January 2010 Chronicle

The CSN Chronicle 

Greetings, Happy New Year and welcome to The CSN Chronicle for January 2010.  There is much activity on many fronts that I’d like you to know about.      

Holiday Party

Through the Foundation Board of Trustees and the President’s Cabinet, I have extended your collective appreciation to the Foundation for the outstanding holiday party we held at the Las Vegas Hilton on December 10th.  Ticket revenue raised sufficient support to fund one full-time student for a year at CSN, and your food donations contributed more than 700 pounds of food to Three Square.  Thank you!      

In early December the City of Las Vegas approached us about moving ahead on development of the northwest campus, and at the same time, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved S 940—our land patent for the property.  The full Senate will now have to vote on the bill.  For CSN’s part, we have retained an architect for the project.  Using the “I” building as a prototype, we will adapt its plans as the first building for the new campus.

Budget Status

We have been directed to prepare blueprints to respond to the governor’s call for budget reduction plans of 6, 8, or 10% for each year of the biennium.  The plan we are preparing is in the mid range of the governor’s request, and will likely be presented at a special meeting of the Board of Regents on February 2.  The state has requested budget reduction plans for FY2010, effective March 1, that are at a pro-rated level based on the support that each institution receives from the general fund.  For CSN, this reduction could range from $1.65M to $2.75M. 

Our strategy at the beginning of this fiscal year included establishing a reserve should the state realize a revenue shortfall. Our initial budget included a reserve of approximately $1.2M to accommodate this shortfall. Budget cuts will be necessary to meet the balance of any state imposed budget reduction. These reductions will be determined through a participatory process working with faculty, staff, and student leadership. 

More difficult to address is the budget picture for FY 2011.  State revenue projections are not likely to be realized and the governor’s proposed cuts of 6, 8, or 10% may mean a reduction to CSN’s budget of $5.0M to $8.2M.   Again, we will involve faculty, staff and students and focus on protecting our institutional mission as we prepare these budget reduction plans and keep you apprised as new information arises.  By the time you read this, the budget reduction committee will have met twice, and a general plan for FY2010 will be drafted to submit to the Chancellor.  The plan for FY2011 will take more time and input to detail.

About a week after spring semester begins, the southwest entrance to the West Charleston campus off of Torrey Pines—just south of the KNPR studio–will be closed for about a month.  The contractor on the drainage project will be making connections at that intersection.  The driveway to the north of the Sparks Art Center will be open, but we urge you to use Community College Drive if at all possible.  The access road should reopen around March 22.

Questions from Faculty and Staff Members:

“What preparation can we do now for the 2011 Legislative session?”

Nearly every CSN employee can have an impact on the membership of the Legislature.  Here are two suggestions: 

  • Candidates for legislative office have to file their applications in March.  Work now to line up good candidates in your Assembly and Senate districts who are supportive of CSN, higher education and Nevada’s future.
  • Primary elections will be held in June.  Plan now to work for good candidates and to share your concerns about education and the future of the State. 

“Why should I care about legislative advocacy?  Isn’t that the job of the administration, the Faculty Senate, and the Chancellor’s staff?”

We have an advocacy group at CSN, and NSHE will have staff and a lobbyist ready for the 2011 session.  Combined with our students, the CSN advocacy group made immeasurable progress during the 2009 legislative session.  We can do it again, but it takes all of us.  When the time comes, your legislators need to hear from you. 

Construction projects at the Cheyenne, Henderson and West Charleston campuses move steadily toward completion.  The Engelstad addition is on time and on budget.  The renovation of science facilities at Cheyenne will soon be under contract through the State Public Works Board.  The fire station project is on time and on budget, as is the drainage project at Charleston.  At Henderson, we’re moving ahead with additional parking that should be completed this spring.    

Watch for forums on budget issues and the search process for a new Provost and Academic Vice President.  I invite your attendance and participation. 

Best wishes for the New Year and for spring semester.

–Mike Richards

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