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Stories from the KUNR newsroom and regional partners related to the 2022 elections

Four candidates running for two Northern Nevada NSHE Board of Regents spots

A navy blue sign outdoors with a statue of UNR’s “N” logo. There are people with backpacks walking on the sidewalk behind the sign and a large brick building in the background.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
The University of Nevada, Reno campus, a Nevada System of Higher Education institution, on Aug. 19, 2021.

Four candidates are running for two open seats that cover parts of Northern Nevada on the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents.

Reno residents Steve Laden and Jeffrey Downs are seeking the District 11 seat. It covers much of northern Washoe and Pershing Counties.

Downs is a math professor at Western Nevada College in Carson City and has also served as an administrator and union negotiator at the school.

“I’d like to see some more faculty representation on the board to get the perspective of faculty who are the frontline workers who work with students and understand students’ concerns and needs,” Downs said.

Laden has a business background having worked in financial services. He’s also served on state and nonprofit education boards. He says regents should focus more on vocational education.

“We need more of those skilled workers in our workforce. I think from the seat of a regent we can help shine a spotlight on those education and career tracks,” he said.

In District 8, Shelly Crawford is running against John Patrick Rice. It’s the largest in the state, stretching from the Oregon border in Humboldt County into parts of rural and suburban Clark County.

Rice is a professor of fine arts at Great Basin College and previously served three terms on the Elko City Council.

“I am a rural Nevadan and I believe that my rural Nevada experience can be a real asset to every student of the Nevada System of Higher Education,” he shared.

Crawford is the principal at C.C. Ronnow Elementary in the Clark County School District. She believes she would be the first Latina to serve on the board. Crawford hopes to address access and workforce issues through grants.

“We need to be proactive and that means, 'What are these careers we are hurting for right now and why not expand grants for those?'” she asked.

One of the first tasks for those elected will be hiring a new chancellor for the system after it lost its third chancellor in five years last April.

As a note of disclosure, the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents owns the license to this station.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Jose Davila IV is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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