Friday, June 4, 2010 | 12:40 p.m.
Nevada regents have approved deep cuts to higher education, including the elimination of departments and degree programs from the state's two main university campuses.
UNLV lost six programs when the Nevada System of Higher Education board approved a pared-down budget Thursday at a meeting in Reno.
Marriage and family therapy, informatics, clinical laboratory sciences, sports education leadership, educational leadership and urban horticulture were cut from the university's lineup of some 60 programs.
"This is a sad moment not only at UNLV, but in Board of Regents history," said Teresa Jordan, professor and chair of UNLV's educational leadership department.
Regents approved another $11 million in cuts at the University of Nevada, Reno, including reductions to the College of Agriculture and the reorganization of the College of Education.
Eliminated were the departments of animal biotechnology and recourse economics, the Center for Nutrition and Metabolism, German studies, interior design and supply chain management. A master's degree program in speech communications was suspended for five years.
About a dozen students, faculty and staff spoke on behalf of the programs at the two campuses, but regents approved the cuts recommended by the two university presidents.
Several regents and higher education Chancellor Dan Klaich said making the cuts was among the most difficult tasks they've undertaken.
"We're talking about the elimination of programs. The elimination of faculty. Closing opportunities for students," Klaich said at the meeting held on UNR's campus. "There's nothing easy about that."
Nevada lawmakers cut the state's higher education budget by 6.9 percent earlier this year because of sagging revenues. That followed deeper cuts made in the two previous years. UNLV officials say state funding was cut 31 percent over three years.