Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Governor Gibbons call for further cuts. By next week.

Chancellor Klaich has released the letter that he discussed at least week's Board of Regents meeting, which is his official response to Governor Gibbons' request for plans to cut NSHE budget by 1.4% and 3% by December 15.

The letter points out what is evident to those of us who work in higher education -- that its almost impossible to implement budget cuts midway through the academic year. Student fees have been paid, students have enrolled for the spring term courses, and faculty and pro-staff have contracts that by law cannot be changed without extraordinary action by the Board of Regents.

Sun reporter Jon Ralston finds it "strongly worded", although its hard to find a strong word in it; it states what is well known -- that the state Constitution gives the Board of Regents budget authority over the System, and the System Code and institution by-laws mandate faculty-administration consultations on program eliminations (such as the consultations taking place now at UNLV in the form of the "Joint Evaluation Team").

The Governor's office responded with a vague threat, "If Higher Education leaders choose not to participate, we will make recommendations for them." We refer the Governor's office to our previous statements about shared governance.

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