Overstating the impact of cuts to higher education (again!)

Victor Joecks

From the Reno Gazette-Journal:

Gov. Brian Sandoval’s recommended budget calls for a 17.6 percent cut to higher education from the current biennium budget – a number disputed by Chancellor Dan Klaich, who told a legislative budget committee the cuts are actually 29 percent. Sandoval’s cuts would subtract $162 million from the university system’s annual budget of $558 million, Klaich told lawmakers.

While you can play around with the percentages, saying that the “the university system’s annual budget” is $558 million is false. The university system’s annual operating budget in Fiscal Year 2011 is $1.744 billion.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself on TransparentNevada, where you can download the last 12 years of NSHE operating budgets.

Overstating the impact of budget cuts? Unfortunately, that seems to be standard operating procedure for those involved in NSHE. Maybe that’s why, one month again, Chancellor Klaich said:

“I think we [NSHE] have been guilty of hyperbole in the past. Where we get the first dollar of a cut and we would like you to believe that the sky is falling in. And here we are a few years later and low and behold the sky is right where it started out. It has not fallen in.”

I’ve previously praised Klaich for the honesty of the above statement, and I hope in the future, Klaich will do a better job of accurately reporting the facts.