Las Vegas Sun

August 3, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

It’s past time to treat us fairly

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Thank you for analyzing and questioning the fairness of the complex funding formula for higher education in this state in your editorial, “Parity? What’s that?”

There are some important issues that many of our lawmakers appear to have missed in their deliberations and legal considerations for public funding of our higher education system. The first is that UNLV is an up-and-coming university that has outranked UNR on a number of fronts — not to demean that excellent university — despite the crippling budget cuts from which we are still suffering. The second is that UNLV is larger than UNR and is the only research-intensive institution that serves Southern Nevada and, as a result, is a crucial innovative engine and source of talent that greatly benefits the economy of our state.

From examining the immature political games that are being played at the expense of the hard-working taxpayers in this state (particularly in the south), it is clear that Nevada’s political infrastructure must be radically altered and updated from the 19th century/early 20th century to reflect the dramatic shift in center of gravity in population toward the southern portion of this state.

I don’t know that there is any other state in the union that has such a bizarre, antiquated and anti-democratic political system that favors a sparsely populated and economically challenged north over the vibrant, dynamic and economic golden goose of the south. If our political leaders in the south can’t accept (and continue to deny) this reality, then perhaps we should we should consider a referendum to go our separate ways and create a new state.

The author is a professor at UNLV.

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