Special Board of Regents Meeting 2-2-2010

Good afternoon,

The Board of Regents met at the Charleston campus today to discuss the state’s nearly $900 million budget deficit. We estimate this will mean a 22 percent cut in general fund appropriations to the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). This would mean a statewide cut to Nevada colleges and universities of about $37 million for the remainder of this year and $110 million for next year.

For CSN, we estimate that this would mean a budget reduction of about $6 million this fiscal year and $18 million next year.

I urge you to watch Chancellor Klaich’s presentation below for more details.

To summarize, regents discussed the possibility of declaring a financial emergency, pending the outcome of the special legislative session, which we expect to take place late February or early March. Declaring financial exigency – emergency is much easier to say — allows the system to take more extreme measures to handle the budget deficit, including implementing layoffs and pay reductions.

Regents expressed their desire to proceed cautiously. Presidents will not put forth plans that are not considered sustainable. An overlying message was that no one group can bear the sole burden of this budget cut and that our priority must be to protect our missions.

Chair Leavitt stressed that advocacy efforts should be focused on writing letters and contacting the following legislators: (You can find contact information for each of them at the following site: http://leg.state.nv.us/ – click on the “Assembly” or “Senate” links to get e-mail addresses and telephone numbers for individual legislators.)

Sen. Bernice Mathews
Sen. Steven Horsford
Sen. Bill Raggio
Assemblyman Morse Arberry Jr.
Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley
Assemblyman Marcus Conklin
Assemblywoman Heidi Gansert
Assemblywoman Debbie Smith

I also urge you to write your legislative representative. You can find out who represents you at: http://mapserve.leg.state.nv.us/website/lcb/viewer.htm

I will continue to pass along information as we have it. I urge you to talk about these issues with your colleagues, contact your legislators and stay informed.

About Michael.Richards

The Board of Regents unanimously selected Dr. Michael D. Richards in May 2008 as the eighth permanent President of the College of Southern Nevada, where he supports the College’s mission to create an educated and diverse workforce for Southern Nevada. Dr. Richards came to CSN in 2005 as the vice president for academic affairs, leaving his position as associate provost at Southern Utah University after 23 years. While at SUU, he also had the positions of vice president for planning and technology, vice president for university affairs and associate professor of business. He began his career in higher education as an adjunct faculty member at a community college in Alabama, and in the mid-1970s was on the faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He brings a wealth of collegiate and business, four-year and two-year institutional experience to the College. He has taught English and management courses and has developed a record of scholarship through publications and presentations at state, regional, national and international conferences. Dr. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy (1970) from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, a Master of Arts in English from Utah State University (1972) and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Denver (1979). The Board of Regents appointed Dr. Richards as interim president of CSN in August 2007 after the departure of President Richard Carpenter (2004-2007). The regents then selected Dr. Richards for the permanent position following a national search by the ad hoc CSN President Search Committee. As President of the College, Dr. Richards is responsible for 2,274 employees, approximately 43,000 students and a budget of more than $130 million.
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