeping the college open, the speakers, who included former Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson and Chairman of the Board of Regents James Dean Leavitt, used the council meeting a means of showing their support.
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, a former UNLV professor, said investing in education is vital to the recovery of Nevada’s economy.
Students go to schools like Nevada State “to get the skill and training that they need to be competitive in this new, global economy,” she said.
Richard Perkins, a former speaker of the state Assembly and former Henderson Police chief, said Nevada State College provides an important option for students who don’t want to go to a two-year community college and don’t want to attend UNLV. He applauded Nevada State for offering four-year, vocational majors.
He said that if Nevada State is closed, it would hurt the credibility of graduates who earned their degrees there.
“I think that’s a promise to our citizens that has to be kept,” Perkins said.
Maryanski said about two-thirds of the students at Nevada State are nursing or education majors. He estimated that about 90 percent of graduates stay in the state.