Monday, April 26, 2010 | 3:39 p.m.
The Nevada Faculty Alliance, representing about 650 members at the state’s eight higher education institutions, confirmed today it is endorsing Democrat Rory Reid for governor.
Reid said he was “honored” to have the NFA’s support.
“To bring jobs to Nevada and support 21st Century industries, we need to support strong universities and colleges,” Reid said in a statement. “I'm looking forward to working with NFA members to build a better future for our state."
County Commission Chairman Reid “has done his research on the budget up to this point, and the major issues on the top of our list for the 2011 legislative session,” said Sondra Cosgrove, a history professor at the College of Southern Nevada and president of the campus’ NFA chapter. “Most of the people we talk to know quite a bit about what’s happening in K-12, but then we have to provide them with quite a bit of information about higher ed.”
Cosgrove said the statewide NFA’s political action committee, of which she is a member, was impressed by Reid’s “sincere interest in hearing our views on what should happen going forward. We had a very productive conversation with him, and believe we would continue to have productive dialogue with him if he were to become governor.”
Next year’s legislative session will be critical for higher ed, said Scott Huber, a biology professor at Truckee Meadows Community College and president of the NFA.
During its recent special session the Legislature approved cutting public education funding by 6.9 percent to help close a massive budget gap.
Both UNR and UNLV are preparing to eliminate degree programs and close entire departments in order to compensate for the lost funding. The state’s other higher ed campuses are also facing severe cost-cutting measures, including increasing class sizes and limiting access to popular courses.
“We need real leadership around the state,” Huber said. “If we don’t have it, these institutions will be hurt badly.”