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January 31, 2015

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University system snubs governor, won’t submit budget with cuts


Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun

Engineering staff and alumni chant while attending an Engineering Department budget rally March 5, 2010, on the UNLV campus.

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Click to enlarge photo

Chancellor Dan Klaich

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s System of Higher Education has refused to follow Gov. Jim Gibbons’ directive to state agencies to submit a 10 percent reduction in their upcoming budget.

Chancellor Dan Klaich told a legislative committee Thursday the 10 percent figure was “elusive.”

The system’s budget, he said, was cut 13 percent in the 2009 Legislature and then reduced another 6.9 percent in the special legislative session.

Klaich said the rejection was not to show disrespect. He noted previous cuts and said he didn't want to see staff and faculty speculating who would be dismissed under a proposed 10 percent cutback.

As an example of the last ordered reductions, Klaich told the Legislative Committee on the Review of Budgets of State Agencies that at UNR, 10 programs were eliminated and “a number of faculty was dismissed.”

The chancellor also told the committee that a “hard and comprehensive look” will be taken of tuition and fee policies. In the past, he said these were raised to make up for money cut by the Legislature.

For example, he said a student who signs up for 21 credits and then decides to drop some may not get money back.

The fiscal staff of the Legislature produced a list of possible state savings and efficiencies, including requiring that more student fees at UNLV and UNR support statewide programs that don't directly support universities and colleges.

At UNLV, the Legislature approved $2.5 million over the biennium for such statewide programs as The Center for Business and Economic Research, The Nevada Small Business Center, KUNV radio, Continuing Education, the Marjorie Barrick Museum and the Southern Nevada Writing Project.

“It does not appear unreasonable that a portion of funding for statewide programs at UNLV could be funded through tuition or fees rather than general fund,” said Fiscal Analyst Mark Krmpotic.

At UNR, the Legislature approved $10 million for programs such as Basque Studies, the Center for Justice Studies and the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The Legislature also approved $2.3 million each year for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

Vice Chancellor Mark Stevens said the general fund budget for this fiscal year is $558 million, rising to $590 million in 2012 and $600 million in 2013.

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  1. Chunky says:

    Maybe Chancellor Klaich is grandstanding because it sounds good or maybe he's been in academia too long and is out of touch with the real world!

    Budgets get cut, plain and simple. If the boss says cut the budget, then you cut the budget.

    Just about everyone has had to cut the spending across the board. Instead of stonewalling, Mr. Klaich should lead by example and show his students and faculty that he understands we all have to occasionally do more or the same with less!

    Maybe we need a new Chancellor!

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  2. "Chancellor Dan Klaich told a legislative committee Thursday the 10 percent figure was "elusive.""

    Total nonsense. It wasn't elusive for any other agency.

    It is time to for the higher education system to get with the program. No one want to cut the system, but there are some very harsh realities out there, include public safety, public schools, and health, just to name a few.

  3. In this time where everyone must cut back & those of greatest means must incur higher taxes to offset massive deficits, universities are ripe for the budget axe. Fat salaries, deep benefits, tenure protections, multiple private and public revenue streams - get real...
    - cool satellite view of earth; Balkingpoints / www

  4. NSHE officials aren't above skirting the truth with the budget numbers....There budgets have been reduced, but far less than they've claimed because of revenue outside of the General Fund like the ARRA subsidies. With no ARRA subsidies coming, they need another budget cut.

    Maybe we start with all those highly paid non-educators UNLV and UNR have been hiring the last 20 years...

  5. Why are you putting up pictures of the Engineering protest? Why relive this embarrassing moment in UNLV history? These guys came out to protest budget cuts against their departments that were NEVER EVER in the works. Just bad reading comprehension skills on the part of the Department (or UNLV) leadership.

  6. Brave people need to make great decisions. Good for you. I wonder if people realize that student fees frequently go to support other agencies. That is a policy that has to end. So instead of paying for the unjust jailing of OJ Simpson, the money should pay for a decent competitive faculty. I say reduce the governors salary to zero.

  7. The dumbing down of Nevada...
    Fully supported by Patrick R. Gibbons of NPRI!!!
    (It's a PUBLIC INSTITUTION; what the heck else would he say?)

    "Well, if Klaitch can't find another 10 percent to cut on top of the 13 percent & 6.9 percent cuts already in place, fire him! He must be stupid or playing games."

    It must be fun to sit down in the depths of your "think tank", banging away at your keyboard, all full of self-importance, and tell other people how to run the world, eh, Pat???
    Hopefully, tomorrow they'll have a story on CCSD, and you can REALLY get down & dirty!

  8. Chucky Las Vegas is THE DUMBEST CITY in the country. Maybe we need to spend more on education.

  9. They definitely need to stop cutting the budget at UNLV and UNR. They've already cut a bunch of programs and let go a lot of faculty. Gibbons is the worst governor in the history of Nevada. He needs to be replaced immediately!

  10. Gmag, the NSHE and K-12 educations system is dumbing down the state all on its own.

    And wait just a minute, you have no problem telling others that we should fork over our hard earned money and let government workers spend it as they please with no accountability or without having to meet some sort of goals. Give me a break. I'm tired of your self-interested greedy ways - its time you served the people, not yourself.

  11. This highlights the division between those who write checks TO the government and those who receive checks FROM the government.

    There will Never be enough money for education. Money is their ONLY solution but the problems continue.