May 2010 Chronicle

The CSN Chronicle

Greetings and welcome to The CSN Chronicle as we close this academic year.  This May edition provides an opportunity for me to share year-end information with you before many of our faculty leave for the summer.  There is much to share.       


Graduation ceremonies will be held on Monday, May 17th at 6 p.m., at the Thomas & Mack Center.  Commencement marks the close of our academic year, and I encourage your attendance and support of our graduating students.

New Facilities and Office Space

During the summer months, two construction projects will be completed: The fire station/classroom building and the new wing of the Ralph & Betty Engelstad School of Health Sciences. We will furnish these new spaces, but we have decided to delay office assignments until early fall. This will give faculty a chance to return, ensure the new space is ready for occupancy, allow us to prepare for the “domino” effect of office changes under CSN policy, and to make appropriate support assignments.   This new space will be a wonderful addition to CSN.


In August we will move ahead with searches for interim dean positions and continue to hire full-time faculty in selected disciplines.  We are also conducting a departmental analysis to determine if establishing a new department or two can be supported.  

The ad hoc Organization and Structure Committee completed its work in late April and provided a number of recommendations.  To each member of the committee and its chair, Dr. Larry Martin, I extend my sincere appreciation for the excellent analysis and recommendations in the report.  I have posted a summary of the recommendations and my action/comments on the CSN home page. We will implement some of the recommendations almost immediately in preparation for the next academic year.  One of those recommendations includes re-establishing the Vice President for Administration position that was discontinued in 2007.  However, key recommendations in academics will await the outcome of:  1) internal and system discussions on developmental education and other issues, and 2) faculty to return for fall semester.  We want to ensure adequate opportunity for faculty input on the final recommendations and their implementation.       

Budget Status

On July 1, CSN and the State of Nevada will start another budget year, FY2011.  Already we have been told to expect a mid-year budget cut, and we’ve been directed to propose a budget for the next biennium that is 10% lower than the present budget after action of the special session.  We will begin some initial work on this new plan and save much of the work for the Budget Reduction Committee when it returns in the fall.  Before the semester ends, I’ll be meeting with the leaders of our employee groups and students to discuss our budget status and options for solutions.    

CSN’s new strategic plan is still open for comments and suggestions via our website.  We plan to present the final plan at the September meeting of the Board of Regents and discuss its implementation at fall Convocation.  We appreciate the countless hours of work the strategic planning committee dedicated to this significant effort.    


The annual gala that our CSN Foundation and NV Energy sponsored was held on April 24th at the M Resort.  The event was sold out — a singular tribute to community support for CSN.  The evening was a remarkable success, raising scholarship funds for CSN students and programs.  We are most grateful for the support of our Foundation trustees and the work of Foundation staff for making these annual events such wonderful successes that our donors, sponsors and the community look forward to each year.

Fall Convocation

This year, we will begin professional development activities for Convocation on August 19 with the annual State of the College address taking place on Monday, Aug. 23, at Texas Station in North Las Vegas. More information will be forth coming via e-mail over the next few months so if you are off campus this summer, please check your CSN account sporadically for updates.

Questions from Faculty and Staff Members:

“Will CSN employees have a flex option for summer?”

Periodically in the past, we have implemented a flexible work schedule during the summer months.  After careful analysis, we have determined this is not feasible for the upcoming summer.   Our priority, of course, is to provide the most efficient and effective operations across the College without compromising quality and coverage.  That is particularly difficult under the state furlough mandate.  Furloughs present significant scheduling and management challenges college-wide, and furloughs will continue through the summer.  We appreciate your understanding of this decision. 

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

Right now we’re preparing and watching state revenue figures.  The state is down $3-3.5 billion for the next biennium, and it presents a historic challenge to keep the state viable.  But this June, nearly every CSN employee can have an impact on the decisions that will be made in the next biennium as you participate in the political primary election: 

  • Support good candidates in your Assembly and Senate districts who are supportive of CSN, higher education and Nevada’s future.
  • Vote in the primary election in June.  Plan now to work for supportive candidates and to share your concerns about education and the future of the state. 
The renovation of science facilities at Cheyenne is drawing the attention of legislative and public works staffs who will be visiting the campus later this month.  The renovation project is essential to our ability to provide state-of-the-art instruction in nearly every science discipline.  We are anxious to move the project forward to completion.    

As spring semester winds down, I extend my best regards and look forward to seeing you at fall convocation.

–Mike Richards

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