Las Vegas Sun

September 20, 2019

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Two regents want serious debate on state college

A new effort is under way to kill the Nevada State College at Henderson or at least question its existence, two members of the Board of Regents said Tuesday.

The board's main detractors of the college, Regents Tom Kirkpatrick and Steve Sisolak, have requested that the board "review the future status" of the college, which is due to open in the fall, and "determine whether to continue operation of the college or terminate" it.

"I just hope that we can persuade enough regents to really give this serious consideration," Kirkpatrick said. "We have never really sat down as a board and discussed the state college. We have never directly voted on it."

The discussion would take place at the next board meeting on April 18 and 19 in Las Vegas, when regents also are expected to approve the new college's curriculum.

Kirkpatrick listed a litany of reasons why the college shouldn't open on Sept. 3. It is in a bad location, it's not well thought out and there is not enough funding to go around during the next legislative budget cycle, he said.

On most votes concerning the state college, about three regents on the 11-member board have opposed it. That number isn't expected to change much this time around either, Sisolak said.

"The idea is not necessarily to kill the state college but to question it," Sisolak said. "I would hope that our colleagues welcome a healthy debate about this."

Discussion about whether the state college should continue operations cropped up last month after its founding president, Richard Moore, resigned. Discussion on the issue was not on the agenda, so regents could not broach it.

Kirkpatrick said he plans to at least raise the questions in an official forum about the state college. He added that the board has never voted to establish the college.

"This board has been derelict in its duty when it comes to this endeavor," Kirkpatrick said.