NSHE Consolidation Efforts Trigger Demands For Change

Apr 19, 2016

The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents building.

The Nevada System of Higher Education turned heads when it said it would consolidate police services between the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College. Reno Public Radio's Marcus Lavergne reports the decision has raised larger concerns regarding how NSHE oversees and funds community colleges.  As a point of disclosure, the Board of Regents holds the license to this station.

Former TMCC President John Gwaltney says for years community colleges have gotten the short end of the stick, and he wants a better deal.

"Recently the system reworked the distribution formula that made funds available to the community colleges and other institutions in the system," Gwaltney said. "A number of community college personnel became alarmed at the fact that this formula so seriously damaged the mission of community colleges and placed the community college students at a disadvantage."

He and others are working on legislation that could create a new governing system for about half of Nevada’s higher-ed students, but NSHE Chancellor Dan Klaich says it would do more harm than good. 

“It would cost more money, so it would cost taxpayers more,” Klaich said. “It would split systems up and create barriers between them. I just don’t get why anyone thinks it would be a good idea.” 

Some want compromise.

“If there isn’t cooperation at looking at a reorganization that helps prioritize community colleges, budgets will be split so that there’ll be a budget for the community college and a budget for the universities, and money can’t be mingled,” Cosgrove said.

That was College of Southern Nevada Professor Sandra Cosgrove who says a separate, equal community college board within NSHE would benefit both sides.