Across three separate audits of Nevada System of Higher Education’s (NSHE) budgets, auditors called on the system to tighten spending regulations, and laid the blame for oversight largely at the feet of the Board of Regents.
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The fee is the first of its kind in Nevada, and has been billed by employees of the newspaper and other advocates as a means to fund the outlet in the long term without the need to rely directly on advertising, university administrators or the undergraduate student government.
After years of fits and starts, three university presidents, two medical school deans, two governors and one pandemic, last Wednesday marked the end of a long and tortured road — the red ribbon was cut, and the Kirk Kerkorian Medical Education Building at UNLV was finally complete.
The move comes as a blow to Nevada State, which has for years pursued exploratory efforts to justify the change, and more recently mounted a public push that garnered support from a large number of students, alumni and even some politicians.
In 2010, 2012 and 2015, similar statewide smoke-free plans for public colleges were proposed but did not succeed, partially because of a state law that required campuses to include at least one designated smoking area.
The move comes after an internal system task force raised concerns earlier this year that the mandate, as written, did little to account for the need for booster shots meant to combat the Omicron variant.
But as the incentives to stay or enter higher education have diminished, faculty and administrators told The Nevada Independent they’ve seen a visible rise in faculty and staff leaving their institutions or fleeing higher education altogether — and a pipeline of new talent that bears little resemblance to its pre-pandemic form.
Presidents from UNLV, CSN and Nevada State College sat down with The Nevada Independent Friday for an exclusive discussion about the new contours of the higher education landscape — from uncertain budgets to the potential risk of regionalism between north and south.
The Biden administration extended a pause on federal student loan repayments through Aug. 31, a welcome relief for many Nevadans. At 18 percent, the state has one of the highest student loan default rates.