Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rory Reid releases plan for higher education

NFA-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid today released a policy paper on higher education (Sun), which calls for Nevada to make "our universities and colleges among the best places in the nation to
study and learn, to innovate and invent."

Noting that "in the last three years, we have cut state funding for higher education by 31 percent" and that in regions with higher rates of the population getting college degrees, unemployment is lower and wages are higher, it calls for strengthening state support for higher education.

It also series of important changes to how higher education is funded -- including stabilizing state support for higher education as a strategic investment in Nevada's future, and achieving cost savings in administrative areas, to allow greater proportions of higher education spending to be committed to instruction and research.

Reid's plan calls for Nevada to more clearly identify and differentiate the mission of each institution in the System and by to streamline NSHE System Administration, as well as reviewing funding formulas for equity and efficiency.

Reid's plan would allow campuses to charge differential tuition based on market demand for some programs and to keep all non-resident fees. It also calls for greater focus on both technological research and for arts and culture as key areas that will enhance standard of living and quality of life in Nevada.

Finally, Reid's plan calls for the private sector to become involved in funding an endowment that would ensure continued access to higher education for high-achieving Nevada students through the Millenium scholarship program.

To begin to implement this plan immediately, Reid commits to

hold, during his first month as governor, a higher education summit with the chancellor, members of the Board of Regents, the university and college
presidents, and faculty and student leaders, to work with them on a vision for a new and different higher education system in Nevada. Nevada needs system-wide, strategic planning that is done out in the open...

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