Knecht: College closures/mergers are not on the table

Victor Joecks

After the Board of Regents voted 8-5 to take the closure or merging of any colleges off the table, Sen. Steven Horsford ordered Chancellor Dan Klaich to prepare a report that includes closures and/or mergers

In today’s Nevada Appeal, Regent Ron Knecht, who made the original motion to take closures and mergers off the table, has an excellent, excellent response.

After somewhat incomplete budget reduction plans were presented in March, it was clear that the governor’s proposed cuts could be better accommodated by reductions at each institution than by cannibalizing any of them. So, at our March meeting, I moved to discontinue consideration of all such options. Some other regents expressly agreed that the destructive options are unnecessary and would be worse than institutional cuts, and the motion passed, 8-5.

And why did Horsford want college closures on the table? Politics.

The first concern is that tax-and-spend partisans may want to keep in play the destructive options to pressure the governor and Republican legislators to support increased taxes. The second concern is that our two universities may be promoting these options to mitigate their own cuts, even though budget processes already favor them over the rest of the system.

There’s a reason NSHE is known for hyperbole. Unfortunately, this time legislative leadership is making them spin tall tales.