November Chronicle

The CSN Chronicle

Greetings, and welcome to The CSN Chronicle for November 2009.   The Chronicle lets me share some of the news and important questions raised by our faculty and staff members from time-to-time.   

Holiday Party

The 2009 Holiday Party will take place at the Las Vegas Hilton on Dec. 10. This year’s event is all about giving back to help spread holiday cheer. Tickets will be $5 per person and go to support student scholarships and programs. They are available for purchase starting Nov. 5 at your campus cashier’s office or at the Foundation. Please bring non-perishable food items to the party for collection by Three Square.  We have many in our community who need help this holiday season.  For more info go to www.csn.edu/holidayparty.

As many of you know, I have started a blog at http://blog.csn.edu.  We will be posting to it our notes from CSN Cabinet meetings and this Chronicle for ease of access.   We’re using the blog as an additional communications arm for the college community so you can be better informed about what’s happening and add your comments and suggestions.

Budget Outlook for 2011-13

Chancellor Klaich provided some state budget information to the CSN Foundation, executive leadership, and Faculty Senate that I would like to paraphrase for you:

For 2009-11, the biennial budget is expected to be approximately $6.56 billion; the current estimated deficit is expected to be at about $2.25 billion.

This calculation does not include paying back the loan plus interest to the federal government for unemployment benefits that could reach $100 million per month and which some predict to put the state another billion dollars in the hole by the time the Legislature meets – plus interest.

The biennial budget for the Nevada System of Higher Education is about $1.2 billion, so the state could close every college and university and not even make up half of the structural deficit.For my part at CSN, I would urge you to read and re-read this information.  The fiscal problem the Chancellor outlines will need our leadership and advocacy to work toward a statewide solution.  For our employees and students, the significance of this problem is nearly overwhelming.  With the budget challenge and reapportionment on the docket, the 2011 session of the Legislature will be extremely difficult. 

West Charleston Library

For the month of September 2009, the number of patrons visiting the library jumped 60% over the prior September as 63,900 patrons used the new facility.   This is a tribute to our library staff for accommodating large numbers of users, to our faculty for affirming the rigor of our coursework, and to our students who are seriously engaged in their studies.  College-wide the libraries on all campuses served 81,600 patrons during September.  

Questions from Faculty and Staff Members:

A question I often get is: Will there be a special session of the Legislature? I haven’t heard anything at this point about a special session, but I am wary. This year has all of the hallmarks of 2007, when second-quarter state revenues were lower than expected and a special session was called in December. I will keep you informed if I start to hear anything new on this issue.

“What is the official fall enrollment for CSN?”

As of October 20, the fall preliminary enrollment report was issued for all seven campuses.  CSN reported a headcount enrollment of 43,091 headcount (up 4.1% from fall 2008) and 21,751 FTE (up 4% over the previous year).   UNR was up 1.4%, UNLV 1.8%, NSC 19.8%, TMCC 3.7%, GBC 8.5% and WNC 9.5%.  No enrollment declines were reported this fall.

“What is the status of our capital projects?”

The Cheyenne projects (HVAC and Science Lab renovation) are under the control of the State Public Works Board.  It is moving steadily forward with design work.  The drainage project at West Charleston has been delayed by our soil conditions.  The project should resume shortly.  The Engelstad addition is on schedule, as is the Fire Station project.  We also have a number of small improvement projects underway to improved building systems on various campuses.

“What is the Foundation planning this year?”

The CSN Foundation is fully staffed and functioning under the leadership of Foundation Chair Robbie Graham.  On November 5th, the Foundation held its annual meeting, including 1) the annual President’s Breakfast that about 120 people attended to hear Chancellor Dan Klaich speak, 2) the introduction of the concept of a comprehensive fundraising campaign to run for the next five years, and 3) a review of the Foundation’s operations this past year that will be reported to the Board of Regents in December.  Our Foundation is full of energy and commitment, and we’re very proud of their dedication, advocacy, and generosity.  

Best wishes to you all for a Happy Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing you at our holiday party.

   –Mike Richards

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