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May 27, 2015

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Chancellor asks governor to use panel to vet regents candidates

Jim Rogers, chancellor of Nevada’s higher education system, wrote Gov. Jim Gibbons today to ask if Gibbons would consider creating a committee to evaluate candidates for the Board of Regents, which governs the state’s public higher education system.

Rogers suggested that a faculty member, administrator, a student and a couple members of the business community would be a good mix for such a committee.

The chancellor’s request comes after Republican Bob Beers, the fiscal conservative who lost his state senate seat in the Nov. 4 election, expressed interest in joining the board. Bret Whipple, a regent who also lost re-election, wants the governor to consider appointing him to one of two seats fellow regents are vacating in January.

Regent Thalia Dondero ran for re-election unopposed, but will leave the board because a court ruling deemed her ineligible to serve another term because of term limits. Regent Steve Sisolak won a seat on the Clark County Commission. The responsibility of appointing their replacement falls to Gibbons.

Beers and Whipple have publicly criticized the chancellor, who has long advocated for new taxes to fund education.

Their appointments would be controversial given their recent election losses.

In addition, because each regent represents a geographic district, Whipple would have to move to be eligible to continue on the board, which might not sit well with his new constituents.

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