Las Vegas Sun

March 1, 2015

Currently: 61° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Chancellor: University tuition would have to go up 73 percent to cover Sandoval budget gap

Chancellor Dan Klaich

Chancellor Dan Klaich

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

Sun Coverage

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget that cuts funding for universities and community colleges could result in massive layoffs and limit enrollment, the chancellor of the system says.

To fill the gap left by a $163 million reduction in state support would take a 73 percent increase in student tuition, said Chancellor Dan Klaich of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Klaich told legislative budget committees Thursday that it was “reasonable” to expect student fees to increase to fill some of the hole but not 73 percent.

Asked about raising taxes to support the system, Klaich said, “I’m not sure the people don’t want taxes to increase education.” He said one poll showed two-thirds support taxes for education.

Sandoval’s budget would result in a cut of 17.66 percent, counting the loss of state money and one-time stimulus dollars.

He said the board of regents should have the authority to raise student fees more in line with other western states to cover some of the loss.

The university says student fees at UNLV amount to $5,689, based on 30 credit hours, compared with the average for western states at $6,213. The fees at the College of Southern Nevada are $2,243 based on 30 credit hours and compares to $2,783 in other similar states.

The governor’s budget, as analyzed by the university, would mean layoffs of 1,850 professional and classified staff without additional funds.

The chancellor said many students cannot afford to pay more, and Nevada is already 49th in the nation in college participation for students from low-income families.

Asked what taxes should be increased to fill the state’s $1.5 billion shortfall, Klaich said that was the job of the Legislature to determine.

But, he said, Nevada is operating in the 21st century with a 20th century tax code, nothing that few changes have been made since 1955. “People want a good education and I believe they will pay for it,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said he disagrees with the cuts in Sandoval’s proposed budget.

“I don’t understand how we will get better results with these cuts. Something is going to have to be sacrificed,” he said.

The presentation was made to the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways Committee in advance of the Feb. 7 opening of the Legislature.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 11 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. It is a long known truth people find greater value and appreciation from the things in which they pay a higher price. The same holds true with education. Any top rate University will not charge average to below average tuitions.

    We charge below average rates and we have below average results.

    Similarly, I believe most parents can afford to pay $30 per month per child for education. Once they have a finacial investment in their kids education their interest in the schools will increase. Conversly, they currently pay Nothing and find No Value in schools. This is reflected in graduation rates.

  2. Chunky says:

    Suck it up! If you're so smart you'll figure out how to do more with less just like the rest of the world right now!

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  3. First thing we do: dump the chancellor. He has been lost throughout this mess. Time for some leadership to guide the university system through this mess. He is operating a 20th century higher education system in the second decade of the 21st century.

  4. Here we are facing a crisis and the next article we are facing the prospect of an expenditure for a domed stadium. What is wrong here?

  5. Republicans need cheap labor for military endeavors. Can't get a job? Join the Army.

    A Bachelor's degree was never a necessity to carry a rifle or learn to pray. It is no wonder Sandoval and the Republicans want to fund religious schools with taxpayer dollars.

  6. As the state chancellor whines about cuts I did a review The top 25 salaries paid at UNR in 2009 total over $11,649,000. Yes that is MILLIONS. That is an average of over $465,960. 21 of the top 25 salaries belong to Professors. WOW - The system is really hurting bad.

  7. Interesting. Inflation adjusted tuition and fee increases (according to NSHE) went up 74 percent between 2000 and 2010 (IPEDS puts it at 92 percent tuition increase and 771 percent fee increase over the same period).

    Based on the NSHE numbers, UNLV will have the same amount of money as in the year 2000 (at the very worst, NSHE officials have shown an eagerness to overstate figures, but lets take them at their word for now). 2000 wasn't a bad year and UNLV hasn't gotten any better since the year 2000.

  8. What are the top salaries at the gaming and mining companies, what about the developers and bankers who ran their firms into the ground getting big bonus and perks? What do the kooky Koch Brothers get a year for polluting and causing they deaths of innocent teenagers in Lively Texas?

    Let's face it, people like Rand and Ron Paul, and their puppet masters, are for segregation, but do it in a "backdoor" fashion. Exclude poor and minorities from high education and that will keep them out of the "better neighborhoods" and the country clubs.

    Not surprising that the elite in Nevada has found a Governor that behaves like a Central American Dictator...What is Sandoval's middle name? Somoza?

    He lives high on the hog courtesy of the taxpayers, free mansion, free car, free medical insurance...

  9. It cost me about $100K or approximately $18K a year to get my degree from UNLV as a WUE student, including room and board. It took 5 and a half years, because I switched my major twice and dropped out of the Honors Program because it required classes that had nothing to do with my major. I was lucky enough to get out of college debt free, had a blast, and make great money now. If UNLV had been more expensive I would have been forced to move back home.

  10. Why don't we just close the University? Students who want a higher education can go out of State to get an advance degree.

  11. Or, if you really want to keep it open, axe all of the athletic programs and concentrate all of the resources on science and technology.