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April 24, 2014

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Student to regent during heated exchange: ‘I don’t owe you respect’

Updated Friday, May 6, 2011 | 11:07 a.m.

A heated exchange between a graduate teaching fellow and a member of the Nevada Board of Regents over proposed budget cuts kicked off today's special meeting of the 13-member panel, with the student threatening to organize a statewide boycott of the regents' business interests and board member Mark Alden rising to his feet to shout that the student was "out of line" in delivering her comments.

Gina Sully, who said she has two degrees from the College of Southern Nevada and two from UNLV, said: "I want to put a face to one of the students you encouraged to stay in Nevada for her career … a student who fears her degrees will be worth little on the national job market. I want to remind you today you are not our leaders; you are our representatives."

Sully, a 52-year-old former country club manager in New York, said she is working with others in the state to potentially organize the boycotts and walk the districts of regents who do not refuse any budget cuts adopted by state legislators and Gov. Brian Sandoval.

"I want them to refuse the cuts. I want them to refuse the cuts," she said.

Alden, a longtime board member, rose from his seat at the regents' horseshoe-shaped table at the head of the room, and said in response to Sully's comments: "You are dead wrong. Your comments are out of line. You're out of line (and show) complete disrespect."

Sully replied: "I don't owe you respect. You have to earn my respect."

The comments were unusually passionate for a panel that is not typically known for such exchanges between regents and the public.

Sully returned to her seat, which Alden walked to about 10 minutes later. He could be overhead saying: "You're dead wrong. You're dead wrong."

Sully replied: "You're not listening sir."

Alden's response: "You're dead wrong."

Sully later noted that several Facebook pages have been created to oppose the proposed cuts including: Nevada Students Unite Here (104 people like this page), Fused Nevada (202 people like this page).

A UNLV professor in the audience who lives within Alden's district noted that the board member’s heart was in the right place, but he is under a great deal of pressure.

The board is meeting today in the ballroom of UNLV's Student Union to discuss the latest budget proposals under consideration in the state Legislature. Earlier this week, the state Economic Forum, a state-appointed panel of five economic analysts, met to deliver a new revenue forecast for the governor and Legislature.

The panel concluded that improved economic conditions could find an additional $20 million going to the Nevada System of Higher Education during the 2011-2013 budget period. UNLV is facing the loss of 315 employees because of the proposed budget cuts.

Also today, the board unanimously appointed UNR Executive Vice President and Provost Marc Johnson to serve as the university's interim president following the mid-April death of President Milton Glick, 73, who died of a massive stroke. The appointment came with the recommendation of Nevada State System of Higher Education Chancellor Dan Klaich.

Regents Chairman James Dean Leavitt recommended that the panel conduct a national search for a permanent replacement for Glick, who was considered a sharp political and academic strategist. Board members did not decide whether to move ahead with such a search, noting that the proposal was not listed on the agenda for the meeting. Such a discussion could have violated the state's Open Meetings Law.

"Provost Johnson and former President Glick were a team," Leavitt said in support of Johnson. "They had a joint vision, and some of that vision would be lost with an interruption."

Johnson was appointed to his previous positions in March 2008, and his portfolio included the responsibilities of serving as the university's chief academic officer and second-ranking vice president. He previously served as vice provost for Agriculture and Outreach and Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University. He is also a past director of the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service. Johnson has taught and conducted research at North Carolina State University and Oklahoma State University, with a focus on national and international food distribution systems with a basis in economics.

"I'm very pleased and appreciate the confidence that the chancellor and the regents have in me," Johnson said, noting that he will follow in the "Glick mold."

"The entire university wants stability and continuity," Johnson said. "Milt Glick and I were a team. We will miss Milt. We will miss him at these meetings for his humor."

There was open talk among board members of Jane Nichols, the state system's vice chancellor of academic and student affairs, becoming the permanent president of UNR. Nichols had previously served as the Nevada chancellor of higher education from 2000 to 2004 before retiring from that post in May 2004. She previously served as an associate dean for the College of Education at the Reno university.

When asked whether Johnson would be willing to return to the provost's position under a President Nichols, Johnson said: "She is one person I would be willing to work for if she became president. I can't guarantee that for everybody."

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  1. Why do students think they are ENTITLED to free or reduced costs college educations?

    Why do they think education should be spared from any cost cutting?

  2. I must make a couple of corrections. First, I am a former country club manager, not a former nightclub manager. Second, in addition to telling Regent Alden that I don't owe him respect, I told him that respect must be earned.

    In the position I left to fulfill my dream of becoming an educator, I oversaw an $8.5 million budget. I know something about meeting budget shortfalls. I know that it cannot be done with a shortfall this great without generating new revenue. I know that the Regents do not have the power to do that. I believe that if they could, they would.

    But I also know that the Regents can refuse to enact the budget Governor Sandoval and some members of the legislature have put forth. I believe that, as our representatives, the Regents ought to refuse that budget since more than 80% of Nevadans want education funded. Even business leaders and the Chamber of Commerce have acknowledged that the generation of revenue is critical to the educational health that must precede economic diversification in Nevada.

  3. Mr. Delahunty, education has already been slashed. Not just cut. Slashed. I do not expect a free education. If you had been at the meeting and heard my comments you would know that I have earned my education. I am not asking for anything for free, and neither is any student I know.

    One of my friends who is graduating with a PhD this semester is over $100,000 in debt because she has paid for her own education with student loans. A PhD is not cheap. Many of us will be paying for ours for 20 or 30 years. All we want is to earn those degrees at an institution that has not fallen so far in the national rankings that degrees earned at them become all but useless on the job market.

    We are not asking for handouts. We are asking for our degrees to come from the same institutions that we started in--and in my case, that recruited me to stay for my graduate work.

  4. Mr. Alden's statements and general attitude toward the public are simply another demonstration of the fact that elected representatives in this state and in this country no longer represent the interests of those who elected them.

    Sully was right in telling Mr. Alden that she doesn't owe him any respect. In fact, none of us "owe" any elected representative anything. They earn nothing by virtue of a title. Elected representatives need to be reminded frequently and vocally that they are the servants of the public, not the masters.

    Good on you Gina for telling this guy what's what. I think that his reaction (which was wholly unprofessional) demonstrates the fact that he is fearful of the power that the public has. I'll gladly join any boycott against business interests of anyone who supports Sandoval's cuts to education.

    Alden might not respect the wishes of the public now, but I know he will when his customers have to walk through picket lines to patronize his businesses.

  5. Thanks, ginagrrl. We changed it to reflect that you're a former country club manager, rather than a nightclub manager, and added that you did also say "You have to earn my respect."

  6. Do you want students who are talented or just have the money to go? How many frat boys and girls are there because of their parents money?

  7. As one who went to a college where the regents never represented the students (UC System), I can understand the sense of abandonment that is felt by those who choose to stay in this system. When is the light going to kick on and begin to tap the one abundant resource not only Las Vegas has but the state control (supposivly). How is there a possibility of a company to build these mega resorts without none of the taxes being imputed not only into education but other areas that need the funding such as the health system, recreation and social services. Cutting education and classes only assures the demise and the lack of legitimacy of Nevada's higher educational value amongst a very very volatile economic and job market. Maybe this is the master plan of the Adelson's and Wynn's to have mindless droves of people to partake in a product that gives nothing back to it's so call "community". Take cuts in education is like a written test with no pens and the regents should be ashamed for letting those devalue the very system it represents.

  8. Jeanine62 and Vegas2011:

    The majority of students attending college today do so by obtaining student loans. In fact, recent reports by USA Today, the economist and other economic journalists show that for the first time in history America has more college loan debt than credit card debt.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/coll...

    The fact is that college education is expensive. The burden of financing the "whole cost" of college simply isn't possible for most people. For that reason, many people turn to state run education institutions which help to subsidize the costs of higher education (things like dorms, labs and other facilities are paid for by the state) to help afford everyone opportunity to higher education.

    Frankly, I'd rather subsidize higher education than subsidize mining, oil or banks. State funding for education represents one of the few true investments we make in ourselves. The facilities and programs funded through tax dollars create lasting legacies and prove beneficial for generations of citizens.

    Higher education allows us to develop knowledge, skills and abilities that make us attractive to employers and able to find good jobs.

    Tax money poured into private business does nothing but further swell the bank accounts of the already rich few.

    Education is what makes us great. The cannibalization of education will only serve to degrade the quality of the community, the state and the country, make us less competitive in the global economy, and cost us more in the long run.

  9. Ms. Sully. Somewhere in all that experience you claim to have you must have had to learn to act with candor and respect in order to get things done. But I guess not and I surmize that's why you're a former country club manager and now living in Las Vegas starting your dream job at the tender youthful age of 52. I paid for my education out of my pocket. Nobody gave me any grants. I took out loans that I repaid with interest. You now want me to pay for your education? Let me tell you this, you'll need to earn my respect before you take another dollar out of my pocket. You go Mark Alden.

  10. Jeanine62 and Vegas2011, I think you are missing one of the major points of this debate. The fact is not that students want a free education, it is that they want to invest their time and money in a school that is equally invested in them. With each budget slash, our universities' reputations fall farther and farther. That is why Gina said that she is concerned about having degrees that are nearly worthless in the national job market. The problem is that Nevada does not value education, and therefore a degree from a Nevada university is worth less than one from a state that does value its universities.

  11. Ashley you simply don't understand that when an employer hires someone they don't hire them based upon their "univeristy." More likely they're hired based upon their perceived ability to do the job. It's disingenuous for you to say that people will fail in their careers because of the simple fact that their school had to deal with economic realities.

  12. keystone6 & Ashley J....

    YOU GET IT!
    You REALLY GET IT.

    WHY is EVERY SINGLE DEBATE in Nevada turned in to a "you can't spend MY tax money on THAT!!!" debate?

    This ain't about YOUR MONEY, pal!
    It's about THEIR MONEY.
    It's about THE PRODUCT, man!

    Is the state CUTTING TUITION to match it's freshly watered-down Higher Ed product? NOOOOO! They're RAISING TUITION!

    What IS all this BLATHER about "why do people always expect a free ride"..."MY tax money"...
    LAUGHABLE!

  13. Bbtbrain,

    Getting past the several sentences you dedicate to personally attacking Mrs. Sully, the remainder of your comment indicates you might not understand the nature of the debate.

    While there are concerns involving the cost of education, much of the debate regards the elimination of entire departments within UNLV. You may not personally value the areas of Philosophy, Social Work, or Women's Studies, but I challenge you to find a respectable institution of higher education that lacks them. There are not many. The greater issue is that the loss of reputation and/or accreditation by the university substantially diminishes the value of the education earned by ALL UNLV GRADUATES.

    This has nothing to do with financial grants and how much you abhor them. A student who pays $100,000 for an education from UNLV is at the risk of having substantially reduced opportunities because of this decision. This impacts all students, regardless of whether they rely on grants, loans, gifts, work study, or any other source of funds.

    If you want to debate the merits of having a higher education system that relies upon government funds to increase the opportunity to attend across economic strata, that can be debated separately. The broader question is what is the value of a viable higher education system in Nevada, and what is the opportunity cost of letting it decay.

  14. I applaud Ms. Sully's passion and courage to stand up and express her beliefs. I also applaud her desire to come back to school and earn her Ph.D. after spending much of her career in industry.

    To those who are suggesting that Ms. Sully and other students or faculty are looking for "free education", I believe you're missing the point. Those who say they paid for their own schooling are also missing the point. Even if you paid your own way through school, all state universities operate under a budget that is subsidized by taxpayers. If you were fortunate enough to go to school in a state that funded a quality university, congratulations.

    All Ms. Sully and the other students are asking for is the chance to do the same: to attend a high-quality university in the state of Nevada. The state of Nevada desperately needs a stronger system of higher education to attract talented students and to bring diversified industry into the state, and that simply cannot happen without the support of the citizens of Nevada.

  15. Ms. Sully, I know exactly what you are talking about in regards to the costs. Last decade I paid for my wife's entire college career, 6 years worth which produced a Masters Degree. My son just recently graduated college and I still have a daughter in college as we speak. Nearly every semester the fees go up across the board from tuition to books to parking fees. I am never happy about the increased fees but I sacrificed several years to pay for these degrees so none of them would be straddled with student loans.

    The point is if any reasonable audit could be conducted I'm sure it would uncover massive amounts of waste, fraud and abuse. And that's what people like myself get upset about. When professors make over $100k per year and teach 1 course for 2-3 hours per week......the anger becomes justifiable.

    When they say there's no more room to cut, I say let us have a look at the books and decide that for ourselves instead of acting like education is so sacred that cuts are out of the question.

  16. Oh, and bbtbrain,

    I forgot to mention. Many employers take into account the reputation and academic rigor of the institution. Your argument might apply at an organization that does not require an educated workforce, but many organizations only recruit and hire from certain reputable institutions. You could argue that every student is capable of applying to a prospective employer. Unfortunately, many organizations rely almost exclusively on their on-campus recruiting efforts to recruit new college graduates and successful circumvention of these conduits can be exceedingly difficult.

  17. If the education you were pursuing was worth something, you would be willing to pay for it yourself. You would not have to ask for us, as taxpayers, to foot the bill for you to pursue your dream. Think about that. Perhaps the service you bought is NOT worth the price it costs. Having you, the consumer of that product, pay more of the true cost (you are still only paying about 25% of the cost) might make the product better. So, you do not think the education you are getting is even worth 1/4 of the cost? Then why would you ask me to pay the other 3/4?

  18. It's not someone getting a free ride, or discounted tuition. Its programs being cut, degrees being eliminated. The problem is the regents don't have any say in the amount cut. They are given numbers and have to find the best way to acheive the amount required to be cut. Sully might have 4 degrees, but no common sense. Cuts have to be made, there is no money.

  19. Remember: Higher Education in Nevada is not now nor has ever been a "free ride" for any student. And for every state dollar put in to UNLV, the return is at least $1.8 in direct economic impact; and when other multipliers are put into the calcuation, the return is $5.0 + (these are recent, hard number calculations by the Office of Business and Economic Research). So: dollars to support students benefit the Southern Nevada economy far greater than almost any other public investment. Also: in 2009, UNLV coontributed $1.15 billion in economic benefits to the economy.

    As for faculty: the duties of university faculty are divided between teaching, research and service. Research brings in outside dollars (and far in excess of most faculty salaries); plus, research contributions to a field are the main way that universities raise their rankings nationally, and attract students. A usual faculty workload is: 20 hours per week devoted to classroom activities; 20 hours per week devoted to research and scholarship; 10 hours per week devoted to service (on average). Many faculty put in far more time than this. And please do put into your calcuations that for every 1 hour spent in the classroom the average is 3 hours of classroom preparation. Also: NSHE faculty salaries are 9% below the national average; now that health benefits have been cut so drastically that the system, in effect, offers "catastrophic" coverage only with a $4K deductible, or a high-cost, low quality HMO, the system is slipping way behind comparable institutions in its ability to recruit and retain quality faculty. This is a crisis in the making, and already happening: faculty flight is in process, and our state may not see again the high quality of the teachers who are leaving for at least a generation.

    Hard times, all around. Yes, reforms need to be made, and are being made. Passions are running high. Still: the current budget cuts proposed by Sandoval are destroying our higher education system. And that's not good for anyone, least of all students, who will bear most suffering in the end.

  20. Reforms should affect new people, more than people that are already in the system.

  21. "And for every state dollar put in to UNLV, the return is at least $1.8 in direct economic impact; and when other multipliers are put into the calcuation, the return is $5.0 + (these are recent, hard number calculations by the Office of Business and Economic Research)."

    If that were true, then why doesn't the state put $1,000,000,000 into UNLV and then we should be out of the recession immediately and forever.

    It's the same argument as those who say unemployment benefits must be extended because it's good for the economy. If that were the case then every working person should quit their jobs and go on unemployment.....since that would help the economy, right?

  22. Mark Alden is a loose cannon and has never understood that he serves at the pleasure of his constituency. He rudely leaves meetings during campus presentations and he speaks just to hear himself speak. He has done rude responses before. Ignore him

  23. Chunky says:

    The lady is right in challenging our leaders; elected and otherwise. They all need to earn our respect and we should hold their feet to the fire until such time they do so.

    However, if we don't have the money, we don't have the money. Balance the budget and we can talk about respect.

    Also, going into debt $100,000 for a degree is plain stupid especially if your chosen profession will only allow you to manage a 20 year payoff. It is hard to respect such a foolish decision.

    Respect is a two way street!

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  24. My daughter is a freshman at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her major field of study - which she has prepared her entire school career for, participating in advanced classes from elementary school on - is in danger of complete elimination under the budget cuts proposed by Governor Sandoval. No other school in the state offers her major, and we cannot afford to pay out-of-state tuition for her to go somewhere else. Her college education is at stake.

  25. It appears the majority of those willing to mortgage our future by drastically slashing education never had any.

    Noindex - you seem like a pretty intelligent person and your support of your wife and childrens pursuit of higher education is to be commended. However I must point out that 2-3 hours of classroom time is not the actual amount of time that a professor works. Using that as an example is pretty ridiculous. If you'd like to keep using that argument please show us a teacher than makes over $100k by only teaching 1 class and not doing any research. If you can do so I would gladly eat crow, but from my experience in college and through friends that are now teachers, that is an inaccurate description of the actual amount of work that educators put in. I concur that waste does occur, but it is most likely administrative.

  26. JerryWayne.....her name is Dina Titus.

  27. Thomas - I figured you'd say that. What is the source of that information. I'd like to look it up myself. I heard she teaches one course a semester. I know in addition to teaching she hosts a show on KUNV.

  28. good stuff gina... great quote.

  29. I'm not sure where you got the idea that I have no job, Jeanine62 and rejecto. I do have one. I teach English. And I, too, pay taxes.

    Those who assume that students are not also taxpayers are just wrong. We pay property taxes and sales taxes and payroll taxes. UNLV students are not, for the most part, children. The average age of students at UNLV is 26. We have children, jobs, and families. We are part of the community.

    I am not so naive as to think that we can avoid cuts. But neither am I so naive as to believe that cutting education will not have long-term effects. Further cuts to education will have a devastating effect on Nevada's attempts to diversify the economy.

    Ikea and Google have already declined to open corporate offices in Nevada. Why? The only reason those two corporations offered for not locating offices in Nevada was the state of education. They wouldn't ask their employees to put their children in CCSD long enough to come and train workers here. They looked at UNLV and said that they couldn't get employees of the caliber they need. The governor claimed to be unaware of this fact when it was pointed out to him.

    Well, now he knows. He can ignore it and say things are great because Urban Outfitters is going to open a warehouse and provide jobs for 650 Nevadans. But to paraphrase James Madison, facts are stubborn things. Ignoring them or wishing them gone doesn't change them, and political rhetoric doesn't make them go away.

    The fact is, Google located in Southern Utah.

  30. Nevermind, found this from an article in the Sun the other day.

    "In reality, Titus earns $107,855 annually. This semester she will take home $53,958 for teaching one class, hosting a radio show and collaborating with the Black Mountain Institute."

    Just curious, how much time do you think Professors work outside of actual classroom teaching? I know when I was at UNLV there were several teachers that invested at least one-hour a week to assisting me outside of the classroom. Not to mention their research, grading papers and quizes, and modifying lesson plans.

  31. @bbtbrain: Actually, over the course of my former career, though, I hired (and fired) literally hundreds of people. And in fact, the greatest single factor in determining whether a resume automatically goes into the "no" pile or the "maybe" pile is the perceived quality of the institution where the applicant earned his or her degree. That's also just a fact, and saying it isn't so doesn't make it not so.

  32. Jerry, my wife used to teach college level Spanish at two different colleges in Californa. I know for a fact how few hours it actually takes.

    I'm all for affordable colleges, I think it's extremely important. However, I'm sure there are area's that can be cut. My suggestion is to let a successful retired business owner audit higher education and determine where the best cuts would be. I don't think that's asking to much.

  33. Thomas, how long would it take your wife to read and comment on 63 five-page composition papers a week? Because I can tell you that even just spending the 20 minutes we're told to maximally allot to each paper (and I don't know anyone who spends that little time on a student's paper), I spend more than 13 1/2 hours a week just commenting on and grading papers. Every week.

    Then, there's the time spent coming up with engaging writing sequences and lesson plans. And the time spent in class. And the time spent in office hours and seeing students by appointment because they have to work and can't come to my scheduled office hours. And the time spent scouring pedagogy journals to keep abreast of best practices. And the semesterly conferences my department requires me to hold with each student to outline his/her progress--another 13 1/2 hours that week.

    Then, as a previous poster noted, there is one's own research and committee work, both of which are job requirements--not mere options. Teaching is time-consuming when it's done right. All told, it takes each and every dedicated teacher in the English department at UNLV a bit more than 40 hours per week to do the job well.

    As far as part-time instructors go: They are among the most exploited workers in the United States. How willing would you be to do a job for 16 weeks and earn only $2500 for doing it? How about if it entailed the workload I just mentioned--minus the committee work, of course? Doesn't seem all that appealing does it?

  34. I wouldn't be against that type of audit. However, I am against mortgaging the future of our state and our children without seriously considering the idea of raising revenue. Trim the fat, not the substance.

  35. Moreover, Thomas, the audit you're asking for has already happened, and those cuts have been made. The fat has been trimmed. Now we're cutting academic programs--and they're the meat of any educational institution, from pre-school on up, aren't they?

  36. Mr. Smith. Please explain to me how one obtains a non-governmental job in the field of women's studies? If you want my unvarnished opinion then any major that begins by separating a group by ethnicity, gender or religion should be highly scrutinized for funding in the public education arena. Really Mr. Smith, what are you going to do with a women's studies degree. How many men will be majoring in this field? Heck even basket weaving teaches a marketable skill. If you want to study women do it on your dime, not mine.

  37. Right Gina, you didnt' care whether they were "easy on the eyes" for the CC members or anything. You just looked at their school and said....nope not gonna hire this one even though the club director recommended her. I think in the real world we call that discrimination and it is illegal. But who am I to judge when you have such a vast amount of education and experience.

  38. bbtbrain: I never saw the applicants until after their resumes had been sorted in Human Resources. That's how it works in larger corporations. In fact, after HR, the applications go to department heads, who generally made the decision about the final two applicants and made their recommendation to me. Unless there was a compelling reason not to hire a department head's recommendation, I okayed it. And looks are not a compelling reason. This is SOP in corporate America. Except in Vegas (if you read the article, you'll see I was working in NY), it's considered discriminatory to ask someone to send in a bikini photo prior to an interview.

  39. And I WAS the Chief Operations Officer, bbtbrain. I guess that's what you'd call the director.

  40. Sgt. Rock: I used to be engaged to a punk rocker who went by that name. I married a teacher instead.

    I should have made myself clearer. Thanks for pointing it out. What students in Nevada want is acknowledgement that we have already made significant sacrifices that have negatively impacted our ability to acquire an affordable education that will lead to meaningful employment.

    It's ridiculous to think that the budget gap can be bridged by cutting still more from education. Revenue must be generated. What I want the Regents to do is to refuse to cooperate with a budget that does not include the development of new revenue streams.

    Corporate Nevada has indicated it's willing to step up. So why shouldn't the Regents represent us and refuse to work with the legislators until they do the rational thing and refuse to cooperate with Governor Sandoval's political aspirations? After all, he's not our "leader" either. He, to, is merely a representative, one I happen to find unsatisfactory.

  41. My general point is this, we have deficits at the local, state and federal level not because of a lack of tax revenue....but because they can't stop spending.

    If they want to protect K-12 education funding or higher education funding fine with me...but don't raise taxes, find the necessary cuts from any number of worthless programs.

  42. To Noindex: Your memory doesn't exist beyond the past election.

    We have deficits at the State and Federal Level because the housing market collapsed because Mortgages were given to unqualified buyers.

    The mortgage officers and real estate agents made HUGE COMMISSIONS for granting these home loans, nor were they were never forced to take those commissions.

    The agents pocketed their commissions and the housing industry collapsed with the variable interest rates reset because the "credit default swaps" or insurance policies had no liquidity. They were insurance on paper - no cash backing.

    The $7 Trillion debt Bush created was due to the Iraq, Afghanistan wars and "Homeland Security", otherwise known as the NBCA, or "No Bid Contract Agency". Money was THROWN AWAY, not spent and now we pay.

    At this moment, Republicans have not put a ceiling on Military Spending - and will not, so the deficit will NEVER COME DOWN because money saved by destroying health care and education will be spent on "National Defense", to "keep Americans safe" (GAG) while they die in their homes due to lack of medical care and incomes to pay for Defense.

    Pakistan today is getting just over $5 Billion in foreign aid for this year alone! Our money is being squandered on trashy foreign aid while the education system gets scuttled.

    Hurray for Bradley Manning! A True American Hero in the finest form! Long live The Brad.

    It is ENTIRELY UNTRUE that the deficits occurred because of too much spending on education and social programs. Taking higher education apart will never bring productive industries to this state and Internet Sites about this type of behavior will tell it to the World, just wait.

  43. I will repeat this just one more time: I have a job. In fact, I have had a paying job and have been paying taxes for 43 years. That's right. I got my first paying job in a restaurant when I was nine, and I've been working ever since. Many of my students work, too. Even the freshmen.

    I don't believe that the worst-case scenario you project would happen, Sgt. Rock. But say it did. What would happen? The legislators and the governor would reveal to the people of Nevada that they don't consider themselves accountable to us, that they think they're our bosses and not our representatives. How did that work out for Scott Walker? Oh. I remember. An occupied legislature, and a police force that refused to remove the people. A RECALL. And guess what. The paperwork for a Nevada recall is being prepared. All we have to do is wait until July.

    I am a taxpayer and a worker, and the legislators, the governor, and the Regents work for me, too. Please stop making the patently false claims that students do not work and do not pay taxes. We do both. We also vote. And, we participate actively and proactively in the political process.

    An educated populace. Now why do some people find that so frightening?

  44. Ms. Sully:

    It is frightening, especially to the current elected officials, and especially in this state. You see, an ignorant populace does not question the status quo. (HOW DARE US BE SMART! HOW DARE US QUESTION THEIR AUTHORITY!) What is really frightening is the number of idiots who keep electing these clowns and who keep parroting their ideologies.

    The powers-that-be dictate public policies, but they don't have to be accountable for them. They want to control everything. They created all this mess, yes education included. When their policies fail, they find someone else to blame.

    In another case, these people claiming we are taking their money because they pay taxes, IGNORAMUS! There is no use explaining because they do not possess the cognitive ability for understanding even the simplest concepts.

    You are right. We don't owe them anything. They owe us. They are supposed to be public servants, but they think WE are their servants.

    Keep raising your voice. I admire your courage.

  45. First, I am not a Democrat. Second, the assumption that I do not work hard for candidates I support each and every election is erroneous. Third, I have been sending ten basic suggestions for generating new revenue streams to each and every member of the legislature since 2008. Some legislators are at last discussing some of them. I'm not a newcomer to this process.

    Once again, I have not suggested raising taxes on middle-class Nevadans. I suggest that the sunset on taxes already in place (put there by a Republican, I believe) be extended to deal with the fiscal emergency. I suggest overhauling the mining tax structure, and even the mining industry admits that they could be paying more.

    I suggest, based on solid experience in business management, that new revenue streams are necessary to bridge the budget gap. I suggest that providing adequate funding for all levels of education is fiscally responsible and will enable the economic diversification Nevada so desperately needs.

    Sometimes changing one's mind is the right thing to do, as when new evidence comes to light. Ikea and Google both explored locating offices in Southern Nevada. Both corporations declined to locate here and each offered only one reason for not coming: the state of education. They wouldn't ask the employees who would have to come here to put their kids in CCSD. They looked at UNLV and declared that they wouldn't be able to get the caliber of employees they'd need.

    Governor Sandoval claimed to be unaware of this. But apparently being informed hasn't influenced him.

    Google went to southern Utah. Way to diversify, Governor Sandoval.

  46. Sgt Rock
    If that Democrat promises to raise taxes on mining, I will really be out there campaigning for his/her election.
    If they promise to raise taxes on Casinos to the lowest rate that they pay in another state, I will be out there campaigning for his/her election.
    If they promise to tax businesses at the same rate that they are taxed in surrounding states, I will be out there campaigning.
    I have seen what "we don't tax anyone, esp business" has done for this state: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
    Also, I think that encouraging retirees to move here so they don't have to pay taxes, does not help our economy, either, in the long run, because eventually, they require a lot of govt assistance, due to no family being in the area to help them.

  47. Las Vegas already has the least educated population of any major city in the U.S.. Gov. Sandoval wants to build on that record so we have to import employees to run a Fast Food counter job.

    Educate The Population and you can start recruiting higher paying jobs. Implement reasonable taxes on Mining, Gaming, etc.. to at least the same level as any other State in the West. Implement a small state Tax on annual incomes over 500,000.

    Hold Administrators accountable for School Performance and eliminate Tenure. Pay the Teachers a Wage and Bonus Performance package with No Performance Excuses allowed. Students interfering with the daily educational process should not have an absolute right to an education.

    University Students getting their degrees out of state are very unlikely to return to Nevada. If Nevada Universities, which have mainly Second Tier Degree Programs, cannot help these local students - there will be other states skimming the better students and Nevada will just lose again. Look at the retention rates for Doctors trained in Northern Nevada and the Millions of Dollars wasted by their Bloated, Aged Bureaucracy running the Med School.

  48. Gina Sully was correct to bluntly state for the Board of Regents the consequences for not properly representing their student populations. It is very important that they are reminded of that from time to time. It is also important to remind the people that actually hold the budget reins for our education system of the same thing; The Nevada Legislature and Governor Sandoval.

    It was understandable, to a point, that Regent Mark Alden gave a heated rebuttal. Most of the Board of Regents and the Chancellor have been tirelessly lobbying the legislature and the governor for the entire legislative session. In Mr. Alden's defense, though not much of one, he has what he believes is terminal cancer and has begun to take remarks that are not necessarily directly targeted at him very personally since his diagnosis.

    As an individual that has spend the last couple of years dedicating every free moment to bringing Nevada a quality education that is reasonably funded, I ask that Regent Alden be given a small amount of tolerance for outbursts. I would also ask that people like Gina, that are being the strong education advocates that Nevada had been devoid of for so long, be encouraged to continue standing up for our future and our own best interest.

    "Never stop fighting for what is right"

    In Service,
    Sebring Frehner
    ~education advocate~

  49. I would LOVE for all these people who don't want to pay for anything to look at this situation closely.

    EVERYDAY in this state, foreign based corporations cart GOLD out of our state. That's right - they rob each and every person in the state of Nevada and they are not even American. The gold will be gone - and not one person will be able to use anything from the billions in profits that Canadian, Chinese, and British corporations are making.

    You don't want to pay? How do you feel about these corporations taking $4.3 BILLION in tax deductions - including housing, insurance, and Canadian executive salaries? Would you like to deduct those expenses from your own taxes - I would.

    I don't really believe Republicans when they say they don't want to pay for anyone's education because it's expensive - that cost is small compared to the number of people who benefit versus $6 BILLION in gold profits gone. Republican leaders have built laws to make MONEY, MONEY, MONEY for their friends - 12,000 rich miners. If Republicans really cared about being robbed - they would care about big business taking the gold and running away with it for free.

    Gold will be gone and all the people of Nevada have left is poison and holes.

  50. Republicans like to be taken advantage of - but they don't want a hard working student to do it . . . they want a big white rich miner to take their gold instead.

    Well I would rather invest in Nevada's students . . . they may actually bring something to our community. I value people over profits - especially stolen profits.

    When our gold and precious metals are gone . . . these miners are going to drop Nevada like a hot potato and leave behind massive poison soaked areas in Nevada that they have supposedly "cleaned up".

    So go on Republicans . . . let the foreign miners steal your part of the gold. As for me and the students who are upset - we'll take our part and invest in Nevada's hard working students instead.

  51. So here we have a woman trying to do whats right and questions someone society says deserves respect and it becomes heated.

    Oddly enough we as citizens of the (formerly known) United States should have been questioning our local, state and federal represenatives for the last 30 years. Some of those men and women needed a few heated exchanges along the way,...but unfortunately we were all too busy watching mindless drivel on the tube that we allowed those in power,...those we were taught as youngsters to respect,... to steal and rob American's of their tax money resulting in the financial mess we see today.

    We were taught as kids to respect government and politicians,...and so how's that workin for us these days? They deserve no respect based on the condition of this country, resulting cuts and excessive hikes in the cost and standard of living. Those we were taught to respect are bringing us down along with the country as a whole,...and it continues day after day.

    It's time we turn off the tube,...stop watching crap and follow Ms. Sully's lead by questioning and raising hell if necessary when it comes to the lack of leadership from either political party in this country. Government in general wants everybody dumbed down, fed and entertained just enough so we aren't paying attention to their corruption. We let them go for 30 years and now we see the results that go far beyond college and university expenses.

    Could it be that our wizards in government simply don't care about these cuts or the fallout from them because an education in America combined with the lack of industry, insight or the future of American ingenuity has been exported to foreign lands and has no domestic value anymore?

    Probably. Were so misguided globally that we forget about life and success here at home,...unless of course you're a politician,...then its all bout the money and whats in it for you,...never those you represent.

  52. Some facts: Every dollar that Nevada spends on higher ed comes back 16-fold. The rate of unemployment among those with college degrees is about 6%. For those with some college, it's 10%. For high school grads, it's 12%. For those who leave high school without a diploma, it's 17%. These aren't made-up figures. They come from the national American Community Survey from 2009. Check it out here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

    Nevada has the highest rate of unemployment in the country. Maybe investing in education is actually the prudent way to plan for the future.

  53. @roseanrose: Many students (most of my students), including me, have jobs in addition to going to school. Please stop trying to paint all students as stereotypically self-indulgent kids with senses of entitlement.

    Most students are "taxpayers" as well as "tax consumers." We students pay sales taxes and all of the other taxes everyone in Nevada pays except perhaps for property taxes--students do tend to rent (and thus to contribute to the economy in a different way).

    There are others ways of contributing to the tax base. Here's one: Last year, students from UNLV's School of Social Work contributed 84,000 hours (the equivalent of $1.1 million) of FREE social work to the community. Isn't providing free work the equivalent of "saving money"? Then those students are contributing directly to the tax base. They're just bypassing the bother of the city/county/health district/state issuing a check out of the tax pool, right?

    In a state with the highest unemployment rate, the second highest suicide rate, the fifth highest rate of adult depression and the second highest rate of depression in children, we are going to need social workers. But the B.A. program is in danger of being cut, so they can go elsewhere to school and provide that service to the citizens of another state, I guess.

    We are ALL "tax consumers" as well as "taxpayers." You are, too. That is, unless you have never driven on a road, needed assistance from a fire department or the police, visited a library or park, gone to Lake Mead, used a city community center or pool, been rushed to a public emergency room or hospital, had to go to court, registered a deed or DBA papers, or had a teacher or minister with a public school/university education . . .

  54. Education is key towards maintaining our democracy and free society. No one can take away your education.

    With that said, would you trust folks without an education to be providing you critical services? Well, the next time you need to see a doctor, dentist, eye doctor, nurse, pharmacist, need an x-ray, lawyer, judge, engineer, fireman, policeman, clerk, teacher, administrator, and so on, remember that these people continued their education with college coursework, to one degree or another, and the majority had taken on debt to do so!

    Now, the quality of life is optimal with advanced education. The problem is perception: who is 1-paying for it, and 2-who benefits from it.

    Again, it boils down to: we, the people, our society, and civilization as we know it, has greatly benefited from education, yet we had fallen complacent for 30 some odd years (as Kevin Boyer suggests) and pretty much let the fox guard the hen house in matters politically. There is no time like NOW to change, and set a course towards reform of behaviors and expectations. Make it known to your political representatives via phone, email, USA MAIL, or visiting their field offices, what YOU EXPECT to see them do, please!

    In Nevada, the mining, gaming/resort, and the big box stores have virtually been here with very little contributed towards taxes to support our infrastructure. It is time to reform Nevada's tax structure (even to an average of what the other 49 states pay in taxes); this is something that Nevada's State Legislators have AVOIDED for OVER 30 years!!!! Just saying...

  55. @ SgtRock: Since I can't find the documentation for that number (16-fold)--although I'll keep looking for it and post it when I do--how about this, from Regen Bill Cobb in a City Life (Apr 14-20, 2011) interview:

    "I think what's important to the average guy is the economic multiplier effect that comes from investment in higher education. For example, this has been demonstrated by state investment in the Desert Research Institute, where statistics show about $8 million in investment has resulted in $44million in grants and other research money that's come into the sate. That's a five-fold return."

    I know fives times as much isn't as good as sixteen times as much, but it still seems like a pretty good investment to me.

  56. Oops! My bad. *Regent*