As mentioned in previous communications, the state is expecting a budget shortfall. As a result, the Governor’s office has asked each state agency to scale back its request for funding for the next two-year budget cycle. On Friday, the Board of Regents amended the Nevada System of Higher Education’s budget request to the Governor. They kept the request for faculty and staff salary increases whole and emphasized this as the primary priority of the Board.
The adjustments they made included a 25 percent reduction to a proposed increase in funding for certain community college career and technical education programs in the first year of the biennium and kept that amount whole in the second year. This is important because the increase would then become a permanent part of the funding formula going forward, allowing CSN to receive additional support for these expensive but very important programs. The Board then delayed a four-year capacity building request for all eight institutions by a year. This capacity building request for CSN, includes a number of proposals, including a catalyst bridge program with the school district and prison education. For the research universities, this request included funding for special capacity building projects that would help them reach Tier 1.
We are grateful that Board members protected the CTE funding as much as they did and that they are recommending to the Governor that it be fully funded in the second year (and become a permanent part of the funding formula at that level). I cannot stress enough how important this CTE funding is to the college and helping us adjust to the realities of the funding formula.
On Thursday at the Board of Regents meeting, I also presented the final report from the Multi-Campus District Study Committee. The Board responded to this report very positively and expressed gratitude for the work of this committee, which included faculty, staff, students and community leaders (each of whom wrote letters to the Board in support of the recommendations.) The Board asked the college to move into the first phase of the recommendations and to “flesh out” our plans so that a more accurate funding request can be put forward. As I reported to the Board, I believe that CSN has some revenue from expected student fee increases that are meant to be dedicated to student support services to use to hire needed faculty and staff. But we will need to explore alternative funding mechanisms for other parts of the plan. Forthcoming work on phase one will now be distributed to various CSN functions to prepare a report for the March meeting of the Board of Regents, which will take place at CSN’s North Las Vegas Campus.
Also at this Board meeting, the presidents of CSN and UNLV were directed to work on a plan to consolidate police services. We are to report back to the Board in June 2017.
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to again affirm CSN’s value of diversity and inclusion in these times of unease. CSN’s mission is to educate students and prepare a workforce for Nevada’s future. We want all students to succeed, to complete their educational goals and to have a positive, life-long learning experience that starts at CSN. CSN has a long history of helping students, prizing diversity, and including folks from all walks of life. Our working and learning environment is one of respect and civility, and that makes working and learning better for all.
Should you have questions on any of the above information, please let me know.
Warmest best wishes for the holidays,