Regents chair: Meeting disputes between chief of staff, regent fell below ‘decorum’ standards
Board of Regents Chair Mark Doubrava announced in a statement late Friday that two board meetings this year “fell below” standards for “applicable rules of decorum and treating all who participate with respect,” according to an independent review of those incidents by an outside attorney.
Doubrava added that that review has “identified opportunities” to improve board policies and processes, and that he has directed board staff to “evaluate and report back” on potential changes. However, any specific deficiencies or proposed changes were left unclear.
The statement comes as a coda to two incidents in July and August between Regent Lisa Levine and Board of Regents Chief of Staff Dean Gould. In the first, in July, Levine accused Gould of “mansplaining” the new business portion of the board’s agenda. In the second, in August, Gould interrupted Levine amid heated discussions on changes to Title IX rules and said: “I don’t want to man-speak, but I will have to if you continue to child-speak, so please stop.”
Gould’s remark swiftly triggered a social media firestorm. It also drew sharp criticism from a number of high-profile Democratic elected officials, including Gov. Steve Sisolak — who appointed Levine to fill a vacancy on the board earlier this year.
Gould denied wrongdoing at the time, saying in a statement that Levine’s behavior was “unprofessional and embarrassing.”
Following the public outcry and the later confidential filing of a hostile work environment claim by Gould, Doubrava personally authorized $9,500 for the hiring of an outside lawyer, California-based Apalla Chopra, to investigate the case in September — a relatively rare step for the board.
Regents last turned to outside counsel in 2016, in the wake of a Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation into the conduct of then-Chancellor Dan Klaich and his alleged misrepresentation of information to legislators during negotiations over the system’s funding formula in 2011.
No formal vote or open meeting was ever held on the issue, and no report related to those incidents has been made public. Since the second incident, Gould has yet to attend one of a number of regents’ meetings held through the end of this year.